Ederney midfielder Marty McGrath may be approaching 39 but he has no intention of hanging up the boots just yet as he gets ready for another campaign with the St. Joseph’s outfit.

The former All Star is still a key cog in the wheel for his club and says he will continue on as long as he has something to offer.

“I say every year that it will be my last but then you get back out again.

“You should play as much as you can and as long as you can because when you are finished you are finished. You might not be at the level you would want to be or the level you were at ten years ago but if you can contribute in some way then you keep going.

“Look at Kevin Cassidy from Derrygonnelly, he is 44 or 45, but he will likely be out again this year,” said McGrath.

And after over three months of lockdown McGrath is looking forward to getting back to playing.

“Football is a good release for people after a tough time. It is not the be all and end all but it is something that we are all looking forward to. It has just been great to even get back training and out with the fellas and enjoy that social element to it,” he said.

With a shortened season ahead, changes have had to be made to the league structure for the forthcoming campaign. In Fermanagh there will only be one round of fixtures with five games before the championship and four after. The top two will then meet in the league final but crucially there will be no relegation or promotion in either division.

McGrath wonders though whether teams will be keen on playing the final four games which are without the county players if they are not in contention.

“You would not please everybody no matter you do, we are going to have nine league games and we will have the championship which is important.

“In truth, when you look at the league with no relegation, you would ask is everybody going to put everything into it? I suppose those five games coming up to championship, teams will play those games as hard as they can but you would question whether clubs who are not in the running for the league will they fulfil their fixtures after the championship.”

He also queries the decision to allow counties back to train while the club season is still ongoing.

“I do question why Croke Park have put in the training for county teams to start in September which is potentially in the middle of championship for a lot of counties. Are teams that are in the championship final going to release their players to train with the county? It also puts pressure on the players.

“The club should be first priority and should be finished off first and then you could look about the county after that. You see that the provincial club championships have been dropped and it just seems to that the county teams have been put first,” he added.

The focus for now though for Ederney is on preparing as well as they can for the season and he knows that avoiding injuries could be crucial for teams.

“Injuries could be an issue with a shortened season because if you pick up one now you could miss the whole season. There is going to be a lot of training and games before championship so it will be important to try and manage things.

“We have five league games before the championship and you want to build momentum in those while avoiding injuries so the squad will come into play.”

In the championship there will be a lot of interest in Ederney’s quarter final clash with Belnaleck with the Art McMurroughs having defeated a fancied Ederney at the same stage last season.

“Belnaleck showed the quality they have last season, they are a good team and they have some great footballers. But, we just have to focus on what we can do and they focus on what they can do and that’s all you can do,” he said.

As that result last year showed, Ederney can’t afford to look ay further ahead than Belnaleck.

“All you can do is look to that first game in the championship and that’s the same for every team.

“There is eight teams in it and with the exception of Derrygonnelly, who are a step ahead of everyone else, there is very little between the rest of the teams.

“Every team will have aspirations of winning it and only one team can but you have to give it a go and hopefully we will be competitive,” he said.