Clarke says they’ll give ‘maximum respect’ to Fermanagh

Down were in the doldrums last year. They suffered relegation from division two after putting just one league point on the board, then were hammered by Monaghan in Ulster, before suffering a nine-point defeat to Cavan in the Tailteann Cup.

With the hopes for 2022 also went their manager James McCartan. It was ‘Wee’ James’s second stint in charge of the Mournemen but it never reached the dizzy heights of his first spell when he brought them to the All Ireland Final in 2010.

It was time for a new approach because Down seniors were in freefall.

In August last year, Kilcoo man Conor Laverty was appointed manager and alongside him, in a bid to revive the pride in the red and black jersey, were two members of his Down under 20 management team, Declan Morgan and Marty Clarke, as well as former Tyrone minor and Derry under 20 manager Mickey Donnelly.

It’s a results business, any manager would tell you that, and so far Down have shown that the new management team has got them ticking again.

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