New Fermanagh manager, Ryan McMenamin, got his first wish granted when the draw was made for the 2020 Ulster Senior Football Championship, and that was a home fixture.

Fermanagh will play Down in the quarter final of Ulster at Brewster Park with McMenamin delighted to be on home turf.

“I think we all know there are no easy games in Ulster but what you do want is a home fixture and we have got that so we are pleased,” he said before turning his attention to a Down team who are now in their second year under the stewardship of Paddy Tally:

“I think Down are maybe better than what a lot of people think. They probably should have got promoted last year and they have some excellent forwards and of course Paddy has them well set up and they are better defensively than they get credit for. They won’t come to Brewster Park with any fear, that is just the mentality of Down and it certainly is an interesting tie.”

McMenamin knows that there is a lot of football to be played between now and the Ulster Championship next season. Down are operating in Division Three with Fermanagh in Division Two for the second successive year.

“It is a long way off yet, but it is nice to know who you have got and both teams will be keeping an eye on each other as the leagues progress.”

The Fermanagh boss said that his phone was “hopping” after the draw was made early yesterday morning and says that it shows the excitement that the Ulster Championship brings:

“It is definitely the most competitive championship out there. I don’t think too many people paid attention to the other draws in the other provinces. But Ulster always gets people talking and the phone hasn’t stopped since the draw with people talking about different ties.”

Donegal will meet McMenamin’s home county Tyrone in the other side of the draw but for now the Fermanagh boss is simply looking at the McKenna Cup, where he will get the chance to run his eye over some new blood:

“I think the good thing about having the draw early is that people know what is it and can sort of put it on the back burner for a while. We are just looking at preparing the fellas now for the McKenna Cup taking things from there,” he said, going on to talk about how impressed he has been with the application of the players to date:

“Some of the guys are back doing their own gym work and they seem really keen to get things going. Some of the younger lads are especially keen. I have been impressed with young Brandon Horan and Eoin Shields who would be new to the set up. They have caught the eye in games but also in terms of the work they are doing off the field.”

Shane McGullion is another player who McMenamin has been impressed with. He noted that he was “Derrygonnelly’s best player throughout the year” and having spent one year as a squad member the Fermanagh manager will be hoping that he, and others can make the step up this season:

“That is what it is all about. Seeing if boys can make the jump to county football. And that is what we are looking forward to seeing now once the McKenna Cup starts. There are still a good few men involved in Ulster with their clubs so there is an open door and if anyone else puts their hand up we will have a look at them too.”

McMenamin and his back room team of Paul McIvor and Joe McMahon have taken in a lot of club games since their appointment and the Fermanagh manager reports that they are well on their way for planning for the new inter county season:

“At this stage it is just sort of looking forward to things. We would be thinking about different systems that we can play and what type of player we have. It will be good to get the boys back on the pitch though.”

Times and dates for Fermanagh’s clash with Down are not yet finalised.