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Fermangh ask for fan power in Cavan clash

Fermanagh county board chairman Peter Carty has made a passionate call to all fans to throw their weight behind the team for Saturday’s vital Ulster Championship quarter-final against Cavan.

Carty, conscious that a cloud of gloom has enveloped the Erne county since Malachy O’Rourke’s side slid into Division Four of the National League, believes that a win over the neighbouring Breffni county could kick-start a Fermanagh revival that might culminate in a speedy return to Division Three.

“Let’s face it, this is an absolutely crucial game for us,” insists Carty.

“I think that the players have put in wonderful preparation and I want to see all our followers giving them every encouragement they can.

“It is not going to be easy and obviously there has been a feeling of doom and gloom prevalent lately but a win on Saturday would make a huge difference.”

Six years ago Fermanagh reached the semi-final stages of the All Ireland Championship and three years ago the team reached the Ulster final only to lose to Armagh after a replay and Carty believes that the current side should take their inspiration from the progress made in those years.

“We still have a number of players like James Sherry, Mark Little, Martin McGrath, Shane Goan and others who have been around for a while and I have no doubt that they can set the right example,” asserts Carty.

“But it’s important that our fans give them encouragement. There is always the danger that apathy will encroach when a team has hit a lean spell but I think we must all stick together on this occasion for the good of our county.”

And while he accepts that the team has been “written off by just about everyone” following their league demotion, he clings to the belief that they can reveal their true potential on Saturday.

“I know for a fact that the players have given a revived commitment to the Fermanagh cause and that they can show their true worth on Saturday,” he said. “It did not happen for us in the league even though we had prepared as well as any other side in Ulster. We have to put that behind us and show our true skills against Cavan. I know it’s a home game for them but I want Fermanagh fans by their presence and their vocal support to transform it into something like a home game for us.”

The Fermanagh chairman believes that Cavan manager Tommy Carr’s decision to show faith in young players will ensure that they will be striving to make a big impact in the championship.

“We know that people like Paul Brady, Ronan Flanagan, Cian Mackey, Seanie Johnston and Martin Cahill are all top-class players and they will give a lead to the less experienced brigade,” says Carty.

Cahill will skipper the Cavan side from the left-full-back berth while David Givney and Ciaran Galligan will form an important midfield partnership with the abrasive Mark McKeever given a ball-winning role at wing-forward and Ronan Flanagan cast as the playmaker.

Carr leaves out John McCutcheon who is recovering from injury but has players like Martin Reilly, Lorcan Mulvey and Nicholas Walsh on the bench who will offer him useful options.

CAVAN: F Reilly; D Sheridan, T Corr, M Cahill; P Brady, E McGuigan, A Clarke; C Galligan, D Givney; R Flanagan, G Smith, M McKeever; C Mackey, S Johnston, M Brennan.

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