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Barry Mulrone is still hoping to leave a lasting legacy

By John Campbell

Fermanagh went into their All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin at the weekend determined to prove they were a good football side rather than a bunch of honest triers.

Barry Mulrone has spent nine years soldiering at the coal face for the Ernesiders but has grown "sick and tired" of listening to what he views as platitudes, however well-meaning.

Now the team's battling 2-23 to 2-15 defeat to the Dubs has convinced him that Fermanagh will enjoy much greater credibility on a national scale - for the time being at least.

Indeed, Dublin manager Jim Gavin has already predicted that Fermanagh will do "very well" in Division Two next year which suggests a place in the top tier might not be too long delayed.

The lion-hearted Mulrone, a ferocious battler who highlighted an outstanding personal display against the Dubs by scoring three fine points from play, saw the match as the biggest challenge Fermanagh's players have faced in their careers to date.

"It was a chance to see where we really are," insisted Mulrone.

"I am glad that we took advantage of it as far as we could. I honestly believe that over the next number of years, this Fermanagh team is going to build and become even better."

The Devenish clubman makes no bones about what he believes is a lack of respect for the squad that manager Peter McGrath has so painstakingly fashioned.

"I'm sick and tired of hearing people always talking about our desire, our work-rate, our hunger and our team ethic without much being said about the quality of the players that the county is now producing," rapped Mulrone.

"Over the years, and certainly since the turn of the millennium, Fermanagh has produced good teams that have performed well on occasions. The hope now is that people will actually see we are a quality team."

The vastly experienced Mulrone added: "I see our ongoing job now as trying to provide memories for the next generation coming along.

"The boys in this team had the side of 2004 to look up to and see as a driving force and now the hope is that young players coming through in the future will maybe look back, see what we have done and take inspiration from this as well.

"It would be great for football in our county if we could indeed leave that legacy."

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