"32 years of unbroken service" - Kieran McGeeney gets deserved Armagh extension 2 weeks ago

"32 years of unbroken service" - Kieran McGeeney gets deserved Armagh extension

Since he joined the Armagh fold as a 15-year-old, Kieran McGeeney hasn't left the inter-county scene.

Underage football with the Orchard county soon materialised into one of the most iconic senior careers in football where he took over the captaincy from Jarlath Burns no less and went on to become the only Armagh man to climb the Hogan Stand steps and accept Sam Maguire.

Since his retirement in 2007, McGeeney hasn't slowed up.

Six years with Kildare and a Leinster title with their under-21 side preceded his return to Armagh where he became part of Paul Grimley's backroom team before jumping into the hot seat where himself.

Five years at the helm have provoked a mixed reaction as Armagh have managed to just once (this season) win an Ulster championship game but they have, in that time, made their way to the quarter-finals and the last 12 twice in the latest three campaigns.

Armagh have also marked themselves out as one of the great entertainers of the game, playing a fast, open brand of football that has led to some of the finest matches in the sport in the last few years.

To that end, the Armagh County Committee have reacted by recognising the work of McGeeney and his popularity among the players with a ratification of a further two years for him in the job.

Geezer has always had the ear and the respect of the people he's worked with.

As a leader with his county, as a winner with Na Fianna in Dublin, as a manager of Kildare, Armagh, even in MMA circles, anyone you speak to about Kieran McGeeney doesn't just have a good word to say about him, they have a deliberate exhale of awe for him. You know the one, the cheeks puffed, lips motoring, a twitch of the head as though to say McGeeney is more than your average spud, but he's a powerful bit of stuff. To say he made a mark on them.

And his old team mate, a fellow All-Ireland winner, Justin McNulty did the math to tally up just how much the man has given to the GAA.

"32 years of unbroken service at inter-county level as a player, coach and manager is incredible," McNulty wrote.

From a 15-year-old who everyone knew was gong to make it big, to the manager who everyone has a feeling is going to make a big breakthrough sooner rather than later, Kieran McGeeney is still going strong.

And if Armagh know one thing, it's that he won't stop until he gets stronger.