Fermanagh fit bill for Martin McGrath
Some 13 years spent in Fermanagh's colours have given Martin McGrath a forensic insight as to just what is required for success in the increasingly intense and competitive senior inter-county sphere.
But right now the Ederney clubman has rarely been more optimistic as the Ernesiders prepare to renew their Ulster Championship rivalry with Antrim.
The influence of manager Peter McGrath and a new level of squad fitness serve to convince Martin McGrath, an All Star winner in 2004, that Fermanagh can, as he puts it, "go places" this year.
"Peter has put in a lot of hard work and so too have the players, especially on the training ground," says McGrath.
"They seem to be very fit this year, fitter than ever I'd say, but I suppose the way the game has gone, fitness levels are higher now than they were even a few years ago.
"The boys deserve to get some championship success but then quite often in sport, as in life itself, you don't get what you deserve. Still, they can go places."
Fermanagh may have lost the Division Three final to Armagh but McGrath believes they will take plus factors from that game into their contest with the Saffrons.
"To have played Armagh in Croke Park was great preparation for the championship," he added.
McGrath has been a key player off the field lately in helping to confirm a new sponsorship deal for the Ulster GAA Writers' Association in his capacity as an executive with Quinn Products.
"I think that the writers' monthly and annual awards offer an incentive to players in all codes under the GAA umbrella to continue to strive for excellence," states McGrath.
Writers Association chairman John Martin, in welcoming the new sponsorship initiative, predicts that it will further boost the writers' body.
"Obviously we take considerable pride in the awards that we make on an ongoing basis and we know that these are treasured by the recipients," said Martin.