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Fitzsimmons is baffled by latest live TV snub

By Declan Bogue

Published 10/05/2016

The Antrim and Fermanagh encounter will not be shown on TV (stock photo)
The Antrim and Fermanagh encounter will not be shown on TV (stock photo)

Antrim joint-manager Frankie Fitzsimmons has expressed his surprise that this Sunday's Ulster Championship opener between his side and Fermanagh is not being shown live on television.

RTÉ's coverage of the Championship season begins the following week, but this means a third consecutive year that an Ulster Championship football tie between Antrim and Fermanagh has been left on the shelf.

Deferred coverage is available later in the evening.

"There definitely should be more coverage, but that is out of our hands. It's for people in higher places than us to say that," said Fitzsimmons at the Antrim press night ahead of the Brewster Park clash on Sunday.

"Our game two years ago was talked about as being as good a game as they had seen in the Championship and I don't think it was live that day either. I suppose it doesn't matter, nobody remembers the losers."

He also agreed with Kieran McGeeney's assertion last week that you cannot please everyone when he added: "But to critics down south, it's drab Ulster football."

The Lamh Dearg man revealed that Antrim have a full roster of players available for selection.

Asked of any injury concerns, he replied: "We have a clean bill of health. Obviously we are out another couple of nights this week, so fingers crossed everyone will be okay for Sunday.

"If the weather keeps up it will suit us. I like the firm ground for our lads, but it would need to be a monsoon between now and then to make a difference."

Fitzsimmons was a selector when Antrim last pulled off a win at Brewster Park in the 2014 Ulster Championship. The following year he took over from Liam Bradley as manager but could not prevent the Saffrons from falling to the Ernemen in the quarter-final and later in a round two qualifier.

"Fermanagh are the most improved team in Ulster. Staying in Division Two was a big plus for them too," added Fitzsimmons. "We are turning up to give it our best shot. There is a big game against Donegal for the winners."

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