Fermanagh selector Shane McCabe says that the key thing that they wanted from the McKenna Cup this year is to unearth a few players who can help make an impact for the side in 2019.

Rory Gallagher and his management team have opted to have a look at a number of players during the pre-season competition although injuries have probably meant that they have been forced to throw more in during games than they may have wished.

“Teams look at the McKenna Cup in different ways but we have a lot of new players in that we want to get a look at and the McKenna Cup has to be seen as a great opportunity for these boys to get a foot in the door and make a statement to us. We are trying to unearth one or two players who can help drive Fermanagh on from last year,” said McCabe.

McCabe admits though that ideally you want to break these players in with more experienced players around them.

“It is one of those things. We have a long list of injured players, some of whom are among our most experienced players and I think on Sunday we had only six players who played in the Ulster final. It is difficult when you are from a small county like Fermanagh that doesn’t have the numbers of other counties as you want to look at players but you also want to have experienced players along with them. We also know that it will take the younger players time to be more aware of the tactical requirements of senior county football but if we can get one or two of those players to progress this year then it is only going to be good for Fermanagh,” he added.

Fermanagh rounded off their McKenna Cup campaign against Tyrone last night (Wednesday) and the focus is the first league game against Cork at Brewster Park..

“We need to hit the ground running for the first couple of matches as it is a high quality league.

“We know the level we need to be at to compete and the first game is going to be massive indication of where we are at in terms of the remainder of the league. Cork are going to come up and they will be keen to get off to a win. It will be a massive test but we will be looking to get a positive result in Brewster Park.”

On Sunday, Fermanagh were beaten by Derry and McCabe stresses that losing in Brewster Park is not something they want to make a habit of.

“We would be disappointed with Sunday because we would consider Brewster Park to be something of a fortress and we don’t want teams coming here thinking they can get a result. In the league you need to pick up results at home,” he explained.

The game also showed up plenty of things that Fermanagh need to address ahead of the league opener.

“It is a bit of a cliche but you need to keep the goals out at one end and keep the scoreboard ticking over at the other. We’ve been disappointed with a lot of the elements of both the attacking and defending in the first couple of matches but at the same time we have been impressed by short spells that the boys have produced,” said the Belcoo man.

He states though that the players and management will give everything they can to ensure that the league is a success.

We want players to stand up and take responsibility. It is the collective and we want everybody on the hymn sheet and if we don’t have that then we won’t go far. In saying that, I have full faith in these guys, they are a great bunch of lads, they will do everything that you ask them to do and they will do whatever they can to get results. It is up to us as management as well to try and get the best out of them and get the best results for Fermanagh to try and keep them in Division Two and have a successful year,” he concluded.