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It’s obvious Fermanagh hurling manager, Joe Baldwin means business and after drawing Cavan in the  championship during the week, they have upped the anti, and the count down to the start of their competitive season is well and truly underway.  
 
“We’ve only got 15 places and it’s really up to the players, if they want a place on the league team and subsequently the championship team, they’ve got to show now.
 
Last week inter-county training resumed and Fermanagh’s first session was in Aughnacloy, on a 3G pitch.
 
“The thinking behind that session is two-fold, it’s as close to a half-way venue with the boys coming from Belfast and that session is a hurling session, so that’s the fast ball that we’re looking for. You can see in the couple of days of dry weather that we’ve got how much the ground has dried up and the fact the pitches haven’t been used, they’re going to be fast. That was the thinking behind that.”
 
Baldwin says it was fantastic to be back training collectively but admits there’s room for improvement before the league commences on Saturday May 15 against Cavan.
 
“The touch is definitely off, it’s not what it would normally be at this time of year. There’s a massive difference between being physically fit and match fitness.”
 
Former Fermanagh footballer Ryan Jones has been tasked with the strength and conditioning this season and is currently working on designing a core programme which Rory O‘Donnell will implement.
 
While there is some rustiness, Baldwin was delighted with the turnout of 29 players and says; “they seemed very determined from the first training session that they want to try and right some of the wrongs from last year.”
 
Fermanagh were well beaten by Louth in the Lory Meagher decider last November but with a number of younger players breaking through and player returning to the team, Baldwin wants to go one step further with this squad of players.
 
To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link https://bit.ly/3gOl8G0
 

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