Fermanagh have appointed former Erne Gaels manager, Maurice Mclaughlin, as the new U17 manager. Although a Donegal native and currently an Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon club man McLaughlin has strong ties with Fermanagh and has represented the county in hurling and also played for a time with Erne Gaels.

In 2016 he guided the Belleek club to their first senior football championship final in 35 years and he expressed his delight about this recent appointment:

“It’s an honour and privilege for me and my family. My late mother was Rose Maguire from Fermanagh and all of the boys in the family have represented Fermanagh in either football or hurling,” he said before adding that he is hoping to build on what he believes is a solid base:

“It is a project that really excites me as a lot of good work has been done in Fermanagh in recent years at underage level by Shaun Doherty, Eoin Bradley and Simon Bradley, to name but a few. I am hoping to add to that good foundation and to build on it.”

McLaughlin is in the final stages of completing his back-room team and is looking forward to hitting the ground running in January.

“We will be out from January and looking forward to the league starting in March and getting ourselves ready for the championship.”

The Ballyshannon publican had a reputation for integrating young players into the Erne Gaels set up during his tenure and will be looking for several key qualities when he starts to work with the Fermanagh boys in the early new year:

“I was very fortunate with the calibre of young player that there was in Erne Gaels when I was there. What I want from the Fermanagh players is commitment and a desire to work hard. Those are the first two things we need and then I think we can go from there.”

Fermanagh have made steady progress at this age level for the past number of years and McLaughlin is a manager who will leave no stone unturned in making sure that upward curve continues.

Meanwhile, Fermanagh have also moved to fill the vacant U20 managerial position with Cavan man Ollie Fay taking charge of the side. Fay is currently working at putting together his backroom team.