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Up to six Fermanagh players set to follow Peter Canavan

By Declan Bogue

While the Fermanagh county board are set to conduct interviews this week in order to fill the managerial post vacated by Peter Canavan last month, the potential candidates will be alarmed at news of a raft of retirements.

Corner-back Niall Bogue and midfielder Shane Lyons have confirmed their retirements, while four others are believed to be on the verge of bringing their inter-county careers to a close.

This comes after the news last week of Marty McGrath's retirement, while Chris Breen had also stepped away after the Championship exit to Cavan.

Bogue revealed that the loss of Peter Canavan as manager hastened his departure, stating: "I had been thinking about it. It wasn't that I didn't get as much game-time this year, but if Peter had have stayed on I might have gave it another year.

"But once he was gone ... it's too big a commitment not to have things right. It was 50-50 as to whether he would stay on or not, but once he was gone, that was it for me."

A desire to continue for longer at club level also motivated his decision, adding, "I had ten seasons by this stage and it gets no easier. I enjoyed it immensely but just felt it was the right time.

"Like a lot of other boys you want to play on for your club and you want to put your effort in down there. It is very hard to do both."

Lyons revealed that his business commitments as a gym proprietor have forced his hand.

"I live in Dublin and I am opening up a second gym and expanding the business. Added to that, I am getting married and sorting out a new house for us," he said.

"Playing inter-county football is a huge commitment and, right now, I cannot commit with the seven-hour round trips back up to Fermanagh for training."

The future of other key players over the past decade are also yet to be determined. Fermanagh's only two-time All-Star Barry Owens, James Sherry, Damian Kelly, Paul Ward and Ronan Gallagher are all understood to be on the brink of retirement.

* ROSLEA Shamrocks will go into the Ulster club Championship without two of their most recognisable players, Sean and Seamus Quigley, after the brothers were sent off in the course of the county league play-off defeat against Devenish on Sunday.

The straight red cards they received are expected to keep them out of the Ulster club first round fixture against first-time Cavan winners Ballinagh on November 3. Club secretary Colin Rooney declined to comment on the possiblitity of an appeal.

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