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Fermanagh boss Peter McGrath has lost patience with Seamus Quigley

By John Campbell

Fermanagh manager Peter McGrath looks certain to delay his team selection for Sunday's important Allianz League Division Four tie against Limerick in the wake of the walk-out by the three Quigley brothers from training earlier in the week.

It is understood that efforts are being made to entice Sean and Conor Quigley back into the squad but it would appear that Seamus Quigley's inter-county career is over.

Fermanagh officials convened last night to discuss the situation in tandem with manager McGrath, whose plans for Sunday's game have been disrupted by what seems to have been a training ground bust-up.

The Quigleys have been regulars for the most part in the Fermanagh side this year and the loss of both Sean and Seamus would seriously blunt their forward line.

During the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup, the duo accounted for all but 0-4 of Fermanagh's scoring total.

In their only win this season – that league game against Sligo –Sean hit 1-8. In the last league outing, a defeat at home to Roscommon, Sean hit 1-5, and Seamus accounted for 2-1.

While there is no doubt that Fermanagh's firepower for Sunday would be considerably reduced if Sean and Seamus in particular were both absent, it is clear that boss Peter McGrath's patience with Seamus has run out.

Fermanagh have been struggling since the outset of the league and having won against Sligo, hopes were high that they could improve their position in the table but last Sunday's defeat to Roscommon has come as a further setback.

Manager McGrath has on more than one occasion since taking over emphasised that he was demanding total commitment from players and made it plain that those who were not prepared to put their shoulder to the wheel would not remain in his panel.

Obviously with limited playing resources, McGrath cannot afford to dispense quality forwards but it would seem that he is now prepared to sacrifice Seamus Quigley in particular in the interests of team harmony.

The latter has been disciplined by three other managers in the recent past and while regarded as one of the best finishers in the province, his inability to maintain high standards of discipline on and off the field have proved his undoing.

He missed the game against Sligo because of injury but had formed a two-man strike force in tandem with Sean in other games.

One Fermanagh official put the team's current plight into perspective last night when he said: "In some matches the team has been recording good scores but as was the case against Roscommon on Sunday last, they have been giving away too much at the back.

"While Fermanagh cannot afford to lose any players of proven quality, at the same time team morale and spirit have to be maintained and you have to feel for the manager in this situation.

"He is doing his best to bring stability to the set-up but his task is far from easy. There are three rounds of the league left and Fermanagh still have a chance of avoiding the drop into Division Four. No team needs to be placed in such an intolerable situation."

The Fermanagh attack is likely to be re-jigged for the trip to Limerick.

Limerick have two wins to date and still have promotion hopes.

Should Fermanagh pull off a surprise at the Gaelic Grounds, then they could approach their two remaining fixtures against Wexford and Offaly, both at home, in a confident frame of mind.

Belfast Telegraph


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