McElroy taking the positives into the Down game

After a heavy defeat to Monaghan four days earlier, Fermanagh minors wanted to compete against Donegal last Wednesday night and they did just that.

It’s been a tough run of results for this group of players but they’ll take heart from their latest outing, says manager, Niall McElroy;

“Naturally, we’re disappointed to lose the game but we took a step forward with lots of encouraging signs and there’s definite improvement.

“We played Donegal in the league in Garrison and they beat us by 3-14 to 0-2, so there’s definite signs of improvement since that.”

After the Monaghan defeat, the Fermanagh players and management met up the following day (Sunday), not for a training session, but to ‘get them right’, says McElroy.

It’s been a challenge for McElroy and the team so far but one the St Ninnidh’s teacher is not shirking away from;

“I knew what the minor campaign was going to be about this year. I love working with players and improving and developing players. I’m always going to be passionate about that.

“When I’ve a group of players that are working really hard, like our boys are working, we’ll stick with each other through thick and thin and we’ll keeping improving.”

Last Wednesday, in Ballybofey, the team showed they were able to match the league champions, albeit they fell short at the end;

“The team had more belief in themselves for the full match on Wednesday night. We competed at times in that league game but I felt we did it for the full game on Wednesday and that sort of kept us in it until the end.

“We had a lot more composure on the ball, calmer when we were shooting and we reduced the amount of mistakes we were making and that’s vital in improving our performance overall.”

They now welcome Down to Brewster Park this Saturday and McElroy is expecting a tough test from Benny Coulter’s side who enjoyed a better league than championship so far, having lost all three of their games.

At the weekend, Donegal beat them 3-18 to 0-7 in Newry but McElroy is focused on their own performance;

“Our lads need to continue to raise our game if we’re going to get anything from that one.”

With four quarter final places in each group up for grabs, one team in Fermanagh’s group will miss out. A win on Saturday would go a long way to securing their passage through to the last eight, with one more game against Derry remaining in the group stages.


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA