Fermanagh’s league campaign finished in defeat on Sunday against Meath with Rory Gallagher’s charges securing a third place finish in Division Two.

Although the manager was pleased with the league overall, he admits that there is a bit of disappointment that they didn’t go on to clinch promotion to Division One.

“It has been a very good league for us but there is an awful lot of learnings for us. Your expectations change after a while, we would pride ourselves in the management team as being ambitious and while it is great and it is definitely satisfying to stay in the division, it is tinged with huge disappointment that we didn’t get over the line in the last two games.

“We won three and drew two of our first five games and in my opinion we should have won all five. What is disappointing for me is that we didn’t beat the two relegated teams, games we had a lot of wides in and we gave away a crucial goal against Tipperary from a goalkeeping error,” he stated.

There was a train of thought from some that Fermanagh would be better served staying in Division Two instead of going up to the top flight but Gallagher says that while it would have been extremely difficult, it is something that they would have relished.

“I don’t doubt that if we went to Division One it would be very, very tough but it is a short life and Fermanagh are not a team that generally finish 11th in the league and it would be great to be in the top eight,” he added.

Fermanagh’s thought will now turn to championship preparations and while Gallagher is satisfied with how things have gone so far, he stresses that they now need to take things to the next level.

“We’ll get together once this week and then we’ll take a week off. Last year we put in a ferocious effort in pre-season, this year we took a lackadaisical attitude, we took our chances that tactically the boys were quite switched on. We haven’t trained that hard so we will press the button on a wee bit of championship training when we get back. We have eight weeks now and the boys are in good nick but we have to push it on to another level,” he said.

And he may look to bring a couple of younger players into the squad.

“We are probably carrying a few too many at the minute, we have had a couple of injuries and there is no doubt that we have an eye on a couple of the young fellas, who we haven’t spoke to. We spoke to Brandon at the start of the year but we have left him off with St Michael’s but we may take in a couple of the younger fellas,” he said.

On Sunday, Fermanagh started the game extremely brightly but wayward shooting meant they failed to take full advantage of their superiority in the opening quarter.

“I thought we were brilliant that opening 16 or 17 minutes. We should have got to a stage were we were seven or eight nil up and that would have completely changed the dynamic of the game.

“The shooting was very disappointing and it has probably cost us another couple of points in the league.

“In the second half we looked a wee bit dead and flat on our feet and they looked a bit more energised. We needed more of the ball and we seemed to run out of steam around the middle of the field and they got a grip. They were deserving winners,” he added.