It’s still in the getting to know you phase for new Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher but it is a case of so far so good with Gallagher pleased with how things are going at this early stage of his term.
The former Donegal manager and his management team of Ryan McMenamin, Shane McCabe and Ronan Gallagher have had the opportunity to work with the players for a few weeks now and it has been a positive start according to Gallagher.
“We are getting our teeth into it,” he stated. 
“For myself and Ricey it is about getting to know the boys, Ronan would know a number of them and Shane has obviously played with them but it is just about forming relationships with them, seeing what they are about and starting to understand where each individual is in their lives with work or their college. Then it is a case of trying to marry that with the commitment that is required by ourselves. It’s been a positive start from that point of view, the attitude and the approach of the players has been good and we have done some good work but we have an awful lot to do,” he commented.
And he is happy with the availability, commitment and the effort that the players have shown to date and the desire they have to push things on.
“Overall, I would be happy because you want as many of the best players in the county that’s available to be playing and we have been relatively successful in getting that. 
“It’s early days yet but the attitude is good, there seems to be a hunger there to try and improve the situation that we are in. 
“There would be a huge disappointment with the way last year petered out but they are also aware that they did a lot of good things in 2015 and 2016 and we are trying to get back to that level and see where we can go with it,” he said.
The McKenna Cup gets underway at the start of next month but Gallagher stresses that he intends to use this as part of their pre-season programme. 
He is working on new ideas with the players which he feels will take time to implement and the focus is on January 28 and a meeting with Wexford at Brewster Park in the opening game in their Division Three campaign.
“A good long pre-season does no harm. We would feel that we are coming in with a blank canvass and we are trying to introduce things that are different and are perhaps new to what they were doing and you need time to bed that in. 
“We have had a number of weeks now with collective training but with lads in Belfast and in Dublin you don’t have as much contact time with them as you would like so while I’m looking forward to the games, at the same time the McKenna Cup is part of your pre-season. As far as I would be concerned, the real season starts on January 28th and we want to hit the ground running in the league,” said the Belleek native.
He will though be able to cast his eye over the vast majority of his squad during the McKenna Cup.
“We are very fortunate that only James McMahon and Ciaran Corrigan are college tied and that’s a great position to be in, to have that amount of players in your squad available to you so we will look forward to. 
“The two county teams that we will face, Monaghan and Donegal, are two established Division One teams so it will be good for preparations for the league.” 
The game against Donegal will see him come up against his former charges but Gallagher says that is just the nature of the game and he is now fully focused on Fermanagh and is enjoying the role.
“I think in our second or third game involved with Donegal we had a McKenna Cup game against Fermanagh in Ballybofey on a Saturday night. It turns full circle and that’s the way life goes.
“At the start it is different and there is no point saying anything different. For a number of years you are waking up every day and you are saying what’s next for Donegal and all of a sudden that’s changed and it’s now what’s next for Fermanagh. 
“Look, we have enjoyed it so far, that’s a big thing, football has to be enjoyable, training has to be enjoyable, otherwise the amount of time you put into it you couldn’t square it off. 
“I’m enjoying it and looking forward to every training session and we’ll get the McKenna Cup up and running and then we’ll have a feel for where we are at,” said Gallagher.