By Mark McGoldrick
A WIN over Carlow on Sunday would be a confidence booster, says Fermanagh manager James Daly, as the Erne ladies’ bid for the TG4 LGFA All-Ireland Junior Championship begins.
Fermanagh will play Carlow, London and Derry in the group stage of the competition, and Daly feels it is well within their grasp to win the All Ireland.
“You play all year for this. This tournament now is what the season is all about,” said the Erne boss.
“There is a confidence about the girls that we can get it together and that we can go and win this Junior Championship.”
First up for the Fermanagh ladies is a clash against Carlow at Lann Léire GAA club in Louth, on Sunday (2pm).
The Erne ladies beat Carlow in the league earlier this year, coming out on the right side of a 1-11 to 2-05 win, but Daly isn’t taking the challenge for granted.
“When we played them in the league, they hadn’t everybody there, and neither did we, so we know that there is not a whole lot between the teams,” recalled the Fermanagh boss.
“Both teams play a similar style of football and they’re a good side and they will probably be fancying themselves as being the strongest team in the group.”
In their last meeting with Carlow, Erin Tierney scored the winning goal, but she won’t be available for this game after she ruptured her Anterior Cruciate Ligament at training last week.
“Erin (Tierney) is out for the season. She’s a young girl and she just found out this morning (Monday) that she has done her cruciate ligament, so that’s very disappointing for her.”
Daly also confirmed that he will be without two of his most experienced players, Roísín O’Reilly and Aisling Maguire, for the Carlow clash.
“Roísín twisted her ankle against Down (in the Ulster final) and she’s struggled to come back and Aisling is out with her hamstring,” said the Erne manager.
“We’ve a couple of big injuries but we’ve got a bigger squad this year and we’re hoping to get through this game and then have the two girls back in after that.”
Just over two and a half weeks ago, the Fermanagh ladies lost the Ulster Junior Championship final to Down. With the disappointment now behind them, Daly feels that they can learn a lot from that match.
“When you lose a game, it takes a while to get over it, but if you dwell on it for too long, it’s not going to help you going forward,” explained the Dromintee man.
“We’re confident that we’ve learned from that game and we’ve been trying to work on some of the kinks.”.