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McGrath could perform U-turn and stay on as Ernesiders boss

 

By Declan Bogue

It appears likely that Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath will reconsider his future.

The two-time All-Ireland winner met with other members of the Erne County management team last Thursday, four days after a heavy defeat to Armagh in the All-Ireland qualifiers, and it was expected that he would end his four-year involvement by stepping down.

However, with support high in the county for the Rostrevor man, and sympathy remaining after the number of player departures, he could be poised to continue. The decision should be announced tomorrow night at the county management meeting, with Fermanagh looking ahead to Division Three in 2018.

Meanwhile, uncertainty remains over the Derry job.

Damian Barton was appointed as manager back in September 2015, and in the initial agreement it was stated to be for two years.

Now that the Oak Leafers have exited the Championship, Barton may seek another term or the county board could seek nominations for the post.

In the All-Ireland Football Championship qualifiers draw, made early yesterday morning, Donegal and Mayo have avoided each other.

The two fierce rivals have met frequently in recent years, with Mayo avenging their 2012 All-Ireland final defeat by beating their western seaboard rivals heavily twice since, in 2013 and 2015.

Weekend qualifiers (all Saturday): Westmeath vs Armagh, Mullingar, 7pm, Meath vs Donegal, Navan, 6pm, Cavan vs Tipperary, Cavan, 2pm, Wexford vs Monaghan, Wexford, 3pm, Carlow vs Leitrim, Carlow, 3pm, Clare vs Mayo, Ennis, 5pm

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