Fermanagh hurling manager Joe Baldwin will continue in the role for another three years after he met with County Board officials on Monday night.

Fermanagh have enjoyed big success under Baldwin’s three year rein, landing the Lory Meagher Cup in 2021 and following it up with the NHL Division 3B title this year.

A long round trip from his base in Coleraine though was an issue for Baldwin but he states that his belief in the current group of players was the over-riding factor in his decision to stay on.

“I will be staying on for a further three years,” said Baldwin. “The last three years it has been a privilege to be involved with the current group of player. It is nice when you are winning and things go your way and I have felt that as a management team we have made progress and two national titles and four national finals would tell you that.

“Personally, it is a lot of commitment as it is an eight hour round trip from where I live but the big thing is that the current group of players, I have serious belief in them.”

And Baldwin believes that the current squad have the potential to go on and win a Nickey Rackard Cup having shown this year that they are more than capable of competing at that level of hurling.

“When we were first appointed we took on a three year term to try and win a Lory Meagher and I honestly believe that we can a Nicky Rackard within the next two or three years if we can get buy in to work hard from the current group of players.

“That would really be something historic and very special for Fermanagh hurling so it is the belief in this group of players that has tipped the scales,” he explained.

Baldwin has been in regular contact with Erne captain Ryan Bogue who assured him that he had the backing of the players to stay on in the job and the aim now is to push Fermanagh on further.

“I have been liaising with Ryan Bogue to try and get a soundbite from the players and Ryan was of the understanding that the players were quite keen for us to stay on.

“It is exciting times, Fermanagh hurling is in a good place, but it is a results based business. We showed last year that we can compete in the Nickey Rackard and if this current group can stay together and bring one or two more additions in I think that we can push on,” he said.

In terms of his backroom, Baldwin is keen to freshen it up with additions, including another hurling coach, while he has already added Seamus Breslin as his stats man for the forthcoming season. Lisbellaw man Breslin lives in Dublin but has been a massive supporter of Fermanagh hurling and his son Ciaran is a member of the current panel while Baldwin is hopeful that another of his son’s, Diarmuid, will also come on board.

“I feel that as a management team we need to evolve as well and I believe that we need a new hurling coach to try and move the thing forward. Seamus Breslin from Dublin, who has worked with the Dublin inter-county set up, he will come in as the new stats man.

“Stephen Smyth had been doing the stats as well as looking after the kits which was a big workload but with Seamus coming on board he will focus just on the kits.

“We are delighted to have Seamus on board, his son Ciaran plays for us and there is another son Diarmuid who plays at a very high level and we certainly wouldn’t say no to him coming along with his father,” added Baldwin.