McATAMNEY AND McCAFFREY TAKE ORCHARD HELM
Armagh Ladies have appointed the highly-regarded duo of Fionnuala McAtamney and Lorraine McCaffrey as the Orchard county’s new management team.
They will take the reins from Tyrone native Sean O’Kane with the immediate task of preparing to secure Armagh’s return to the top flight of National League football at the first attempt following relegation in 2017.
The two women at the Orchard helm are very familiar figures in local ladies football circles having been heavily involved in Armagh football at all levels for a prolonged period.
Fermanagh native McCaffrey was a key member of the all-female management team which completely transformed the Orchard outfit’s fortunes in the mid-noughties.
Meanwhile McAtamney was the All Star nominee goalkeeper for that Armagh team which reached the Orchard county’s only All Ireland final appearance to date, agonisingly losing to champions Cork by a single point in the 2006 showpiece in Croke Park.
The previous season, the women in orange had lifted the All Ireland second tier title and they went on to win historic back to back Ulster Senior Championships.
Since then Lorraine and Fionnuala have forged a formidable managerial partnership which has proved productive at Belfast club Bredagh and with Carrickcruppen.
They delivered an unexpected county title with Cruppen in 2013 and took the club to another Orchard decider this year after being brought on board mid-season.
Well-qualified for the job of managing at the highest level, very experienced, passionate about Armagh football and meticulous in their approach, McCaffrey and McAtamney come with a well-developed knowledge of the local ladies scene.
Like new Armagh Ladies County Board Chairperson Sinead Reel, the pair are tough task-masters who will demand the highest standards and leave no stone unturned in the quest to bring fresh success to the Orchard county.
“I’m proud and delighted that we’re able to announce these two women as our new senior team management because both are individuals of the highest calibre,” says Reel.
“They’ve a great track record of working together in partnership in various settings over recent years, their hearts are in Armagh football and they know the local scene very well so will be able to hit the ground running.
“I absolutely believe we have the talent in Armagh to challenge for the highest honours in ladies football and I don’t think there’s anybody better than Fionnuala and Lorraine to ensure that potential produces success.
“They will put heart and soul into their new roles and we at the County Board will make every effort to ensure that they and the players have everything they need in the coming year.
“We had more than 250 attending our annual awards on Saturday night and there was such a positive vibe. I want every element of ladies football in our county to feel connected because each has an important part to play in building the bright future for Armagh that we all want.”