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21st Oct 2023

Jarlath Burns give honest take on son’s decision to leave Armagh team

Lee Costello

Jarlath Burns

“I would love it if he would stay on and keep at it.”

GAA president Jarlath Burns has given his honest take on his son, Jarly Óg, decision to opt out of the Armagh inter-county panel this season.

The young midfielder has been an integral part of Keiran McGeeney’s plans since he broke onto the county scene, and helped the Orchard side reach the Ulster final and All-Ireland quarter final this year.

The Silverbridge star has always had to deal with the pressure of having a father who was also very successful for Armagh, captaining his county to a Ulster title in 1999.

Now, as president of the GAA, he is more high profile than ever, so there was a real shock when his son decided to leave the Armagh team for the 2024 season in order to focus on his club.

Burns admitted that he didn’t want his boy to leave the panel, but also said that it wasn’t his decision to make.

“He (Jarly Óg) is an adult and he can make his own decisions and it is not me that’s having to go out and make all those commitments,” said Burns Snr.

Jarlath Burns

“He got a concussion in the last club match we played against Clann Éireann and he’s had a couple of those.

“The one thing about the split season which I really agree with is that it is hard on county players. County players come straight off the county season and straight into the club season.

“It is not like they can just relax through the club season – they are expected to lead, to jump straight into the game-plan that your club has and be the star.

“That’s very draining and there’s a lot of intensity with that as well. It is an amateur game and fellas have the right if they wish, they are not under contract, to step back,” added Burns.

“I know it is going to hurt him. I would love it if he would stay on and keep at it, but I’d like to think he’d come back even better.

“He’s only 24 so he’s still very young.”

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