2016 was not a year that the Gaeil Fhánada senior team will look back at with any great fondness, but their fortunes look set to change this term.
Last year, Fanad exited the Intermediate Championship at the group stages and at one point were lingering dangerously close towards the Division 4 trap door.
They survived, and under the guidance of new manager Aidan McAteer, they appear to be on the up once again.
The club are redeveloping their home pitch in Portsalon, and are currently playing at Traigh-a-Loch.
That’s not ideal, but plenty of hard work went on there during the close season, and it has helped Fanad pick up eight points from a possible ten so far this year. They will look to pick up another victory when they travel to Dunkineely to face Naomh Ultan this Saturday.
“We’ve had a decent start to the season. We had a good run in the Gaeltacht and had a couple of good pre-season games,” McAteer explained.
“The league has gone well apart from one game against St Naul’s that we lost.
“I wouldn’t get too carried away – it’s only April.
“Last year was tough because ten of our players emigrated. A parish the size of Fanad can’t afford to be losing that amount of players between seniors and reserves.
“We’ve had to introduce younger players and they have done well. Last week, we finished with 12 Under 21 players on the field against Red Hugh’s.
“Our older, more experienced players are still important, but our focus is on the youth and building them up.”
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