Clodagh McCambridge gutted for Aimee Mackin after Armagh star forward ruled out for season with injury

Blaithin, Aimee’s sister, has returned to the squad from a medial knee ligament injury

Armagh captain Clodagh McCambridge was gutted to hear confirmation star forward Aimee Mackin had suffered another season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury.

Mackin, the 2020 Footballer of the Year, picked up the injury during Armagh’s Ulster final win over Donegal on May 19th. It is the second time the 27-year-old has been sidelined with a cruciate tear, having previously been struck down in 2019.

“Everyone is gutted for her, you can’t be anything but gutted for her,” said McCambridge at the launch of the 2024 TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships.

“She has so much talent, adds so much to us on the pitch, now it’s just what can she add to the group off the pitch, which is loads of leadership.

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“She’s a big loss, but we’ve tried to accept it, there’s not much we can do as a team to change it and training has been really positive this week. We have Blaithin Mackin back in and she’s flying, we just have to focus on what we can do now with the people there.”

Blaithin, Aimee’s sister, has returned to the squad from a medial knee ligament injury. Aimee was forced off during the second half of the win over Donegal, and it was initially hoped she had avoided another cruciate setback.

“It seemed innocuous enough,” added McCambridge. “Whatever way her foot planted, she just went over. But no, I don’t think we were expecting it, to be honest.

“In that game we lost Aimee, we lost Louise Kenny [shoulder injury], so you come away with an Ulster title but it’s bittersweet when you’re losing those players coming into the All-Ireland championship.

“But we just have to accept it, there’s nothing we can do. It’s just about trying to get the best out of the players who are there.”

Aimee, a three-time All Star footballer, was due to link up again with AFLW outfit Melbourne at the end of Armagh’s All-Ireland campaign. McCambridge believes she will be back in an Armagh jersey next season.

“I know Aimee will do whatever she can, it’s a glimmer of hope when you see the performances she put in the first year coming back after doing her cruciate. There’s always that potential next year. Hopefully all goes well with the rehab and we’ll have her back flying again.”

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times