Fermanagh star Sherry’s final pain
James Sherry has given Fermanagh outstanding service for over a decade, having dovetailed between centre-half-forward and midfield.
Sherry’s commitment to his county has seen him log thousands of miles to and from his Dublin base for training sessions and matches.
But as Peter Canavan’s side prepare for their Allianz League Division Four final against Wicklow on Saturday week, Sherry, a physiotherapist, looks set to miss the important contest that will be played on his doorstep.
A troublesome disc in his back has limited his input into the side recently and now the Roslea clubman is likely to sit out Fermanagh’s efforts to collect silverware for the first time since the dawn of the new millennium.
“Obviously it would be a big disappointment to miss out on this game as it will be played in Croke Park,” reflects the modest and unassuming Sherry.
“Every player wants to perform there but the important thing is that the side should win. It’s a bit ironic I may miss the game as a match in Dublin suits well because I have been based here for quite some time now.”
A former captain of the side, he has been an inspiration to a string of players who have come into the squad recently.
The timing of his injury is a source of frustration to all connected with Fermanagh according to liaison officer Gerard Tracey.
“James has been a pillar of our team down through the years and he has also been the mainstay of the Roslea side that has won championship honours,”said Tracey.
“We are all keeping our fingers crossed that he will be fit for our Ulster championship opener against Down at Enniskillen in June.”
Full back Barry Owens and wing-back Tommy McElroy are other doubts for the clash with a Wicklow side which booked their place in the final by overcoming Clare last weekend.
“Barry has missed four league games because of a pulled hamstring while Tommy has a hip problem,” added Tracey.
“They are training but they have still to get up to full match fitness while Martin McGrath could also be a candidate for selection against Down although he is likely to miss out on a starting place against Wicklow.” Manager Canavan’s forward options were strikingly underlined against Leitrim last Sunday when Seamus Quigley was pitched into the side at the eleventh hour following the non-availability of Paul Ward and scored 2-6 of his team’s winning total of 2-15.
Daniel Kille also got another chance to impress when Tómas Corrigan was ruled out because of a calf strain. But Fermanagh officials are quick to acknowledge the paucity of the Leitrim challenge.
“We know that Wicklow will be a much more difficult proposition and test for us in Croke Park,” adds Tracey.
“They will have taken considerable heart from having gained promotion to Division Three and like ourselves will want to finish the job in style at Headquarters.”