Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin is pleased to have a date to work towards after it announced on Tuesday that senior inter-county training could resume on April 19.

And he says that the players are looking forward to getting back to collective training as they prepare for the new season - in whatever shape that takes.

“We’re glad to have a date and now we are waiting to see what fixtures they throw out and what date that the league can commence but for the players and ourselves in the management team it is nice to have a date so that we can go and get started. We will keep the heads down now, it is only 18 days, and we’ll work towards being ready to get out on that date.

“I have spoke to a few of the players and they are looking forward to it as they can see the end line and it maybe echoes what is going on in general were people can see the end line coming and we are going in the right direction,” said McMenamin.

The GAA hope to release its fixture calendar and competition structures for the inter-county season next week but it is expected that there will be a four week lead in with the National League possibly starting in the middle of May.

“The Taoiseach seemed to make the announcement last night that the National Leagues are going to go ahead and I think everyone is just assuming that the league is going to go ahead. Every manager is just working towards the 19th at this stage and getting the players back out on the field.

“You are probably then looking at four weeks of preparation as a lead in, or technically three weeks and then the last week would be a prep week,” added McMenamin.

The initial plan for this year’s National League was that the divisions would be split into North and South sections. Fermanagh’s group included Derry, Cavan and Longford. That may remain the way that the league will be played and McMenamin feels it is important that teams are allowed to play challenge games ahead of the league resumption and would like Croke Park to clarify this situation.

“You are asking a lot of the players who when it comes to May or June haven’t played a competitive game of football from, in Fermanagh’s case, November 7. You are talking six or seven months without a game so you would like to be able to play a friendly or two because you can’t really just ask players to come straight out into the National League, especially the way the National League looks like it will be this year with three championship like games.

“You can’t expect lads to be fully ready, you would like to have a game or two to get up to speed. We would like to hear from Croke Park on this,” he stated.

The focus though is on getting back out on the pitch and making sure that players come back in good shape.

“We will just try to get down to work quickly and make sure that any niggles or strains are looked after and the boys come back in the best possible shape as the way it is, a niggly injury could potentially be a season ending one.

“Once we get going then the games are going to be non-stop and it is tough on amateur players but we would rather be playing football than not playing football.”

The Erne boss does have a couple of niggles in the squad at present but he expects them to be all cleared up by April 19.

“There is one or two boys with slight niggles but we are not overly concerned about them, we would expect everybody out on the pitch when we get back on the 19th,” he said.

And he says that he will use those weeks leading up to the start of the league to assess his squad before selecting his final panel.

“We are carrying a provisional squad and we want to look at that. We will use these three or four weeks leading into the National League and then we will move on from then and make a call. There are different things that can affect it with injuries and that so the squad could soon scuttle itself down.

“But we are happy enough that the boys who are in the squad at the minute have worked hard on their own and hopefully we can get back out an continue that hard work on the pitch.”