Ernesiders go for O'Neill

Ernesiders go for O'Neill

John O'Neill has been installed as Fermanagh's new senior football manager, taking over from Malachy O'Rourke who stepped down in July.

O'Neill's appointment was rubberstamped at a meeting of the Fermanagh Executive Committee last night.

The Lisnaskea Emmetts clubman was a selector under Charlie Mulgrew for two years when he was in charge of Fermanagh, and previously managed the county's minor and Under-21 sides.

His backroom team includes assistant manager Sid Mulrone from Devenish and Enniskillen's Simon Bradley, who will come on board as trainer.

Speaking to the Irish News, O'Neill said: "We're the only Ulster county playing Division 4 football next year, which is not an ideal situation, but I'd be hopeful Fermanagh can do well.

"I remember watching Fermanagh beating Down two years ago and we all know how well Down got on this year.

"So, I'd be greatly encouraged by the fact that a lot of those players are still around the county team."

In 2007, O'Rourke's first year at the helm, Fermanagh were promoted to Division 2 of the National League and reached their first Ulster SFC final in 26 years.

But there has been little sign of progression since then as the Ernesiders endured successive relegations and some less-than-impressive Championship campaigns.

Fermanagh's 2010 Championship run began on a high note with a first SFC win over Cavan in 96 years, but Monaghan cut short their Anglo-Celt Cup hopes and Armagh proved too strong in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

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