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Frank Fitzsimmons is backing Antrim to roar again

By John Campbell

His side may have failed in their bid to reach Division Three of the Allianz Football League but Antrim boss Frank Fitzsimmons is certainly not prepared to allow his men to wallow in depression.

He is already cracking the whip in training for the Ulster Championship and despite having to absorb further blows in terms of losing players, he remains upbeat that his side can still prove their worth in the Ulster Championship.

Paul McCann and Marty Kane are the latest players to step aside from the panel following the abdication of Michael McCann last week.

Fitzsimmons remains, hopeful, though that former skipper Kevin O'Boyle, Mark Sweeney and Michael Armstrong will be able to link up with the squad again in preparation for the provincial showdown with Fermanagh.

O'Boyle only recently returned from honeymoon and is understood to be contemplating his future while Sweeney is currently undertaking his Actuarial examinations in Dublin.

Cargin clubman O'Boyle, a teaching colleague of Peter Canavan at Holy Trinity College, Cookstown, has given his county outstanding service, never more so than during 2009 when he helped Liam Bradley's side reach the Ulster Championship final.

They were beaten by Tyrone on that occasion before going on to lose by the narrowest of margins to Kerry in the All Ireland qualifiers.

Armstrong is recovering from injury but aims to step up his training programme next week.

With Sean McVeigh having returned from holiday and Niall McKeever slowly but surely regaining full fitness, Fitzsimmons still expects to have a respectable hand from which to deal for the joust with Peter McGrath's men.

"We had thirty players at training on Tuesday night when the boys returned after a week off and they worked hard," states Fitzsimmons.

Belfast Telegraph


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