Allianz National Football league
Clare v Fermanagh
Sunday, Cusack Park, 1pm
FERMANAGH’S upcoming NFL clash with Clare remains in real doubt with 10 players testing positive for coronavirus in the squad. In total, 17 of Ryan McMenamin’s panel have been affected with a further seven currently in isolation.
Enda McGinley says he has every sympathy for his former Tyrone teammate. Currently sat bottom of Division 2, that clash at Cusack Park on October 18 has the potential to provide Fermanagh with two crucial league points.
But at the moment McMenamin, by his own admission, is struggling to even put a squad together for that trip to Ennis.
“It’s been tough on Fermanagh,” said McGinley. “It’s really up in the air for them. The GAA is learning all the time. Fermanagh had a chart, they had everyone accounted for. They knew who went into the dressing room, who came in to lift food and who shared cars with who.
“And sharing the same car seems to be accounting for a high percentage of the cases. So again, sides like Tyrone and Donegal, those two weeks coming into it, lads will be told to be extra vigilant and minimise the risk.
“And if someone does get it, the team has to do all it can to make sure it’s just them and that there is no outbreak.”
Several Ernesiders are set to finish their isolation period a day before the trip to Ennis. In the interests of player welfare, it will be very interesting to see how this situation develops before Sunday.
Meanwhile, on the overall picture and the prospects of the GAA getting to the end of their respective inter-county Championships, McGinley agrees there is a growing uneasiness.
But, he says, it would provide a massive boost to people if it could all be run off in a safe and competent fashion.
“We had that wave of where people were so delighted to get back to some degree of normality with club football,” he added. “But now, suddenly, with Covid rearing its head once again and really kicking back, there just is an uneasiness there.
“People are really aware that there is a long winter ahead. We just don’t know what is around the corner. We had a great couple of months of football. It’s as if now heading into county, there is almost that thought or feeling, is it the right thing to be doing and are we really in the mood for it?
“Yes, of course it’ll be a distraction and hopefully when the games get going it’ll all feel okay. But that just feels so far away. Society is starting to creak and struggle. Suddenly county football is starting up and we’re supposed to bounce into life and all get excited about it.
“It feels like a square peg in a round hole at this moment. But hopefully it will work out.”