Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Peter Canavan is the right man to take Fermanagh forward, says skipper Ryan Mccluskey

Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan
Fermanagah's Ryan McCluskey

Fermanagh captain Ryan McCluskey says that it would be "an absolute travesty" if county manager Peter Canavan were to leave the post.

There is speculation that Canavan is due to undertake his annual review this week with a Review Committee of the county board, and McCluskey has urged: "I just hope they come to the right decision.

"I would say that over the last number of years I have been part of many Fermanagh panels and teams and the game has moved on. Peter has moved us up to that next level with his backroom team.

"We would all believe that we would be taking a step back without him. We have made small improvements under Peter but, unfortunately, realistically we should have been promoted.

"We were one out of the two best sides in Division Three. We had a disappointing result against Meath and we really should be sitting in Division Two next year."

McCluskey (right) continued: "We are very disappointed in the Championship campaign and I know Peter is as well. I think when you look at the job Peter did with Errigal Ciaran, all the work he did there culminated with a championship.

"I think if he does stay it would give us that platform to improve as a side and take another step to the next level."

Canavan was originally appointed in November 2011 for a three-year term, but Fermanagh have a policy of reviewing the performance of all managers on an annual basis, with an established Review Committee.

The matter would then be discussed by the Management Committee, which is made up of county board executive officials.

After the Championship exit to Cavan, Canavan avoided answering questions on his personal future, instead praising the attitude and the appetite for work of the playing squad.

In narrowly missing out on promotion to Division Two, Fermanagh ran eventual Ulster champions Monaghan to a two-point margin and beat Cavan in the league, performances that have, in the light of recent displays by both those sides, given encouragement to the Erne County that they are on the correct path.

"We played Monaghan without a number of players and they had a full side. Then Cavan, who in my opinion have been underestimated this year. They have got what they deserved and they could have beaten Monaghan," explained McCluskey.

"They are now in the qualifiers against London and should hopefully progress from there – and anything can happen from the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

"All I know is that there is a possibility of them (Review Committee) sitting down this week and I just hope they come to the right decision."

McCluskey shed further light on the squad's feeling that they did not do themselves justice during the Championship campaign.

"That's the biggest disappointment, when you give up so much and have a poor season because nobody sees all that work that goes on behind the scenes, the months of no social life, family time that you give up."

Within the county there has been a debate on how best to develop young players, given the progression that Cavan have made in recent years.

Fermanagh have only won one Minor Championship match since 2003, with a similar record at Under-21 level.

There are suggestions that the county board may wish to divert resources away from the senior team and towards development, but McCluskey believes that the two strands can be combined.

He said: "It's something we need to address.

"There should be a level playing field."

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