GAA Football

Armagh suspend collective training after players test positive for Covid-19

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney has had to suspend collective training. Picture by John Merry.
Andy Watters

FIFTEEN days before they are due to play Roscommon in a crucial Division Two game, Armagh have announced that collective senior team training has been suspended.

According to reports, six players from the Orchard County squad tested positive for Covid-19 and the county board released a statement yesterday confirming that collective training had been called off as "a precautionary measure".

It is understood that training could resume next week, at least in smaller groups, and that the suspension stems from an outbreak of the virus in the Forkhill club in the aftermath of their Junior Football Championship replay win over Belleeks last weekend.

“Following a recent outbreak in a local club, the Armagh senior football team has a number of confirmed positive results for Covid-19," read the Armagh statement.

"We are strictly following the GAA and public health advice and as a precautionary measure we have postponed collective training.

“These are difficult times for our communities and Armagh GAA urge all members to follow the public health guidelines.”

Of course, the health of the players and management and their families is most important but this development obviously has serious implications for Armagh in a sporting context.

The Orchardmen resume their Division Two campaign against the Rossies on October 17 and complete their fixtures against Clare the following weekend.

Kieran McGeeney's side are currently top of the table and, at full strength, would be fancied to win both games and clinch promotion to Division One after an absence of eight years.

But this development throws all that into doubt. Even if they are not showing symptoms, those infected will need to quarantine for at least 10 days, putting their involvement in the Roscommon match in doubt. Defeat in that game could leave Armagh facing a difficult trip to Ennis needing to win and hoping other results go their way for them to claim a place in the top flight next year.


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