8 July 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

2011 was an annus horribilus for Monaghan senior footballers but team-manager Eamonn McEneaney is confident that next year will see a more resourceful,stronger squad in place, writes KEVIN CARNEY
Senior county football manager Eamonn McEneaney is optimistic that he will have the bulk of the 12 players he was missing last time out when the new season kicks in next spring. The Castleblayney native believes that Monaghan will be a stronger outfit in 12 months time than they showed in 2011.
As the post-mortems continue into Monaghan’s hugely disappointing All-Ireland SFC Qualifier defeat to Offaly in Tullamore, the limited pool of players accessible by successive county supremos has become increasingly self-evident.
A county like Monaghan with a population of not much more than 50,000 is obliged to get the very maximum out of its playing resources if it is to achieve its goals. Monaghan’s lack of strength in depth has been a bugbear of Monaghan senior managers for more years than yer commoner-garden Oriel county fan can remember and it is this ball and chain which has done more than most to weigh down attempts at annexing an Ulster SFC for the first time since ’88.
In reviewing his team’s untimely exit from this year’s senior football championship, McEneaney was left to rue the fact that he had only five of the players who started the 2010 Ulster SFC final available to him for the trip to Tullamore.
The likes of Dermot McArdle, Gary McQuaid, Damien Freeman, Tommy Freeman, JP Mone were conspicuous absentees from the Class of 2010 for this year’s blue riband competition while McEneaney also had to do without Colin Walshe and Dessie Mone for the clash with the Faithful County.
Also unavailable to the Monaghan seniors were Kieran Hughes and Gavin Doogan, two strong, physical players who could have expected to start the match in Tullamore.
Add in the likes of Paul McGuigan and Colm Greenan and the picture of a well nearly dry becomes almost crystal clear.
“All those fellas are hard to replace and no one would be able to replace them overnight,” McEneaney told the Northern Standard.
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