by Richard Bullick
Armagh ladies have new jerseys this season but the Carrickdale logo, by now almost as synonymous with the team as the colour orange, gives them a comfortingly familiar look.The Carrickdale Hotel has been Armagh’s main backer for a remarkable 15 of the past 16 seasons, the one exception being in 2017 when they were still represented on the jersey sleeve as a subsidiary sponsor.
“This has been a very special partnership which has stood the test of time and the Carrickdale Hotel is very much part of the Armagh ladies football family at this stage. This is surely one of the longest relationships in sports sponsorship anywhere,” enthuses Sinead.
“We’re very grateful for all the support from the McParland family down through the years and their willingness to continue investing in Armagh ladies football is invaluable and very much appreciated.”
That sense of partnership and loyalty is reflected by Carrickdale Hotel representative Mairead McParland, an enthusiastic supporter of Armagh ladies down through the years.
“We’re very proud to continue our relationship with the Armagh ladies county team and be associated with some exceptionally talented and dedicated sportswomen who are inspirational people and real role models within this society,” says Mairead.
“On behalf of the Carrickdale Hotel and Spa I would like to wish the squad every success for the season ahead and we always look forward to the girls bringing back some silverware.”
The Carrickdale link evokes many memories for Armagh’s longest serving player and official squad captain Caoimhe Morgan, one of very few current Orchard representatives whose county career started before the long-standing sponsor came on board.
“We’ve had some incredible days down through the years since the Carrickdale crest first appeared on our jerseys in 2004, they’ve been around Armagh almost as long as me!” exclaims Caoimhe.
“Seriously though, they’ve shown wonderful loyalty over many years and been right at the heart of our story. The Carrickdale has also been our regular base for pre-match meals, homecoming celebrations, annual awards and so forth so we’ve got to know the management and staff fairly well.
“Ladies football finances are always stretched so the team really appreciates the faith shown in us and we want to do our sponsors and supporters proud during the season ahead. Everyone’s working hard to make Armagh successful, including Sinead and the County Board.”