Fermanagh football boss Peter Canavan is taking decisive steps to ensure that what has developed into a flood of youthful talent is funnelled through the proper channels as a precursor to emerging onto the senior stage.
Canavan, clearly determined to achieve back-to-back promotions for the Erne county by leading his side into Division Two of the Allianz League come the spring, has already conducted a forensic scrutiny of under-age starlets and has moved quickly to streamline the mechanism whereby he feels the players can flourish.
The appointment of Malachy Cullen as the new under 21 manager is seen as central to this strategy and already the former Aodh Rua, Ballyshannon player has got down to business.
Cullen shared in two championship titles with his club some two decades ago and since then has made an impact in the club management sphere.
He guided Devenish to the Fermanagh senior league title in 2008 and in the same year steered the club to the U21 championship title.
Canavan (pictured) is particularly anxious that because of the high ratio of younger players now coming through, there should be closer integration between the U21 and senior set-ups.
“It’s very encouraging to see these young players making an impression. The most important thing is that they obviously want to play for Fermanagh and that’s always a good starting point. I want to make sure that they are given a fair crack of the whip,” said Canavan.
The under 21 squad will undertake strength and conditioning sessions under the watchful eye of senior team mentors Lorcan Martin and Niall Smyth as part of the closer liaison between the two squads.
Fermanagh liaison officer Gerard Tracey spells out the county’s commitment to its up and coming talent in no uncertain terms.
“This year players like Kane Connor and Sean Quigley, both very gifted youngsters, made a big impression in our senior team,” he said.
“Now we have brought into the squad players like the Cullen twins Che and Lee, Niall Shannon and Ryan Hyde all of whom played for St Michael’s College Enniskillen in the MacRory and Hogan Cup competitions, while we are also running the rule over other potential senior squad candidates such as Aidan Breen.”
Meanwhile, Tempo will be aiming to complete a double coup in Fermanagh when they meet Lisnaskea Emmets in the All County League final on Sunday in what is a repeat of the recent championship decider which was won by Tempo.
However, John McElroy’s side were beaten in the Ulster club championship by St Gall’s last Sunday and are now anxious to get back on the rails by making it double disappointment for a Lisnaskea side still coming to terms with the recent tragic death of skipper Brian Og Maguire.
Daniel Kille, Niall McElroy and John Woods will again be key figures in their side while Tempo will look to experienced trio Ryan Keenan, Damien Kelly, Darryl Keenan and the prodigiously talented 19-year-old Aidan Breen to spark their double ambition.