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Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan picks mix of youth and experience

By John Campbell

New Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan has named his first squad - and it includes several players who had turned their backs on the county last year.

Canavan has gone with a mixture of youth and experience for the Dr McKenna Cup competition that he hopes will see the Ernesiders turn the corner following a turbulent 2011.

Shane Lyons, Niall Bogue, Seamus Quigley and Mark Little are among the players who are back in the frame while Ryan McCluskey, who has been fulfilling soccer commitments of late, is also included as are the Keenan brothers Darryl and Ryan.

Among the experienced players who stood by the county this year and who are likely to remain first-choice are Ronan Gallagher, Barry Owens, Eamon Maguire, Paul Ward and Tomas Corrigan.

Canavan has conducted an extensive trawl for talent and even though six players will be missing because they will be representing their universities in January, his panel will certainly spark optimism within the county.

Meanwhile, the St Mary's Rasharkin club is awaiting a decision from the Ulster Council Hearings committee following the appeal which the club made against the ban imposed on its participation in all codes above Minor level next year by the Antrim Competitions Control Committee.

The ban was handed down after the violence which followed the recent county Under 21 football championship semi-final between St Mary's and Lamh Dhearg.

It was one of several sanctions imposed and after an unsuccessful appeal to the Antrim Hearings Committee the Rasharkin outfit decided to take their case to the Ulster Council.

The violence which marred the Antrim semi-final and the incidents which occurred during the Dromore v Carrickmore Tyrone All County League final have prompted Donegal county chairman PJ McGowan to reveal that the Garda and PSNI are known to be making tentative enquiries into incidents at GAA grounds.

He also suggests that the segregation of fans could be introduced if violent incidents are replicated.

McGowan, a former Donegal senior football team manager, is one of the most respected administrators in the province.

"While there have been incidents in two counties lately none of us are blameless. We all have to hold our hands up," says McGowan.

"While some incidents have been highlighted recently we cannot blame the media for what has happened," he adds.

And while there are fears that on-the-field incidents can spill over into the crowds, Ulster manager Joe Kernan is keeping his fingers crossed that crowds will in fact be the order of the day when the inter-provincial football championship swings into action.

Kernan has already issued a plea to the GAA authorities to arrange the semi-finals of the competition for high-profile venues rather than at grounds which are "at the back of beyond and inaccessible to spectators."

Fermanagh squad: R Gallagher, M Jones, S Lyons, N Bogue, C Quigley, B Owens, R McCluskey, P Cosgrove, E Donnelly, E Maguire, D Keenan, D Kille, P Cadden, S Quigley, P Ward, C Breen, T Corrigan, S Quigley, M Little, B Mullin, N McElroy, L Lynch, J Woods, D Cassidy, R Keenan, B Maguire.

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