Report by Ciarán Flaherty
There is a fresh dawn in Fermanagh ladies football with the appointment of a new senior ladies manager.
Johnny Garrity from Fintona was appointed to the role last week after a recruitment process held by the Fermanagh Ladies county board.
It is a new venture for the 37-year-old who steps into the hot seat of an inter-county team for the first time.
Previous experience as a selector with Lancashire Ladies football team in 2015 and five years as Oisins Ladies manager in Manchester should stand him in good stead as he begins his reign in Fermanagh.
And for the Tyrone man, a managerial job at the inter-county level has always been on his radar.
“I would be very ambitious in terms of my managerial career and even though it would be starting off and I’m quite young for a manager I would always have an eye out.With my own playing career coming to an end now to see a county job coming up and for it to fit in both in terms of my career and in term of location it was the perfect job at the perfect time really.”
A new beginning for the county team and Johnny, and he is excited to get down to work with what he believes is a “good young squad” with a fantastic attitude.
“It’s a new beginning in that certainly it will be a transitional period in that I would have no links to the previous regime. I wouldn’t know them so it will be all new from that respect. I wouldn’t compare myself to them or how they done things. It is going to be new and fresh. There is going to be a huge emphasis on building a team culture and building mental strength. That side I would be very big on and then marrying that up with the physical preparation, strength and conditioning and the tactical side. It’s marrying the three together really.
Alongside his previous management experience, Johnny will hope to bring all he learned as a Performance Analyst with Manchester City in a bid to bring success to the county. But as he points out, success comes from what the players want and he will do his best to get them in the best shape possible to achieve that.
“There are elements of what they done there, the professionalism, the high standards they demanded that I’ll bring with me everywhere I go and it was a really good place to work in terms of elite sporting environment.
“In terms of how we define success it will be up to the team to set goals and try to achieve them from my point of view it is to try and improve every player individually and collectively as a team be the best we can possibly be.”
At the moment Johnny is in the process of finalising his backroom team and then it is on to getting the best players in the county out on the pitch. But it is something he cannot wait for.
Calls will be going out to clubs to submit names of players up to inter-county standard with a trial period taking place to ensure the best players are in the squad and with a fresh leadership there is the chance for anybody to lay down a marker.
“It’s a blank slate for everyone. The advantages of not knowing anyone, you have no preconceptions and you haven’t got your mind made up about anybody so it is there for everybody to stake a claim.”
2019 looks to set to be an interesting year for Fermanagh ladies as both the new manager and players look to bring success back to the county.