McGrath takes over as Fermanagh boss

McGrath takes over as Fermanagh boss

Fermanagh have opted for experience in appointing Down legend Pete McGrath as the county's new senior football manager.

McGrath was confirmed as the Ernesiders boss at a meeting of the Fermanagh County Board on Thursday night. He takes over from Peter Canavan who stepped down in September after two seasons at the helm.

McGrath, a retired school teach from Rostrevor, famously managed Down to All-Ireland SFC titles in 1991 and 1994 and most recently he was in charge of the Mourne county's minor side - but they opted to replace him for next season.

Fermanagh's decision to bring the former Ireland International Rules boss on board is a surprising one as he had not been linked publicly with the vacant position.

Instead, most of the speculation about Canavan's successor had surrounded Gerry Moane, who served as a selector Charlie Mulgrew in 2006, the county's first All-Star Peter McGinnity, who has led Roslea Shamrocks to three county titles in four years, and Mayo's Kevin McStay - the manager of last season's All-Ireland Club SFC champions St. Brigid's from Roscommon.

But McGrath was chosen above them all and Fermanagh will hope he can get them back challenging for honours, particularly at provincial level. They failed to win an Ulster Championship match during Canavan's reign, losing to both Down and Cavan.

There has been progress made in the last two years and the Ernesiders narrowly missed out on promotion from Division 3 in the spring, although replacements will have to be found for recent retirees Chris Breen, Marty McGrath, Niall Bogue and Shane Lyons.

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