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Ernesider's chief Patsy Dolan wants to go back to the future

By John Campbell

Fermanagh chairman Patsy Dolan is hoping that the county football team can go some way towards rekindling the fervour and passion that marked the 2004 and 2008 seasons.

Ten years ago the Erne side turned the formbook upside down when they surged into the All-Ireland semi-finals via superb wins over Meath, Cork, Donegal and Armagh in the qualifiers before falling to Mayo at the penultimate hurdle.

Four years later Fermanagh showed that their 2004 heroics were not merely a flash in the pan by reaching the Ulster final, in which they lost to the then provincial kingpins Armagh.

Now Dolan, in tandem with every Fermanagh supporter, is keen to see the spirit that marked those particular Championship campaigns replicated and indeed enhanced if possible.

"I think we showed in 2004 and 2008 what we are capable of and right now I want everyone to get behind the team as we prepare to face Antrim in three weeks," said Dolan.

"We are at home and this is a game which we are capable of winning. Antrim will quite rightly think that they too can come out on top and I feel sure it will be a fascinating battle."

While Fermanagh shipped some criticism during their Allianz League campaign, Dolan is quick to put their itinerary into perspective.

"We finished in a very credible third position and had we got an extra rub of the green we might well have gained promotion," points out the chairman.

"We finished the league strongly by taking five points from our last three matches and this sends our players into the Championship in good heart.

" The hope is that we will have our strongest possible side on duty against Antrim and if this proves the case, then you never know what might happen."

Dolan smilingly plays down any suggestion that Fermanagh might benefit from the recent defections from the Antrim squad.

"I'd have no interest in what Antrim's problems may or may not be, my counterpart there Jim Murray can look after that," quips Dolan. "We are focusing solely on getting our own house in order for a massively important game."

Belfast Telegraph


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