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McMenamin right down to business with Erne


On the ball: Ryan McMenamin is giving his all to his new role
On the ball: Ryan McMenamin is giving his all to his new role
John Campbell

By John Campbell

New Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin has no intention of allowing the grass to grow under his feet.

The Tyrone triple All-Ireland winner plans to take in the two Senior County Football Championship replays between Roslea and Tempo, and Derrygonnelly and Belnaleck on Saturday evening as he steps up his preparations for the 2020 campaign.

Both games will take place at Brewster Park, Enniskillen and should prove something of a financial bonanza for the Fermanagh county board.

Having served as No.2 to Rory Gallagher, McMenamin already possesses a forensic knowledge of club football in the Erne county, but this will not breed any sense of complacency as he begins what he views as the biggest challenge of his sporting career to date.

McMenamin will be making a bold bid to see Fermanagh gain a place in Division One of the Allianz Football League and is also intent on striving to bring what would be a first Ulster Senior Championship crown to the county.

From small acorns mighty oaks grow but, for the moment, McMenamin is happy to deal with domestic issues.

It's an open secret that he will amend the Fermanagh panel for next year, hence his focus on Saturday's double bill.

Roslea hot-shot Sean Quigley is among the players that will be in the spotlight this weekend, although the Shamrocks will be without their sturdy defender James McMahon, who is currently out of action because of a cruciate ligament injury.

Belnaleck manager Colm Bradley, who saw his side go close to ending Derrygonnelly's protracted reign of dominance in the county - like Dublin, they are focused on a drive for five - is hoping that lady luck shines on his players this time round.

He will look to the Cullens, Che and Lee, Kane Connor, Darragh McGurn and Ciaran McBrien to fire up his team's challenge again.

Derrygonnelly, meanwhile, will lean on the experience of the Jones gang - Ryan, Garvan and Conall - along with Shane McGullion to fire up their challenge for a nap hand of county titles.

Meanwhile, as word is awaited with baited breath within Derry and indeed further afield in relation to confirmation of the new Oak Leaf boss, the stage is set for the County Senior Football Championship in which a ball has yet to be kicked.

But for a county that has come under fire in the past because of what was perceived to be a convoluted Championship programme, Derry have refreshingly gone back to basics.

The initial round of matches will be staged over the weekend of September 6-8, with the quarter-finals also scheduled for next month as well as the semi-finals.

The final will be played in early October, meaning that Derry will have a clean, crisp competition that should bring out the fans in big numbers - just the thing to welcome the new manager.

Belfast Telegraph


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