Ernemen will make Brewster Park a fortress: McCusker
One of the more impressive facets of Fermanagh's nine-point Division Two victory over Down on Saturday was the physical condition and energy of the Ernemen. And wing-forward Paul McCusker - along with his brother Declan - personified that.
The St Joseph's, Ederney man revealed that they are in better shape this year than last February because of their early 2016 Championship exit. The year before ended in an All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Dublin, and the back-up of fixtures left Fermanagh ill-prepared for the league last year, he believes.
"Last year our club season went on too long. Us and Derrygonnelly played in a league final on December 12, so we were straight back into county duty and had no proper break," he said. "Everything was over a lot quicker this year so we had a proper pre-season. We were in the gym before we went to the pitch and we're all in better shape and in a better position than we were this time last year."
A measure of where the respective counties are at comes from how Fermanagh had targeted this trip in particular as a chance to get early points.
"We got what we wanted out of the McKenna Cup but the first round of the league was our focus, we were very confident we were going to come here and get the two points," said McCusker.
"We had full belief in our own ability and we had a strong team with a strong bench, and we still have boys to come back in."
They face Galway this Sunday in Brewster Park. McCusker vowed: "We'll be targeting a win in all our home games. We have a good record in Brewster Park and want that to continue."