Ryan Bogue’s return from Australia is a major boost for Fermanagh hurling manager Joe Baldwin and the player himself is targeting honours for the Ernemen in 2021.

Bogue missed the run to Croke Park and the Lory Meagher Cup final last year but says he enjoyed life on the other side of the world.

“I loved it, it is a good lifestyle out there and you had little Covid, it was more or less a normal life,” he said.

However, he states that jobs at home for both he and wife Aine helped make their mind up to return home.

“I toyed with it but we nearly had too much at home not to come home. We had the house and Aine’s job and I got offered a job at home so everything was lined up for us at home,” explained Ryan.

And having landed back in Ireland it was not long before he was back in the Fermanagh squad with the management having kept in contact with the player throughout his time away.

“Rory O’Donnell was texting me when I was away and asked me every couple of weeks had I decided on whether I was coming home or not so as soon as I was back I was straight back into the WhatsApp group again.”

Bogue, who had played for Cormac McAnallens in Sydney, also kept an eye on how things went for the side when he was away and admits that it was tough to watch the side playing in last year’s Lory Meagher Cup final.

“It was very sickening. I was on my way to Byron Bay in a camper van and I lay there watching the match on my phone at about 2 o’clock in the morning. I actually missed the 2015 final as well when I was in Australia so I don’t have much luck with that. These boys might be looking for me to go back out there!”

Bogue along with a handful of others have been added to the squad this year and he hopes that it will provide Baldwin with a good mix of youth and experience.

“It showed last year what a great young team there is there and they maybe just lacked that wee bit of experience at the end and Joe had added a bit of experience there so hopefully there will be a good mix now.”

The squad returned for their first collective training session on Tuesday night and Bogue says it was great to be back.

“We were out last night (Tuesday) for the first time and it was the same craic as always. It is good to be back involved, no matter where you go in the world you always miss it, you miss the craic and the banter with the boys.

“There is some of these younger boys I hardly even know their names which is great because for long enough it was the same group of boys every year so it is great to see fit, fast young lads coming through. I think there was 29 lads out last night plus whoever couldn’t make it. That’s great to see,” he added.

And Ryan is now hoping that they can push on to win silverware.

“There is a couple of league games coming up in May and the key will be to get them under our belts and then push on and try and win the Lory Meagher this year,” he concluded.