Fermanagh Senior Ladies manager, Jonny Garrity, admits that there has been frustration at the disjointed nature of the resumption of intercounty training but adds that while there is an uncertainty of how much football still remains to be played his side are raring to go.

Despite there meant to be a separate season for club and county, the overlap of the now postponed Provincial Club championships, which involved Kinawley and Tempo, meant that Garrity was not able to work with his entire squad.

“When the virus hit and the season was brought back it was brought back with the understanding it would be a club window and a county window and for our part as a county team we didn’t see our players face to face or hold any sort of county session during the club season,” explained Garrity.

“For the county window we have had to contend with teams playing club provincial championship and training with half our squad. I don’t see where the equality is in that so it has been really frustrating.

“The full focus was on club but not the case for county and ensured we have had a difficult preparation.

“One thing I would say it’s not the fault of the clubs. They have been devoid of any clarity as well from above.”

The players that have been available have been out training since September 16 with games against Wicklow (October 31) and Carlow (November 8) in their sights.

Good and bad news for Garrity has been the unavailability of some players from the squad levelled with the return of others.

“There has been a lot of changes really from the national league panel.

“One of the most established players that we are going to be without is Aine McGovern who is pregnant. So that’s a good news story and obviously we wish her well.

“We have brought her into the backroom team which is good because we don’t lose her leadership from the group but we have also lost several other players due to different circumstances so we are probably about six or seven players down and we have brought in five or six players.

“It’s so far so good. There is some really exciting players there. We used the club season within Fermanagh to watch I think we watched literally every club playing and that give us a lot to think about and we brought in an extended panel for the first week or two.

“Then we asked a handful of those girls to stay on board so since they have been in the have really impressed and freshened the thing up and we are really looking forward to seeing them going forward to see if they can make an impact on the team itself.”

As well as new faces the more familiar sights of Joanne Doonan, who was in Australia earlier in the year, and Blaithin Bogue, who missed out through injury are another welcome boost for the Fermanagh side.

“It’s a massive boost and Joanne has come in and for the limited sessions we have had with the Kinawley and Tempo players, the likes of Joanne have looked brilliant, in really fantastic shape and in the best of form.

“I think we are going to really avail from her inclusion but the same can be said for the likes of Blaithin Bogue who was injured for our entire league run.

“She was absolutely phenomenal at club level and we really enjoyed watching her at club level and we are confident she can keep that devastating form at county and that is a boost for us.

“And of course towards the end of the national league we missed Eimear Smyth for a few games and Aisling O’Brien so we have those players back so on paper we are going in very strong.”

Wicklow and Carlow stand in the way in the Junior Championship as Garrity and his side look to make up for defeat to Louth in last year’s final.

Fermanagh’s league form was not great either before the pandemic struck so it is all about starting out again afresh.

And the manager believes that if they get their strongest available side out they will be a match for anyone in the competition.

“The benefit of club season was we were able to bring in a few players who were in fantastic form for their club and we believe we have more firepower and as a management we are really excited.

“We have to park the form of the national league and everything and hopefully we can hit the ground running.

“With all this uncertainty it has been difficult but we know that if we get anything near our strongest players available at one time we will be a match for any team at this level and we are going in with a lot of optimism and a lot of confidence and can’t wait for it to begin.”