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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Rory Gallagher's approach to join him in Fermanagh 'was a shock' for Ryan McMenamin

The ex-Tyrone defender is part of Gallagher’s backroom team in Fermanagh.

RYAN McMENAMIN EXPECTS he’ll be focused on the defensive side of things in his coaching role with Fermanagh next year.

Ryan McMenamin argues with referee David Coldrick Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The three-time All-Ireland winner has been brought in as part of Rory Gallagher’s backroom team for the upcoming season, as Fermanagh look to gain an immediate promotion back to Division 2 in the spring.

McMenamin, who has been heavily involved in coaching ladies football and underage teams in Tyrone since his retirement from inter-county football in 2012, says he’s excited for his new role.

“It came up and it was probably too good an opportunity (to turn down),” McMenamin told the We Are Ulster podcast.

“Rory gave me a couple of days to think about it. We met up and we kind of hit it off when we started chatting about the football so I kind of said, ‘Sure I might as well give it a go.’

“I just knew him through football but I’d have never known him to talk to. I’d have played against him but nothing more than that. I spoke to him a couple of times over the years regarding different things, but it was never to a level…his number wasn’t saved in my phone, put it like that. I got the call out of the blue so it was a shock to me.

Rory Gallagher Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It’s exciting and for me it’s good to work along with Rory as well. You hear nothing but good coming from the management end of it and it’s good for me to learn too. Fermanagh is only up the road so it’s handy for me.”

Gallagher’s brother Ronan and goalkeeping coach Shane McCabe are also part of the coaching set-up, while Leon Carters will continue as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

McMenamin was a teak-tough defender during his playing days and he believes he’ll be focusing much of his efforts on the Ernesiders’ rearguard.

“I’ll be taking a few sessions but he’s just asked me to come in and help picking the team, more or less advising him or whatever,” he said. “Probably coaching defenders and the players as well.

“It’s hard to pick a role, he’s given me a wide range which isn’t bad. He just wanted someone in with maybe defensive experience and who can look at it from a different perspective, as he says himself he was a forward so he’s probably looking at it from that (angle).

“He was looking for someone who played defence and has marked some of the top players.”

Fermanagh have never won an Ulster title in their history and haven’t reached a provincial final since 2008, but McMenamin is optimistic there’s plenty of talent to work with in the county.

“There’s a lot of good talent in Fermanagh. It mightn’t be the biggest pick but from everyone I was chatting to and getting information from, is that they’re a good bunch of fellas and they work extremely hard. That’s all you can ask for from any team. They’re a great age bracket, the majority of the team are between 22 and 30. ”

Listen to the full podcast below. McMenamin’s interview begins at 29.35

Source: We Are Ulster/SoundCloud

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