It didn’t take Mickey Cadden long after the call came to make up his mind about taking up the offer to train the Fermanagh Ladies this season.
It is Cadden’s first involvement in the Ladies’ game but when he was approached by manager Emmet Curry to join his management team, Cadden jumped at the opportunity.
“There had been a few rumours of interest from clubs in Cavan but to be honest Emmet was the first to get in touch with me. He rang me about coming in and taking on the role and I thought about it for a day or two and then I decided to give it a go. 
“I always like a challenge and Emmet said that they were rebuilding and it was a new start and it sounded good to me so I decided to take him up on it. I’ve really enjoyed the year,” he said.
Cadden has been heavily involved with club teams down through the years and recently led Derrylin to the Intermediate Championship and he says it is the same rules apply whether he is training a ladies or a men’s team.
“There has been no difference, you want the same thing from the ladies as you do the men and that is that they work hard.
“The way I look at it is if they train and work hard it is good enough for me and that’s what they have been doing. The numbers would not have been great at the start but now we would not be happier with the squad we have,” said Cadden.
And he states that there has been a massive improvement in the squad over the course of the season which will give the management plenty to ponder ahead of selecting a team for the final at Croke Park. 
“There is a complete day and night difference between the girls at the start of the season and the girls now. 
“There was a number of players who were maybe behind others in the squad but now there are over 30 girls and there is not a kick of the ball between them all. They are all capable of coming in and doing a job for us which is a great position to be in,” he added.
A number of younger players have come in and made their mark throughout the season but Cadden stresses that they have been careful to try and protect young players like Eimear Smyth, the young Derrygonnelly player having taken the championship by storm.
“We could have played Eimear Smyth a bit more in the league but we decided to hold her back and give her 15 minutes here and there at the end of games which maybe saved her from knocks and also kept her fresh. I suppose we protected her and now we are reaping the dividends of that as she is playing out of her skin.”
The young players have been a breath of fresh air for Fermanagh but an All Ireland final at Croke Park brings its own kind of pressure and Cadden will look to some of those players who have experienced the big game at Croke Park for leadership.
“I think that experience those girls have of having played in a final at Croke Park before will be invaluable to us.The likes of Maurita, Aine, Shauna, Roisin Gleeson, girls like that, have experience of playing in Croke Park in the past and they will hopefully help settle the younger girls down early in the game.
“The most fearful thing I would have about going to Croke Park is the occasion and you have seen players freeze before but hopefully that won’t affect us and as I say those experienced girls will have a role to play in that regard.,” said the Donagh man.
Derry have been familiar opposition for Fermanagh this season, the sides set for a fifth meeting on Sunday with Fermanagh having won the previous four encounters. Cadden though is expecting a tough test from the Oak Leaf outfit.
“The way I’m looking at it is that Derry are, like ourselves, seeking to win an All Ireland title, they are no different at all to us. We know that Derry are going to be fired up for this and we know that you never take anything for granted in football. 
“Yes, we have beaten Derry four times this season but they will have their work done on us and they will have a plan in place to stop us. It is not going to be easy, Croke Park is a big place and there is no hiding room in it,” he commented.
However, Cadden is in no doubt that if Fermanagh play to their capabilities then they will return home as All Ireland champions.
“I keep telling the girls that it is not about the opposition, the referee or anything else, it’s about Fermanagh and if we produce the goods on the day then I have no doubt that they will be All Ireland champions,” stated Cadden.