Monday 5 December 2016

Donnelly can drive Fermanagh past Antrim

Comment: Peter Canavan

Published 13/05/2016 | 02:30

Eoin Donnelly. Photo: Sportsfile
Eoin Donnelly. Photo: Sportsfile

AS we all know, change happens slowly in the GAA, and the football Championship throws in with its usual whimper on home soil this weekend.

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Of the eight teams in action, Fermanagh are the only ones to have reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals in recent seasons, and repeating last year's feat of making the last eight would represent another successful campaign.

Antrim stand in their way in Ulster's preliminary round on Sunday and on their day, the Saffrons are capable of springing a surprise.

They appear to have improved their strength and conditioning, and with former captain Gearoid Adams joining the management team, there seems to be more unity in the squad, which contributed to a decent League campaign. However, their shortcomings were exposed by Louth in the Division 4 final and they are still short key players in key areas - something which cannot be cured overnight.

Fermanagh should be in good shape. They have a wily old fox at the helm in Pete McGrath, who will be on guard against slipping on an early banana skin. In Eoin Donnelly (left), they possess the best midfielder in Ulster, and as captain, he is never afraid to take on responsibility.

The team did well in Division 2, and that should serve them well for this test. I expect them to win by four or five points.

Irish Independent

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