By Katrina Brennan
RYAN McMenamin says “the time was right to go” after he informed Fermanagh County Board chairman Greg Kelly of his decision last Thursday night.
“I’m my own man, I do my own stuff and I’m a firm believer in doing what your gut tells you and I’ve learned that over the two years of management. Any time I didn’t go with my gut it has blown up in my face, so I’ve noted down, go with my gut and my gut feeling was this is the right time to go and we made that move and went on.”
The Dromore man admits he had a “gut feeling on it a while back and I just needed a few things to reaffirm” his decision but is “happy enough” and now looks forward to planning a “holiday if restrictions life in December or January.”
Asked what those “few things” were, McMenamin said:
“It’s hard for some players if they think it’s in a rebuild and some maybe don’t want to put the whole commitment in it and I can totally understand that.
“Anything I do, I do because I have Fermanagh’s best interest at heart.
“I have to look at it and look at Fermanagh’s future and I think what we’ve done is develop footballers and develop fine young men.”
There has been rumours of some rumblings of discontent among more senior players in the team.
“You’re never going to please everybody all the time, and I’m sure that there’s players happy that I am gone and players sad that I have gone and that’s life. I’ve played in many a team, probably some of the best teams of the noughties and some of the best club teams in Dromore, not everyone liked the managers then.
“I’ve had loads of messages from all the players thanking me for everything. It was my own decision and maybe you hear all these whispers but we’re content with what we’ve done as a management for the past two years, and they were the two Covid years, and we’ve dealt with a lot.
“It was a three-year job but I felt a fresh voice might give these boys a lift. We’ve put the base in there for the next person, male or female, to come in and carry the job on.”
McMenamin joined the Fermanagh set-up back in November 2017 as assistant manager with Rory Gallagher. In August 2019, McMenamin took charge of the team and despite only two wins in 15 games, he was on the cusp of promotion to Division Two this year, albeit falling short against Offaly in a play-off down in Tullamore.
Fermanagh will now begin the process to appoint a successor to McMenamin. At the time of writing, it’s understood that a selection panel is yet to be assembled. At this relatively early stage, Dominic Corrigan is favourite to take on the post.
The vastly experienced former Fermanagh player and manager is understood to be interested in the role, and it would be expected that he would coax his sons Ruairi and Tomas back to the intercounty scene if he is appointed. Other possible successors include Malachy O’Rourke and Kieran Donnelly.