By Pauric McGurn
IT wasn’t a winning start but there are positive to take from it. That was the feeling of Fermanagh manager Kieran Donnelly after his first game in charge.
His young side lost 0-16 to 0-11 to Monaghan in Clones and while the Brookeborough man knows there’s work to be done, he says the signs are encouraging.
“The McKenna Cup is all about us, trying to improve ourselves and our standards, as well as looking at younger players and I felt they really acquitted themselves really well and from that point of view I was happy that we got those lads game time and they proved they can step up and play at this level.
“The four debutants were all excellent, they had application, desire, attitude and didn’t miss any opportunity on getting on the ball or driving forward when they could.”
Fermanagh handed four senior caps to James Ferguson, Garret Cavanagh, Joe McDade and Ronan McCaffrey in Sunday’s defeat to the Farney men.
“It’s finally good to get a game under our belts. I felt the lads started well although it was a cagey opening to the game. Of course it’s disappointing losing but it’s a learning curve and we will take the positives from the display.”
If Fermanagh can get a result against Derry today then they stand a real chance of making the semi finals on Tuesday January 18, with the Antrim at home in Enniskillen also on the horizon at the end of the month.
“It gives us another chance to view the squad, with Covid and players just back from injury, it really hasn’t been a massive squad in terms to work with players.”