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McMenamin takes stride towards Erne hotseat

 

In frame: Ryan McMenamin is set for the Fermanagh job
In frame: Ryan McMenamin is set for the Fermanagh job
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Ryan McMenamin, the triple All-Ireland winner with Tyrone, is now odds-on to succeed Rory Gallagher as the new manager of Fermanagh.

It is understood that McMenamin is the only person to have been interviewed for the post and it is known that Erne County officials are anxious that the position be filled as quickly as possible.

Already several players from this year's county squad have aired their support for McMenamin, who established a close bond with the squad while serving as No.2 to former Donegal boss Gallagher.

Fermanagh officials, disappointed that their side failed to gain Division One status this year prior to exiting the Ulster Championship to Donegal and then falling to Monaghan in the All-Ireland qualifiers, are determined that the new incumbent should be afforded the maximum time in which to prepare for the 2020 season.

It is believed that McMenamin would relish the opportunity to oversee operations in Fermanagh having established the close bond he enjoys with the players and indeed the supporters.

Last year Fermanagh reached the Ulster final in which they lost to Donegal and hopes had been high that they might achieve more this year but their league and Championship campaigns yielded little.

McMenamin already has a forensic knowledge of Fermanagh football and is understood to be keen to put his own managerial strategy into practice.

Fermanagh have never won the Ulster title but there is a belief within the county that a concerted assault can be launched on the province's biggest prize next year.

Meanwhile, Kerry's head of athletic performance Jason McGahan believes that the team will be in peak condition for their All-Ireland final meeting with Dublin on September 1.

McGahan has conducted a careful scrutiny of the Kingdom's overall fitness and stamina levels and believes they will be in prime condition to jettison Dublin's drive for five.

"Obviously the win over Tyrone in the semi-final was a big boost for us but Dublin will be a different kettle of fish altogether," insisted McGahan. "It will take us to play out of our skins if we are to halt them at this point in time. They appear to have everything going for them but the challenge for us will be to bring our 'A' game to the table and see where that takes us."

Kerry manager Peter Keane has made it clear that he sees the All-Ireland final as a supreme test for his squad and not just for his team.

"When we sat down last December to pick some semblance of a squad, we took the view that everyone would have a part to play," insisted Keane.

"We have continued to monitor the situation but we saw in the semi-final win over Tyrone how important substitutes can be. Everyone is in line for a starting place against Dublin."

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