When the likes of Marty O’Brien, Niall Cassidy and Damian Kelly called time on their inter-county careers Kane Connor felt that it might provide a chance for him to force his way into Pete McGrath’s starting line up.
The trio of retired players have been big losses to Fermanagh this season but Connor hoped that their absence might open a door for him to make his mark and the Belnaleck man grabbed his opportunity when it came in the latter rounds of the league.
The versatile Connor had played in the half forward line during last season’s league campaign but he has caught the eye at the tail end of the league at corner back, starting the last three games of Fermanagh’s Division Two campaign.
“Those boys that retired are massive losses but I thought to myself that there is a couple of defenders gone here so it is a chance to get into one of those lines although in fairness I didn’t think it would be in the full back line.
“To be honest though I’ve enjoyed it and I’m happy to play wherever Pete wants me to play.
“I played the last three games against Clare, Meath and Derry and I thought I did alright in those games. I was happy enough with my performances and I was glad to get my chance although it was very disappointing with the way the league ended. I’m not going to dwell though on those games, they are over and I just want to push on and keep working hard and improving,” said Connor.
He admits that it has taken him time to get used to the position although it is not the first time he has played there.
“I probably prefer to play in the half back line but I did play a bit of corner back when I played MacRory with St. Michael’s which was one of Dom Corrigan’s ideas and it suited me then but I hadn’t played it since until now. It was about getting my head around the position and when I got the opportunity in there I remembered back to what Dom was telling me to do in that position and thankfully it has gone well so far,” he added.
Saturday could be a big day for the Belnaleck clubman as he aims to finally make his first championship start for Fermanagh and he says that if selected he will be doing all in his power to help Fermanagh get the right result.
“If I’m picked I will be delighted and do my best to try and help the team to get a win. It is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, getting that chance to walk around in the parade and be involved in a big championship match. If I do get the chance though I will be looking to treat it as just another game and not get caught up with the occasion.” he commented.
And Connor, who has played under Monaghan boss Malachy O’Rourke during his time as a pupil at St. Joseph’s, believes that Fermanagh are capable of springing a surprise on his old teacher.
“I played under Malachy and he is a brilliant manager and he will have his homework done on us, there is no doubt about that.
“It is a massive challenge for us but I believe that if we perform then the scoreboard will take care of itself.
“If you really want to simplify it, it is 15 v 15, you can talk tactics and all the rest but if we do what we are asked to do and work hard I’ve no doubt that we will come out on the right side of it,” he concluded.