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Versatility is the key for Antrim manager Fitzsimons

By John Campbell

Published 02/07/2015

Antrim manager Frank Fitzsimons
Antrim manager Frank Fitzsimons

Antrim manager Frank Fitzsimons has reason to be grateful there is a strong element of versatility within his side as he prepares for Sunday's important All-Ireland Round 2A Football Qualifier against Fermanagh at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.

With Patrick McBride, Conor Burke and Paddy McAleer having left his squad, Fitzsimons will be forced to amend his line-up for a match that he sees as crucial to his team's development.

On the positive side, Niall McKeever is available as is Sean McVeigh while Ricky Johnston is in the frame with the McGourty brothers CJ and Kieran, who missed the win over Laois.

While keeping an open mind in relation to certain positions until after training tonight, Fitzsimons admits he has reason for satisfaction that several of his players are comfortable in more than one position.

"When you have a level of versatility within a side, it can be a big help if you encounter problems," conceded Fitzsimons.

"Sean McVeigh can play at full-back, midfield or attack, Justin Crozier has played in three different positions for us this year, Owen Gallagher is as good at full-forward as he is at midfield and now we have Jack Dowling coming through to give us extra options. I can't complain, really."

While Antrim's recent problems have been highlighted, Fitzsimons insists that the commitment and attitude of his current squad is "second to none".

He added: "We may have lost boys but we have not been running around seeking out replacements for the sake of it. I have faith in the lads because I know they truly want to play for Antrim. As far as I am concerned that is the big thing.

"I know they will work their socks off against Fermanagh. To win on Sunday would be a big result for us and I feel we can do it because our attitude is second to none."

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