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McMenamin has sights on winning start for Ernemen



Leading light: Ciaran Corrigan has emerged as a big player for Fermanagh

Leading light: Ciaran Corrigan has emerged as a big player for Fermanagh

High hopes: Ryan McMenamin believes his team can thrive

High hopes: Ryan McMenamin believes his team can thrive

Leading light: Ciaran Corrigan has emerged as a big player for Fermanagh

The emergence of players such as Stephen McGullion and Ultan Kelm has provided new Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin with encouragement as he focuses on his team's stiff itinerary in Division Two of the Allianz Football League which will start with tomorrow's game against Kildare at Newbridge (2.00).

McGullion has shared in Derrygonnelly's dominance of the county football championship of late while Kelm came to the fore last year and before too long found himself in the running for man of the match awards.

Now McMenamin sees players such as these along with Ciaran Corrigan and others as holding the future of Fermanagh football in their hands.

"Good players have been coming through and while the team itself may not have been achieving success the fact that quality performers are beginning to impress provides us all with hope for the future," maintains Tyrone triple All-Ireland winner McMenamin.

Tomorrow McGullion and Ryan Jones look certain to form the Fermanagh midfield against a Kildare outfit that is currently struggling in this department because of injuries.

This has given new manager Jack O'Connor, the former Kerry triple All-Ireland winning boss, something of a headache as he sets about trying to plot the team's course back into Division One.

While O'Connor may have his headaches, McMenamin is focusing on getting Fermanagh to play their own game, to protect their possession and to make their chances count.

Although he has been left to rue what he hopes will prove the temporary departure of Sean Quigley, McMenamin still feels he has sufficient scoring power in his attack to trouble the Kildare defence.

Ciaran Corrigan has emerged as a hugely influential player within the Erne set-up and the 23-year-old Maguiresbridge clubman could be handed a key role tomorrow.

His work-rate and covering and that of the industrious Kelm have been key factors in Fermanagh's make-up lately and their combined attributes could prove invaluable against what is likely to be a slightly weakened Kildare side.

The Erne side produced some fine results in the league last year before falling over the final hurdle when they looked to be in touching distance of Division One, a goal that some people believe is still unattainable but not the ebullient McMenamin who is seemingly revelling in the challenge of improving the Erne county's fortunes.

McMenamin is obviously keen to see his side make a winning start to the competition although he accepts that this could prove difficult, even with Kildare's perceived midfield problems.

"We are away from home, Kildare still have a lot of experience on board, Jack O'Connor has a proven track record at the highest level as a manager and we are without Sean Quigley but I still think there is enough resolve and resilience in this Fermanagh side that will ensure they give a good account of themselves in this particular game," points out McMenamin.

Belfast Telegraph