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Canavan counts on return of Fermanagh stars

By John Campbell

New Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan has received a welcome Christmas present.

Several players who withdrew from the squad this year for a variety of reasons, including disenchantment with the management set-up under John O’Neill, are to make themselves available in 2012.

And this is proving a timely fillip for double All-Ireland winner Canavan as he bids to transform the team’s fortunes.

Canavan received an initial setback when it was disclosed that wing-back Peter Sherry would be out of the frame as he is now working in England while his brother James, a Dublin-based physiotherapist who captained Fermanagh last year, is still recovering from the dislocated jaw he sustained while assisting Roslea in the recent All County League final.

Canavan has now taken considerable heart from the fact that experienced players such as Tommy McIlroy, Shane Lyons, Niall Bogue and the Keenan brothers Ryan and Darryl are to come back on board.

Canavan, preparing to oversee his first formal squad session on January 1, is anxious to ensure that all players will be fully committed to Fermanagh from the word go so that a concerted effort can be made to bring about success.

Experienced goalkeeper Chris Breen, who missed considerable action this year because of an ankle problem, is expected to challenge for a place again — he was understudy to James McGrath for the championship — while Damien Kelly is also expected to return to the county colours.

Outgoing chairman Peter Carty reflected on Fermanagh’s below-par performances this year when he addressed the county Convention last night and urged everyone to pull together for the good of the county in 2012.

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