Fermanagh Ladies have been paired with Wicklow and Carlow in the group stage of the All Ireland Junior Championship with the top two teams progressing through to the All Ireland semi-final.

Manager Jonny Garrity acknowledged that his side were in the tougher side of the draw with the other group consisting of Derry, Antrim and Limerick but he is hopeful of getting through to the later stages of the competition.

“Going by the National League you have ourselves and Wicklow who were in Division Three and you have Carlow who were on course for the final of Division Four while the other group have the three teams at the bottom of Division Four so it is a difficult group.

“At the same time whatever two teams get through will feel confident in their semi-final,” he said.

In recent years Fermanagh have played Derry and Antrim on a regular basis so to have different opposition is something that Garrity is looking forward to.

“It is the first time we will have played Wicklow in a good few years and we haven’t played Carlow in the championship in a while either so it is good.

“It is two new teams and we haven’t played either one this year so it is exciting.

“We will take it one game at a time. I think it is looking like the first match in the group will be between Wicklow and Carlow and then we will play Wicklow. It is a difficult start but if we do what we set out to do then the by-product of that will be a semi-final and hopefully that will be the case.” he commented.

And Garrity states that after months of uncertainty, it is just great to have games to prepare for.

“They are two games to really relish and it finally gives you something to look forward to, something tangible as opposed to the hope that we had for the last number of months. The main feeling is just delight that we have got these two brilliant games to look forward to and we are confident in the squads ability and we will go in with confidence.”

Before that the squad will have the club season to compete in and Garrity will be keeping an eye on how the players are performing.

“It will be good to get down to see a few matches and to keep an eye on the girls.

“Hopefully they will be good competitive games and the girls will get a springboard into the county season,” he concluded.