"He's not suited to the modern game at all" - Will Jamie Clarke play for Armagh again?
The magic of wanderlust looks to have enticed Crossmaglen star Jamie Clarke once again, as it appears he won't be committing to Armagh this season.
Oisin McConville who has both played and managed the talented forward, told the Irish Examiner that "there’s a good chance this could be it”, in terms of Clarke's inter-county career.
The sharp shooting footballer broke onto the scene for Armagh in 2010 with an explosive performance against Donegal that saw him score 2-2 and go on to finish the campaign with an impressive 3-7.
Since then however, it has been suggested that Clarke has failed to reach the heights of his potential and voluntarily opted out of the 2016 and 2018 campaigns to satisfy his urge for travel.
Colm Parkinson defended the slight but deadly forward on the GAA Hour Show, stating that: "I love Jamie Clarke, he's a bit like myself, a year on, a year off - 'Jesus last year was a bit too much for me, I need a year off'."
Parkinson believes that Clarke is unfortunate to be in this particular era of football and unfortunate to be in the province that he plays in.
"The current game doesn't suit Jamie Clarke. He's such a brilliant and creative player, not the biggest player in the world but he has such silky skills.
"I just think he's not suited to the modern game at all. He ends up chasing after his corner-back, he's double marked and he doesn't have the strength to win balls that he maybe needs to.
"He's a brilliant finisher in and around the goals - I don't know, I just never really see him excel."
Liam Griffin is just that inspirational, that he has Wooly raring to pick up his hurl and go pucking 🏑
- After the famine, the feast! There are too many matches on the tele...
- Jamie Clarke does what he wants #Wooly4GAAPresident
🎧 👇https://t.co/4XELtbbO8q pic.twitter.com/hoVrTlBcte
— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) April 29, 2021
Since making his debut 11 years ago, Clarke has scored a combined total of 14-89 and made 39 championship appearances. Despite his best efforts though, he never managed to win an Ulster title.
"He's in the wrong province as well," Parkinson added.
"He might get a bit more space in Leinster, but the Ulster championship - can you remember him standing out in recent years?"
The target man did play a key role in the 2019 and 2020 seasons to secure Armagh's reservation at the top table of the National League. This was no mediocre feat, considering that the men in orange have been rooted in division three in recent years.
McConville added, "I don’t want to finish his career for him. That will be up to Jamie and how his life develops in other ways, but you would suspect that there’s a good chance this could be it.”
If Jamie Clarke were to have played his last game for Armagh, will he be remembered as a great player in a sub-par team, or will he always be known as the young prospect with bags of talent, but who ultimately never reached his potential?
One thing is for certain - Armagh fans and the less biased gaels in the north - will certainly miss him in the Ulster championship.