McGibbon looking for players to take long-term lessons from Milk Cup week

Pat McGibbon (left). Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon (left). Pic by PressEye Ltd.

County Armagh manager Pat McGibbon has urged his Junior players to turn last week’s Milk Cup experience into long-term positives.

McGibbon, a former Milk Cup player who went on to spend a decade in professional football, is aware of the challenges prospects must overcome to progress in the game.

The final whistle may have sounded on the final game but McGibbon wants those players selected for the Orchard County to continue the development.

“I know the boys gained an awful lot from the experience of the week and we were very happy with the application put in by everyone,” said McGibbon. “We were competitive in all games at all stages and now it is up to the players to pick up and apply those lessons to each individual’s forthcoming club season.

“We offer a coaching facility as such during the Milk Cup experience and it is about each player’s personal development.

“It was great to see players with recent experience of the Junior squads move up this year to the Premier level and the idea is to give everyone the best chance to bring forward his career.”

Highlights for County Armagh included victory on the opening day against Swindon Town and the scoreless draw with Right To Dream, the only side to maintain a clean sheet last week against the tourists from Ghana.

“It was great to start off with a win against Swindon, then we were disappointed with the County Tyrone result but displayed excellent discipline and focus against Right To Dream,” said McGibbon. “We dominated for long periods against Bayern then conceded and lost out on the lottery of penalty kicks.

“The final match was all about making sure everyone finished what was such an intensive week with as many minutes as possible across the group.”

Portadown Youth players were joined by Declan O’Neill, Ben Davison, Sam Murphy, Luke Wilson, Tom Weir, Darragh Gray and Adam McAlpine from the area alongside Loughgall Youth’s Mark Lucas.

The full County Armagh Junior squad: Tyler Boyce (Lurgan Town), Sean Toman (Dungannon Swifts), Declan O’Neill (Lurgan Town), Daniel McKeown (Windmill Stars), Cathal McGinty (Glenavon), Ben Davison (Lurgan Town), Sam Murphy (Dungannon Swifts), Barney McKeown (Portadown Youth), Oisin Smyth (Dungannon Swifts), Luke Wilson (Ridgeway Rovers), Robbie McAteer (Glenavon), John Lee McAfee (Glenavon), Josh Megoran (Portadown Youth), Mark Lucas (Loughgall Youth), Tom Weir (Cliftonville), Alberto Balde (Portadown Youth), Darragh Gray (Lurgan Town), Adam McAlpine (Glenavon).

MONDAY: County Armagh 3 Swindon Town 1.

TUESDAY: County Armagh 1 County Tyrone 2.

WEDNESDAY: County Armagh 0 Right To Dream 0.

THURSDAY: (Dale Farm Bowl semi-final) County Armagh 1 GPS FC Bayern 1 (County Armagh lost 5-4 on pens).

FRIDAY: (Dale Farm Bowl third-place play-off) County Armagh 0 North Dublin SL 2.