‘Make Brewster a fortress’ – Kelm

By Katrina Brennan

IT’S back to Brewster Park for Fermanagh this weekend. After playing the entire 2023 league campaign in Ederney, they’re back at the county grounds for this weekend’s meeting with Kildare.

Fermanagh playmaker, Ultán Kelm, is hoping they can build on last weekend’s draw with Meath and make the Enniskillen venue a place no team wants to come to.

“You want to make Brewster Park a fortress again and Kildare, after coming away with a defeat to Cavan, they’ll be looking to get two points on the board as well. But, we feel that if we focus on a few improvements from the weekend and build on what we’ve already worked on, we’ll not be far away,” said the Belleek man.

“We’re growing in confidence all the time. Just to get a win at home would be something massive, especially our first league game back in Brewster Park in a year, (it) would be something we wouldn’t take lightly.”

The last time the two sides met was back in February 2019 in Division Two when the Erne men beat promotion favourites Lilywhites, triumphing 0-8 to 0-6 in a low-scoring affair. Ryan Lyons got the two late points on a day when missed chances were the story of the game. Kelm is expecting another tough assignment on Saturday evening.

“It’s going to be a serious battle. We’ll be expecting nothing less. There are going to be no easy games in Division Two. From our end, it’s about building on what we started last weekend, and the boys, especially some of the younger boys, will get great belief that we can compete in Division Two and take that confidence into this weekend.”

One such player is 23-year-old Sean Cassidy who notched 1-2 against Meath, and Kelm feels it will bring the Ederney man on even further;

“Everyone in Fermanagh knows the quality that Sean Cassidy has and that was him showing it on a big stage. We all know from training that he has that in him. Sean is a top-class player and if you can keep him as close to goals as possible, we’ll get a lot of joy from him. He’s another boy that will grow in confidence from getting a draw in Navan.”

It was a solid start to the campaign for Fermanagh and while they’ll rue some wastefulness in the first half in particular, they equally could’ve lost the game at the death;

“It was probably a game that we could’ve lost and could’ve won at the same time. Overall, I suppose, happy to go to Navan, especially on the first day back in Division Two and come away with a point.

“We didn’t have enough scores on the board before we got the goal. It wasn’t looking too good because we were level and we felt the breeze was a four or five-point breeze. But then again, in the second half Meath struggled to kick into them goals as well. So even though there was a strong breeze, it wasn’t really benefiting the kick-out.

“I think we managed the second half very well. The fact that we only had that three-point lead going against a strong breeze (was worrying), but I thought we saw the game out well.”

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