Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin is hopeful that Fermanagh’s Ulster Championship encounter with Down will go ahead at Brewster Park as originally scheduled.

The GAA unveiled their revised calendar for the 2020 season last Friday which will see the inter-county campaign resume with the final two rounds of the National League on October 17/18 and October 24/25 and Fermanagh will then face the Mournemen on November 7/8.

However, Ulster CCC decided in light of Covid19 restrictions that venues for the Senior Football Championship would be reviewed and subsequently, confirmed at the next Ulster CCC meeting.

“It’s not decided but I expect Brewster Park will be able to hold the match and if required people will be able to socially distance at the match.

“There is three or four month to prepare for it so you would imagine that everything can be put in place at Brewster Park and social distancing can be achieved,” said McMenamin.

First though McMenamin’s focus will be on trying to secure Fermanagh’s Division Two status with big games coming up against Clare in Ennis and Laois at Brewster Park to conclude the league.

The Erne boss feels that there are a number of details that needed to be finalised ahead of that trip to Ennis in the middle of October.

“We were always expecting that the league was going to be finished at some time but there is a few details that need sorted out about the logistics of it and who is picking up the tab on it. If social distancing is still in you may have to take two buses to Clare and if we were staying over in a hotel, is it one player to a room or two players to a room? Things like that need to be sorted out with Croke Park. It is what it is though, it’s the nature of the beast at the minute but we are looking forward to the games,” he added.

Indeed, with a lot at stake in the final two league games, they could provide the perfect preparation for the Down clash.

“I was chatting to Paul (McIver) at the weekend and we were saying that we are happy to have these games. We’ll have preparation going into the Clare match and then we have the home match against Laois to finish the league and it then runs on then with a two week break to the Down match so that’s a perfect run in for us and we just have to ensure that we have all our players on the pitch that we need,” he stated.

Inter-county championship games in November is going to be something new for teams with a busy schedule that will see the Ulster Championship run off in four weeks with the final fixed for Sunday November 22.

And McMenamin acknowledges that it will be a different type of football to what is on display in the summer months.

“If anything it levels the playing field. It is totally different type of football to what you would play in June, July or August and it will be more about grinding it out. It will probably more akin to the Ulster Club.”

With the GAA also confirming that the championship would be straight knock out with no backdoor it is also a do or die tie.

“I thought there would have been a backdoor, especially with there being one in hurling, but it is going to be do or die, it is what it is.

“It puts more pressure on you but it could also open up the championship for other teams and there could be a few surprises and it gives everyone a great opportunity because everybody will feel that they can beat any other team on the day. It is novel and something to look forward,” said the former Tyrone All Ireland winning defender.

Before that though the players will focus on their clubs and McMenamin is keen for his players to get back out playing.

“Before that we have 11 weeks of club football and the boys need to get football under their belts so that will be good.

“I think Leon Carters (Strength and Conditioning coach) has been doing a great job, he has been in contact with all the clubs with regards where different boys are at and where different boys need to be. We have a couple of boys coming back from injury and the worst thing for them is just to get stuck straight back into it and others are just flying fit and you want them to keep on going.

“Look, the most important thing is that it will be great to see the boys back playing. There is going to be plenty of football and hopefully the boys can come through injury free.”

And McMenamin will be keeping on eye on how is performing on the club scene.

“I’m looking forward to taking in a few matches and keep an eye out for a couple of players that you feel could add to the squad going forward,” he said.