Fermanagh U17s get their 2019 Championship campaign underway this weekend when they make the short trip to Breffni Park to take on Cavan.

It has not been the most encouraging of seasons so far for Maurice McLaughlin and his charges, with a number of chastening defeats in the U17 league, including a 16 point loss to Saturday's opponents.

However, it is worth noting that Fermanagh were without the services of 6 key players due to their involvement with the Hogan Cup winning St. Michael's team and they will surely add some welcomed quality at the weekend.

With the league out of the way, the Ulster Championship has taken the full focus of management and players, and Maurice has been satisfied with what he has seen over the last month to believe his side can cause an upset.

"We always knew with the league it was going to be particularly tough being without the St. Michael's boys and I suppose the one thing it did do, it gave another opportunity for other players in the squad to stake a claim for themselves and some of them have done that.

"It is good to have the St. Michael's boys back and it has given a squad a lift those boys coming back in.

"Training is going quite well and we have also had two competitive challenges against Antrim and Leitrim."

There a few injury concerns for the game, but Maurice will give his players every opportunity to prove their fitness in time to face an impressive Cavan side.

Maurice was hugely impressed with this young Cavan team when they met in the league and he is well aware of the calibre of players they have within their ranks.

"Cavan are a good footballing side. They are physically very strong with some outstanding players in Caoimhín McGovern who got Ulster Colleges Player of the Year. They are a good strong running side."

And although they have quality throughout the side and will go into the game as firm favourites, Maurice has every confidence his players can produce a performance on the day that will take them through to the next round in Ulster and cause an early upset.

"We definitely wouldn’t be carrying the mantle of favourites into the game. And I suppose the way I would be looking at the game and looking at the lads and the way training has been going and the way the last month in particular has gone, I would feel that we would be able to deliver a performance on the day which will give us a chance of getting across the line.

"We are in the great position that there are a lot of people who wouldn’t be giving us a chance except ourselves but we certainly will be giving ourselves a chance," concluded Maurice.

Fermangh play Cavan in U17 Ulster Minor Football Championship on Saturday, April 27 at 6.30pm at Kingspan Breffni Park.