The fight for promotion from Division Two of the Fermanagh and Western league looks set to be a closely contested affair, with three newly promoted clubs joining last season contenders to fight for a spot in the top flight.

Mountjoy United just missed out on a top two finish last season, but they were well clear of the chasing pack and will be hoping maintain that advantage over their rivals this season.

Lisnaskea Rovers finished fourth following the points per game calculations and will be looking to improve this campaign, but they were closely followed by both Maguiresbridge and Lisnarick, and both clubs hold hopes of sneaking into the top spots.

“I would like to think we will be pushing towards promotion, that’s definitely the target,” said Maguiresbridge manager Andy Carlton.

“We want to get off to a good start, I think that is crucial. With a shorter league programme you can’t afford to start slow. It’s hard to know how a lot of the teams in the division will shape up but a lot of them will also have their eye on the top two places.”

Andy believes his squad are in good shape for the campaign.

“We should have GAA men Niall Carson, Matthew Teague as well as Kinawley pair Conor Murphy and Philly McTeggart back soon. Youngster Ryan Flanagan has signed from Lisbellaw while Ruairi Leonard, Lee Farrell, Ryan Hughes and Damien Sheenan have joined an experienced squad.

“Adam Chartres top scored last season and will be supported in attack by likes of Shane Ingram, Tommy McDonald and Tommy McMahon. We had a really good end to the season just gone and the boys really bought into what I wanted to do. There was great support from the squad and pre-season has gone well with 20-30 boys there.

“I think one player has left the club since the end of last season so we have kept the rest together and added a few which will drive the competition for places.

“You really need that and we need to get a consistent strong squad that can push on week in, week out. We just need to hit the ground running and put ourselves in the shake-up.”

Lisnarick boss Niall Amos is expecting a tough season, but is hopeful they can challenge.

“I’m looking forward to it after the longest pre-season ever,” he admitted.

“The first thing is to get enough points to remain in the division. After that we will see what happens as the season progresses. I can see everyone taking points of each other so it would be vital to get points on the board early and try to get on a run of games. With the GAA over in a few weeks and some new signings on board we should be competitive in every game.”

Fivemiletown United IIs lingered around the bottom half of the table last season, but manager Arron Gowdy is hoping for an improved campaign this time around.

“My hopes as manager are to continue to build and reinforce the bridge that Fivemiletown United has put in place to allow our fantastic youth system to flow towards the senior end of the club,” he said. “We aim to be competitive in every game that our lads pull on the Fivemiletown jersey for and turn around some of the results that got away from us last season, but first and foremost to enjoy the beautiful game and cause some upsets along the way.”

Enniskillen Galaxy topped Division Three and will be hoping they can continue that form in a higher division.

“The hopes for this year is to keep playing football the way it should be played and the points will look after itself,” said manager Gavin Connolly.

“With no relegations last season there will be a lot of teams aiming for promotion and we are no different, but more importantly, we plan on enjoying it.”

Orchard Farm shadowed Galaxy last season with little to choose between them and the Division Three champions, and boss Stephen Marron is looking for another successful campaign.

“We hope to establish ourselves in Division Two but with no relegation from Division One last season, if we can stay up near the top until Christmas we would definitely have to take a shot at promotion. Division Two is a whole different ball game than Division Three though!”

Derrychara United’s first fixture is against favourites Mountjoy and manager Johnny Noble knows it will be a big challenge, but he feels they have an improved squad this year.

“I know its cliché but as Division Two is full of experienced and quality sides our main objective is to stay up and build from that,” he admitted.

“The lads have put in a great pre-season and all of our matches were against teams playing at a higher level than us which was great for match fitness. I strengthened the squad really well at Christmas and have added several new faces for the coming season, the big thing for me was to hold on to all of last season’s squad, and with Tiarnan Magee able to commit again this season is a massive boost for us.

“I don’t think the lads got enough credit in clinching promotion in our first season back, but we are looking forward to the challenge ahead in a very tough league.”