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Erne stars among the best I've managed: McGrath

By Declan Bogue

Published 11/06/2016

To the point: Peter McGrath holds his Fermanagh men in the highest regard
To the point: Peter McGrath holds his Fermanagh men in the highest regard

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath has rated his current group of Erne players as belonging in the same company as "anything I have worked with," including his two All-Ireland winning Down sides.

Ahead of their Ulster quarter-final clash with Donegal tomorrow, the Rostrevor man told the Belfast Telegraph: "First of all, you have got to assess players in terms of 'are they serious?' Secondly, 'are they really, really enthusiastic? Are they committed? Are they honest in what they are doing, in the investment in time and energy?'

"As far as I would be concerned, the current group of Fermanagh players is right up there with anything I have worked with."

Under McGrath, the team have enjoyed a steady progression and enjoyed their rewards last season of promotion and reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final, where they were beaten by eventual champions Dublin.

This season they retained their place in an Ulster-saturated Division Two and now take on the might of Rory Gallagher's Donegal for a place in the Ulster semi-finals against Monaghan.

He continued his glowing praise, stating: "In terms of their attitude and their ambitions themselves, players have to be ambitious.

"They have to see that they are a county player for a window of opportunity and I have to make the best of it for the team and for the county."

Elsewhere this weekend, Derry are fighting for their place in the Christy Ring Cup when they meet Mayo, conquerors of Armagh in last week's Nicky Rackard final in a promotion-relegation play-off.

Fermanagh are hoping to cling on to their Nicky Rackard status, and they face Louth having named an entire team staffed by Lisbellaw players.

The Ulster senior camogie final takes place tomorrow. The clash of Derry and Antrim will take place as the curtain raiser for the Ulster senior football quarter-final between Donegal and the Ernesiders.

Derry are defending their title and saw off Antrim convincingly in last year's Ulster semi-final. Managed by Ciaran Cunningham, they also played their camogie in Division One this season and will be expected to win comfortably.

Belfast Telegraph

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