GAA Football

I won't be chasing Erne exiles insists Fermanagh boss Ryan McMenamin

Fermanagh boss Ryan McMenamin says he won't be chasing any Erne exiles to return ahead of their 2022 campaign. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

FERMANAGH boss Ryan McMenamin insists he won’t be chasing any absent stars to return to the Erne County fold next year.

The former Tyrone star was without the likes of defensive twin towers Che and Lee Cullen, Derrygonnelly midfielder Ryan Jones and brother Conall, as well as forward pair Tomas and Ruairi Corrigan for the 2021 campaign, which ended in Ulster Championship defeat to Monaghan on Saturday.

For a county with such a limited pick compared to most, Fermanagh can hardly afford to be without so many experienced campaigners, with McMenamin forced to put his faith in an emerging crop of talented youngsters.

Having missed out on promotion to Division Two last month, they must either find a way out of Division Three next Spring or go all the way to an Ulster final, otherwise they will drop into the second tier Tailteann Cup.

But the Erne boss has no intention of trying to convince players to return to the fold for that crucial campaign.

“It’s up to themselves,” said McMenamin.

“I’m not going to chase anybody to come back, to tell you the truth. I’ve got enough on my plate instead of going chasing boys to play for Fermanagh. You either want to play for Fermanagh or you don’t.

“I don’t see Brian Dooher or anyone chasing people to play for Tyrone so I’m not going to do it for Fermanagh.”

Monaghan, meanwhile, will have manager Seamus McEnaney back on the line for their July 17 provincial semi-final against Armagh.

The Corduff man’s suspension for a breach of Covid-19 training regulations comes to an end before that showdown, and selector David McCague admits the management team will be glad to have ‘Banty’ back.

“Communication at the minute is awkward around training, around the games there, so to take those obstacles out of the way and to make those lines of communication much smoother will be a big boost to us out here,” he said.

“But to the players out on the field, it’s probably irrelevant.”

The Farneymen proved far too strong for Fermanagh in Clones, and a subs bench boasting the likes of 2018 Allstar nominee Niall Kearns, Drew Wylie, Colin Walshe, Fintan Kelly and Kieran Hughes shows the strength of the Monaghan panel.

“We set up during the National League to fatten up our panel and there was evidence today that we’ve managed to do that,” said McCague.

“We’d like to build more capacity in it and hopefully the fellas who got in today, their appetite will be whetted going into Tuesday night and the fellas who didn’t get in will see a pathway for them into the team too.”


MONAGHAN are anxiously waiting to find out the extent of knee injuries to Conor McManus and Darren Hughes, after the experienced duo both hobbled out of Saturday’s Ulster Championship victory over Fermanagh.

Scotstown midfielder Hughes was forced off before half-time, while McManus had to helped from the field late on and left St Tiernach’s Park on crutches and with his leg heavily bandaged.

With their Ulster semi-final against Armagh less than a fortnight away, both face a major race against time to be fit to face the Orchardmen – though the Farneymen will be keeping their fingers crossed for good news.

“Both of them are too early to tell really but they’d definitely be sources of concern,” said selector David McCague.

“Both fellas were really heavy impact injuries, there’s a bit of swelling on both players. We just don’t know at the minute. We’ll have to wait for feedback from the medical team and hopefully that’s positive.”

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