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Jim McCorry faces tough start in Down hotseat

By John Campbell

Life in Division One of the Allianz Football League is expected to be tough in what Tyrone boss Mickey Harte predicts will be the "most competitive" top tier series for many years.

But the lower divisions will bring their own pressures, particularly for new managers who will be hoping to make an early impact.

Into this category come Jim McCorry (Down) and Frank Fitzsimmons (Antrim) while the more seasoned Peter McGrath (Fermanagh) and Terry Hyland (Cavan) will be burdened with rather greater expectations.

McCorry perhaps faces the biggest challenge as his Down side are bracketed in Division Two which includes some formidable sides.

And the Mournemen will launch their itinerary against one of these as Kildare are among the teams expected to make waves in 2015.

Last Sunday they took Dublin to extra-time in the O'Byrne Cup final before Jim Gavin's side triumphed and tomorrow Lily Whites boss Jason Ryan will be keen to register a home victory at Newbridge.

McCorry will field a side that is an amalgam of youth and experience and will look to Donal O'Hare and Conor Laverty in particular to get among the scores up front.

McGrath is hoping his team can come good against Louth tonight.

The Ernesiders were unfortunate not to reach the McKenna Cup final and given that Louth have been stripped of some familiar faces, McGrath has reason for optimism especially as Sean Quigley is capable of proving a match-winner while at the other end Thomas Tracey has underlined his goalkeeping prowess.

And Cavan know that victory over Roscommon in an all-ticket match at Kiltoom tomorrow could really set the tone for a productive league series.

Roscommon won the FBD Connacht League title last Sunday by beating Galway but Hyland's side will now seek to lower their colours in their own back yard.

Killian Clarke, Martin Dunne, Rory Dunne, Mark McKeever and Martin Reilly are capable of providing the platform for a Breffni bonus here.

Fitzsimmons feels he has the resources to trouble Carlow in Division Four at the St Paul's club complex in Belfast tomorrow.

Skipper Justin Crozier can help galvanise Antrim while CJ McGourty, Sean McVeigh and Michael Pollock are other key men.

FERMANAGH: T Treacy; N Cassidy, J Allen, M O'Brien; D McCusker, R McCluskey, J McMahon; E Donnelly, R O'Callaghan; B Mulrone, R Jones, P McCusker; R Corrigan, S Quigley, E McManus.

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