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Canavan’s demands a test for Fermanagh

By John Campbell

Former Fermanagh player-manager Peter McGinnity has challenged the current crop of players to buy into the philosophies of new boss Peter Canavan — or else.

Hailing the arrival of Canavan as “a great appointment”, McGinnity, who has steered his native Roslea to the domestic championship title in each of the last two seasons, insists that the players are now being offered a golden opportunity to restore Fermanagh’s fortunes.

“Peter Canavan is a very driven, very focused person and he will set high standards. It is now up to the players to reach and maintain these standards. If they don’t, then progress will not be made,” warns McGinnity.

The turmoil that engulfed Fermanagh this year when a number of players withdrew from the county squad because of their disenchantment with John O’Neill’s style of management has now subsided to be replaced by optimism.

And McGinnity believes that Canavan can take Fermanagh “out of the dark place where we have been.”

He goes on: “I think that the county board have made a great appointment. He is coming in from outside the county, has no baggage and is someone our players will look up to and respect.”

McGinnity, who played for Fermanagh from 1970 until 1987 and also managed the side in the mid-80’s, subscribes to the widespread belief that Canavan can help the side steer a course out of Division Four of the National League.

“I think this is a very realistic target,” states McGinnity.

“If the team manages to generate momentum during the league and can win promotion into Division Three, then this will help to improve their chances appreciably against Down when the sides meet in the Ulster Championship at Enniskillen in the summer.

“We have home advantage in that match and that will do us no harm at all.”

As Canavan prepares to unveil his first line-up for the opening match against Antrim in the McKenna Cup on January 8, McGinnity is urging the players to hit the ground running.

“If the team can make a good start to 2012 this will be a further help towards banishing the woes we all suffered this year.

“It’s absolutely essential, though, that the players buy into Peter Canavan’s philosophies — if they don’t, then it will be a futile exercise,” raps McGinnity.

It was in 1982 that McGinnity, who had been playing for the St John’s club in Belfast before then, lined out in the Ulster final for Fermanagh only to see the side lose and they did not reach the provincial decider again until 2008 when they were beaten by Armagh after a replay.

Since then Fermanagh’s fortunes have declined rapidly but with several experienced players having been named in Canavan’s preliminary squad and others expected to make themselves available again further along the line, the flame of hope has been lit.

“The important thing is that players will want to play for Peter Canavan.

“They are aware of his track record and his status within the sport.

“They know that he will be very committed and that’s just what is needed.

“Success only comes through hard work and the Fermanagh boys are going to have to knuckle down and deliver the goods,” adds McGinnity.

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Dromore have failed in their bid to have the decision banning their participation in the 2012 Tyrone All County League top four play-offs overturned.

This was just one of a number of sanctions imposed on the club following the violent incidents that marred their recent All County League title win over Carrickmore at Dunmoyle.

The sanctions were imposed by the Tyrone Competitions Control Committee following a detailed investigation into the trouble but the Dromore club appealed their play-off ban to the Tyrone Hearings Committee.

At its meeting, the latter body upheld the decision of the CCC and Dromore then took their case to the Ulster Council.

However, the provincial Hearings Committee further upheld the ban which means that Dromore will not now get the opportunity to defend their league crown because of the format employed to ascertain the winners.

Belfast Telegraph

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