ARMAGH are preparing to be without Jamie Clarke for the 2018 season after the forward informed manager Kieran McGeeney that he doesn’t expect to be around next year.
The Crossmaglen man is away travelling for the foreseeable future, something the Allstar nominee has made clear is a real passion of his in recent years.
Clarke has opted out of the Orchard squad for similar reasons on a number of occasions, but has sometimes returned to Ireland earlier than expected and linked up with the squad. Armagh fans will be hoping for similar.
Regardless, it is a real blow for McGeeney as the side attempt to navigate their way out of Division Three and make an impression on the Ulster Championship.
Clarke missed Crossmaglen’s last three Armagh Championship games, including Saturday night’s semi-final loss to Maghery.
The game was marred by unruly scenes just before and after full-time and although they are not commenting, Armagh GAA are investigating with players and spectators set to go under the microscope.
There was better news for McGeeney as Kevin Dyas made his long-awaited return to action on Friday night.
The player came off the bench for Kilmacud Croke’s in their Dublin Championship quarter-final win over Castleknock.
Dyas racked up 22 minutes in his first game since Armagh’s league win over Tipperary back in February 2015.