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Break puts Fermanagh in the mood to go far in league

By John Campbell

Rome, Prague and Venice are destinations that would hold particular allure for many people. And they are among the cities that several Fermanagh players visited during their break from Allianz League action.

But now manager Peter McGrath is cracking the whip as a much sharper focus is placed on gaining promotion to Division One.

McGrath's decision to afford his players some free time triggered a stampede for passports as Ryan McCluskey headed to Rome, skipper Eoin Donnelly made Venice his destination and Barry Mulrone, Martin O'Brien and Thomas Tracey were among players who headed off to Prague to attend a Stag party.

Right now, though, it's back to porridge as McGrath plots what he hopes will prove a blueprint for more success this year.

Last term Fermanagh jumped from Division Three into Division Two before being squeezed out of the All-Ireland Championship by eventual winners Dublin.

McGrath has stepped up the intensity on and off the training ground by mapping out a rigorous physical schedule as well as drawing up a detailed time-table of match preparation and related details from now until June.

And that's just for starters as Fermanagh's aim is to be still playing championship football in July - and perhaps later.

With Martin O'Brien and Ryan McCluskey returned to the squad, Thomas Tracey about to challenge Chris Snow for the No. 1 shirt and Richard O'Callaghan expected back shortly, McGrath's selection options have improved.

"We have Armagh up next and that is a crucial match for us," reflects McGrath, "I think we showed our character and commitment in winning against Meath after we had lost to Derry and obviously we need to be getting more points if we are to make a serious push for promotion."

Belfast Telegraph


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