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The Irish News Archive Papers: June 2 1998: Injury crisis hits Erne preparations

FERMANAGH DOUBT...Devenish defender Paddy McGuinness’s (extreme left) groin injury is a source of worry for Erne boss Pat King
The Irish News Archive

Injury crisis hits Erne preparations

ROBBED of key players at a critical time, Fermanagh manager Pat King may be reluctantly forced into selecting injured pair Raymond Gallagher and Paddy McGuinness in his starting fifteen to face Cavan at Breffni Park.

King is due to announce his preliminary selection for the Ulster championship clash this morning, but stresses the line-up could have changed quite a bit by Sunday afternoon.

“I want to wait as long as possible on those players who are carrying injuries and who simply have to rest before having a late fitness test on Friday,” he said.

“I'd rather name players and then hope that they are alright rather than list a whole lot of AN Others.

“Either way, I know even if I select players who aren't 100 per cent, that they will take a sensible decision themselves come the end of the week.”

King's optimism, however, doesn't extend as far as his son Barry and Mark Gallagher, whom he confirmed last night would both definitely miss the match with hamstring injuries.

Raymond Gallagher, who sustained a broken bone in his hand in a challenge game three weeks ago, will have the plaster removed tomorrow and his manager is keeping his fingers crossed.

More of a worry is the thought of having to do without quality defender McGuinness, who is rated extremely doubtful with a groin strain.

“Paddy's position is the one we're most worried about, but no decision will be made for sure until Friday,” said King.

“I think we have enough cover in most other areas of the field, and if one of the other defenders was ruled out then we could bring in a replacement just as good, but Paddy is that bit better than the rest. He could walk on to any team.”

Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie last night set a new standard for 10,000 metres running by lowering the world record by more than five seconds. The Ethiopian shattered the previous mark of 26min 27.85secs by posting 26:22.75 to win at the IAAF Grand Prix II meeting in Hengelo, Holland. Gebrselassie smashed Paul Tergat's record that had stood since August last year when the Kenyan became the fastest in the world at the Ivo Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels.

Derry City have added to their strike force with the signing of the highly rated Michael McHugh from Omagh town. Brandywell boss Felix Healy acted quickly to sign McHugh on a three-year contract, with no transfer fee involved. Because McHugh is over 24 years of age and out of contract at Omagh town, he was available on a free transfer and Healy moved within hours of his becoming a free agent. McHugh, once on the books of Bradford City was a target for a number of clubs on both sides of the border but the Donegal man elected to come to Brandywell. McHugh's first appearance at Brandywell is likely to be against cross channel opposition on July 25th.

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