Brendan Grimes, the County Armagh manager, has praised the Premier players’ tactical awareness and overall commitment following a Milk Cup week which finished in a final appearance.
The Orchard County seniors lost out to the highly-rated Right To Dream side across the Vase showpiece but Grimes can highlight a number of positives from the overall tournament.
“We could not have asked for any more from the lads,” said Grimes. “The Milk Cup experience is about coming up against so many different cultures and playing styles and the boys worked hard against every challenge.
“They had to manage different tests at different times but put in place the gameplan and did the job asked of each player.
“They arrived with a great attitude across the group and we maybe played the name rather than the team in the first defeat to Real Socieded but bounced back across the next two days.
“We displayed excellent character to get back-to-back wins against teams from Colombia and New Zealand then defeat Motherwell on penalty kicks.
“In the final we were up against a superb side so can have no complaints about losing to Right To Dream.
“It was a punishing week but all 18 players were involved and motivated so deserve every credit.
“The feedback was positive from the players and that tactical awareness and discipline on show, alongside the technical ability, can only help the boys take the next step.
“It is about pushing to get the most out of every challenge and then take that forward on to the next stage for each player.”
Aside from the town club’s six representatives, the County Armagh Premier panel also included Loughgall’s Ross Wilson and Conor Larkin from Armagh City.
The full County Armagh Premier squad: Matthew Leyburn (Dungannon Swifts), Mark Johnston (Portadown), Brendan Litter (Portadown), Ross Wilson (Loughgall), Connor Murtagh (Dungannon Swifts), Shea Geraghty (Armagh City), Scott Megaw (Portadown), Eoin Toal (Armagh City), Caolan Marron (Warrenpoint Town), Reese McInerney (Armagh City), Tiarnan Judge (Lurgan Town), Patrick McPartland (Portadown), Andrew Wilson (Linfield), Nedas Maciulaitis (Portadown), Ryan Lewsley (Glenavon), Adam Metcalfe (Portadown), Kevin McAliden (Lurgan Celtic), Conor Larkin (Armagh City).
MONDAY: County Armagh 0 Real Sociedad 1.
TUESDAY: County Armagh 2 Alset Colombia 1.
WEDNESDAY: County Armagh 2 Otago Academy 0.
THURSDAY: (Dale Farm Milk Cup Vase semi-final) County Armagh 0 Motherwell 0 (County Armagh won 5-4 on pens).
FRIDAY: (Dale Farm Milk Cup Vase final) County Armagh 1 Right To Dream 6.