Former Fermanagh star looking forward to learning from ‘one of the best’

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Raymie Johnston hopes to learn much from Pete McGrath

Former Fermanagh star, Raymond Johnston has spoke of his ‘surprise’ and ‘delight’ at having been asked by new Erne boss Pete McGrath to join his back room team for the forthcoming season.

The Newtownbutler man will act as a selector but will also take an active role in the training of the team.


Johnston brings with him a wealth of experience from his playing days having lined out for Fermanagh for 11 years between 1997 and 2009.

Called up to the Ulster team following his displays with Fermanagh in 2004 where he excelled at wing half back on the side that reached the All Ireland semi final Johnston knows what it takes to compete with the best and he will be wanting and expecting the players in this seasons squad to buy into what the management team will put in place;

“I think it is vital that everyone is on the one page and going in the one direction and we obviously need everyone to do that for the good of Fermanagh football. We need plenty of hard work and hard graft over the coming weeks.”

Johnston, known for a massive fitness level and dedication during his time in the green jersey saw his own career cut short when his right knee was dislocated playing for his club in 2009. He admits that it was a bitter pill to swallow at the time but that his health was something that was more important;

“I think every player wants to decide themselves when they call time on their own careers so it was difficult to have it taken away from me. But the other side of it is that my leg was hanging together by a thread and I have to be very happy now that from a day to day work point of view and in terms of family life I am fit; the surgeons did a brilliant job.”

Johnston has always been immersed in Gaelic Games and while playing with Newtownbutler and Fermanagh he also found time to coach the highly successful Newtown ladies. Since his retirement he has managed both Butlersbridge and Redhills in Cavan his day job as a P.E teacher has afforded him yet more experience coaching and managing teams.

“I actually took a year out last year. I wasn’t involved with any club teams so the batteries are well refreshed at this stage and I am really looking forward to working with Fermanagh this season,” he told the Herald.


Johnston revealed that he got the invitation from Pete McGrath last week and that it did not take him long to make his mind up to say yes.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting the call but was delighted and surprised when it came. He is one of the best managers around and from a personal point of view I am really looking forward to working with him this year. I know I will learn a lot and I’m sure the Fermanagh players will learn a lot as well,” he said before adding;

“Obviously he has been very successful with Down but he has also had a lot of success with different clubs. It is great to be part of the back room team and hopefully we can move the players on and improve on the good work that has been going on.”

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