It has been strange first season in management for Pat Cadden.

The St. Pat’s, Donagh forward stepped away from playing to managing, and he did not have to go far as he took over at neighbours, Aghadrumsee.

An injury during the 2018 season, took its toll on Cadden, who is known for his abilities at both ends of the pitch as a sharp shooting forward and as the last line of defence in goals.

But he made a choice, for the health of his own body to stop playing.

“It was probably just a build-up of things,” explained Pat. “It was probably coming down to the year I done goals in the county. Towards the end of it I could feel a wee bit of annoyance in my knee and probably never got sorted because once county was over there was a bit of club football and whatever and it was forgot about.

“I played a bit last year at the start of the year and was playing games and then not fit to train then I went and got a scan and had nipped a bit of cartilage and sort of had the choice of whether to go and get an operation and maybe make it worse or just call it a write off if you want to call it that.

“And I took the latter route. Just with a young family and that there I would rather enjoy being fit to do stuff with them in later years. I just didn’t want to make it worse.”

The 33 year old has some managerial experience as he was part of Ollie Fay’s Fermanagh U20s backroom team for two years but moving into a head role was not something he was actively seeking.

“I just decided that I’ll take the chance and see whether I would enjoy it or not and luckily I am enjoying it. So far things are going well.”

With Covid-19 putting a stop to everything and one outbreak could do the same again, Pat’s main priority will be the safety of his players.

And with the league on schedule to start on Sunday, Pat is getting them ready for their first league game against his home club St. Pat’s.

He says there will be no animosity on either side, but he does believe teams will not be putting as much emphasis on the league due to no relegation or promotion.

“I thought they should have maybe given a bit of incentive for the league be it one up or one down. I think the league is really going to be glorified challenge games. Everybody is going to throw their eggs into the championship,” added Pat.