Lets do it for Geezer... Armagh players want to win Ulster title for manager Kieran McGeeney

Armagh backroom team go above and beyond for players says Orchard defender Paddy Burns

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney and players after the final whistle against Donegal on Sunday past. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney addresses his players. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

ARMAGH want to win an Ulster Championship to reward manager Kieran McGeeney and his backroom team for their constant hours of commitment, says Orchard defender Paddy Burns.

Like several others in the Armagh squad including skipper Aidan Forker and key forwards Stefan Campbell and Rory Grugan, Burns has been campaigning through the majority of  McGeeney’s 10-year reign as manager.

He says the players want to win an Anglo-Celt Cup for their hard-working leader.

“You always want to go out and win something for him,” said Burns.

“We put a lot of time in as players but I asked Paddy McBrearty would he consider doing county management and the two of us both agreed ‘absolutely not’. It’s such a difficult job, it takes up so much time, so much effort and I think, for the time he’s put into us and what he gives us, how well he looks after us, the least we can do is trying an get him an Ulster title and we’ll be doing our best to do that.

Armagh's Paddy Burns
Paddy Burns says he would have no interest in becoming an inter-county manager (Philip Walsh)

“We turn up and train – okay we turn up early and get our pre-hab done, our skills practice done… We train, we sit around after and get our food, maybe a bit of physio and we go home and you can switch off to the next day. Whereas it feels like they (the management) just have a constant barrage of things to do – questions to answer, logistics to sort out, meetings… I don’t know where they get the hours. It’s not something I would want to do.”

Burns joked that he has a “gentleman’s agreement” with Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty that there’ll be no penalties in this year’s Ulster Championship final.

The Forkhill native was injured last year when Armagh lost to Derry and hopes that the Orchardmen can win this season’s decider without the lottery of another shoot-out.

“We were very close in normal time and extra-time last year,” he said.

“But we probably should have won it in normal time against what everybody knows now is a really good Derry team. It’s not often you get an opportunity so soon to give yourself a chance to undo (what happened last year) so the big thought for us it: ‘let’s go out and give ourselves the best shot of doing what we should have done last year’.”