Daly optimistic as All-Ireland campaign gets underway

On Sunday, the Fermanagh ladies travel to Dunleer in Co Louth to take on Carlow in the first round of their All-Ireland Junior Football Championship campaign.

The Erne ladies have been drawn in Group A where they will face Carlow, London and Derry, with the top two teams progressing to the semi-final.

Fermanagh manager, James Daly, is excited by the prospect of what lies ahead for his team.


“If we win four games, we are playing in Croke Park,” anticipates Daly.

“They are games that we can win. We play Carlow, London, they an unknown entity, and then we have Derry again, so that will hopefully give us an opportunity to play in a semi-final.

“We are at that time of the season where they start handing out the big medals.”

Just over two weeks ago, Fermanagh came agonisingly close to winning one of the biggest prizes in provincial championship football, the Ulster Junior Championship crown.

The Erne ladies had opened up a seven-point lead against Antrim at half time but Fermanagh relinquished their advantage to the Saffrons in a devastating second half.

Daly admits that it was ‘tough’ for the players and management to get over the defeat.

“We are still smarting over it,” he sighed, “We have dusted ourselves off and we’ve been back training.
“It is as tough for the management as for the players.


“We looked back at the video and we played really, really, well for the first half but for 15 minutes of the second half we didn’t play.”

Over the past fortnight, Daly and the Erne ladies have had to put their disappointment to one side as they now turn their attention to the All-Ireland Junior Championship.

Up first for Fermanagh is Carlow and Daly is expecting a massive challenge from The Barrowsiders.

“We looked at the video and they are a good team,” he said.

“They have good forwards but they are like every team in Ireland, they like to get players behind the ball.

“Carlow are a good side and we are giving them that respect but we are confident that we are going to go and win the game on Sunday.”
Fermanagh lost full back Molly McGloin after just nine minutes in the Ulster final two weeks ago. Daly is hoping that the steely defender will be available for selection this weekend.

“We have one or two niggles but our two big players, Shannan [McQuaid] and Molly [McGloin], we are hoping that we will be able to get them over the line for Sunday.”

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