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Gallagher feels love ahead of Fermanagh v Down

By John Campbell

Ronan Gallagher can expect a measure of support from Armagh when he lines out with Fermanagh against Down on Sunday at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.

Gallagher, who recently completed his transfer from St Gall’s to Madden, has proved an extremely popular acquisition with the latter club.

With St Gall’s, Gallagher who is a teacher at St John’s PS, Middletown, won Ulster and All-Ireland club medals in 2010 to complement the seven Antrim championship gongs he amassed with the Milltown outfit.

Now as he prepares for one of the biggest matches of his career he can expect plenty of encouragement from the progressive Madden club whose extensive facilities never fail to impress those travelling along the main Armagh-Monaghan road.

“It’s great to be involved in the Ulster Championship and obviously it’s encouraging to be getting support from my club,” says Gallagher.

“I am very happy to have joined Madden where there is tremendous enthusiasm for football and although everyone there is a fanatical Armagh supporter, I think they might just have a soft spot for Fermanagh this Sunday.”

Strongly built and superbly athletic, Gallagher is a renowned shot-stopper and played no small part in St Galls successes over the course of recent years.

He was particularly consistent with Fermanagh during the league and his kick-outs will form part of Peter Canavan’s attacking armoury for Sunday’s game.

“In recent years goalkeepers have been seen as the launch pad for attacks and this being the case, accurate kick-outs are now a must,” he says.

“This puts a bit of extra pressure on people like myself but it’s all part of the game and you like to think that you are doing your bit,” says Gallagher.

It was the pressure of sustained travel that led to him joining Madden.

“I have been living in Armagh since I got married and my wife had our second child in February,” explains Gallagher.

“So it was too much of a strain, driving up and down the road to train in Belfast.

“I had been thinking about it over most of the winter. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at St Galls. I am extremely grateful for the time I spent there.

“I was very privileged to play with the calibre of players they had. But there comes a time in your life when you have to move on.”

Madden chairman Brian Grimley reveals that the whole club will be behind their new custodian on Sunday.

“Ronan is a great asset to us and the boys look up to him. We would want to see him do well with Fermanagh this year but everyone in Madden of course is strongly focussed on seeing Armagh beat Tyrone on Sunday week,” smiles Grimley.

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