McGrath ‘very encouraged’ with talent on show

Raymond Johnston, new Fermanagh selector and Pete McGrath, new , new Fermanagh Manager.

Raymond Johnston, new Fermanagh selector and Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath,watch the players go through their paces

New Fermanagh manager, Pete McGrath, declared himself ‘very happy’ with the response from players as he took the opportunity to assess the talent within the county over the course of two trial games at the weekend.

With over 60 players from a list of 80 attending the trials held at Brewster Park and Tempo the Down native said that he was pleased to have got the ball rolling in preparation of the 2014 season. A final trial game will be held this Sunday from those who impressed at the weekend with a provisional panel due to be drawn up early next week.


“I have always said that trials are not the most perfect mechanism of assessing players but it is all we have at the moment and at times you have to carry them out and I am always happy to do so when needed,” McGrath told the Fermanagh Herald.

And the two time All Ireland winning manager was pleased with what he saw at Brewster Park on Friday and again at Tempo on Sunday;

“Well, let’s say I was very encouraged and out of all the players that we seen I would be very happy that we can pull together a squad that will be very creditable.”

McGrath, while acknowledging the importance of the first few weeks in a new managerial job did not hide his desire to get the next stage of the process started;

“Setting up trials, getting a back rook team in place and all the other things that have to be done can be a bit of a chore and I have never really enjoyed that process but we are getting closer to getting the panel picked and getting down to some serious hard work.”

With respect to the back room team McGrath has former Fermanagh player Raymond Johnston with others expected to join formally in the coming days;

“I would hope by the end of the week that we will have another two people on board,” the Down man explained before expressing his delight at having Johnston in alongside him for the season;


“Raymond obviously is a former player and he had a long career with Fermanagh and he has a back ground in P.E so as well as a selector will play a key role in training sessions. I spoke to him a number of times last week and met him for the first time on Friday even and he is a great fella and I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

With the full back room team in place and the panel picked it will be a case of down to the real business next Wednesday with the first training session planned for that night;

“We will be looking forward to that. Obviously the first thing we have to see is a commitment from the players. Today you need an almost total commitment to play county football so we will want to see that from the panel from the start. We have hard work to do and we need to get the players to a certain standard fitness wise and we obviously want to work on their technique and their skills as well, so there is lots of work to do.”

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