Ultan Kelm – Interview
19 year old Ultan Kelm was the best player on show for Fermanagh in the recent Ulster Senior Football Championship defeat against Donegal.
The Erne Gaels man admits that the defeat to neighbours Donegal was tough to take, “Yeah look to be fair we worked so hard in the build up to the game, we really put our heads down and worked hard in training and knew that the Donegal game was going to be a massive test for us.”
He continued, “We were hugely disappointed with the defeat as we had a real sense of belief going into the game that we could do it. We went out with a game plan to keep things tight and to be honest it came down to just a few small things that did not go our way.”
Kelm said, “The scoreline of 0-15 to 0-9 did not reflect the true course of the game, I had a chance of a goal and took a point, then there was the Paddy McGrath incident when he only got a yellow card and then Daniel Teague’s late goal chance that was blocked down.”
The Fermanagh side that day were to hit 0-9 and Kelm was the pick of the players and hit a magnificent 0-2 from play with a point apiece in each half.
Kelm, who is in his first year at County football admits he is really enjoying it, “Yes it’s a tough learning curve but I must admit I am loving the County scene, there is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and everyone wants to get playing and hold a starting position.”
Fermanagh now must travel to St Tiernach’s Park Clones on Sunday in a mouth-watering first round clash against near-neighbours Monaghan and it’s a game that Kelm believes that the Fermanagh side are now looking forward to, “I suppose when we heard the draw we were disappointed that it was another Ulster team but we now have a chance to progress and we firmly believe we can go to Clones and put in a performance that will see us secure the win.”
The South West College student who is studying a B-Tec in Construction knows plenty about Monaghan, “Yes I suppose it’s a case of we know plenty on them and they know plenty on us. The game last year went perfectly to script for us and we will now want to put in a similar performance.”
The modest Erne Gaels man who last season was full back for Fermanagh Under-20’s expresses satisfaction at his first full season with the County team, “Its took a bit of getting use to but I firmly believe it’s been a good season to date, we had a strong NFL showing and we know have a chance to get a run going in the Qualifiers and who is to say we can’t make the Super 8’s.”
Fermanagh and Monaghan will start at 1.45pm on Sunday with the Ulster Senior Football Championship Semi Final replay between Armagh and Cavan acting as part of a double header with a 4.00pm throw in.
Fermanagh maybe 4/1 outsiders but Kelm doesn’t look into that, “Monaghan will be hurting from the Cavan defeat and we are hurting from the Donegal game. It’s a huge chance for both sides and we know what the Farney County will bring to the game on Sunday. The likes of Conor McManus are the best around and if he gets enough space then he can do serious damage to any team in Ireland.”
Kelm who is also available for Fermanagh Under-20’s this season along with Johnny Cassidy, Callum Jones and Lorcan McStravick may play against Donegal in the Ulster Under-20 Championship clash in Enniskillen on Friday June 28th but all that will depend on how Fermanagh Seniors get on between now and then.
For now, Kelm is concentrating with Fermanagh Seniors but later on his attention will turn back to his club, Erne Gaels, who currently lie in 4th place in an extremely tight looking Senior football Division 1 league table.
Erne Gaels have seen the return of the likes of Shane Lyons and Seamus Ryder this season and it has really gave the club a huge morale boosting push.
Kelm said, “Its great to have the likes of Shane and Seamus back in the squad, you want to have your best players playing each game and the two have came back and been superb this season for us in the league.”
Erne Gaels will have a testing Senior Championship Quarter Final clash against Roslea come August and Kelm fully understands its importance, “We haven’t won a Senior Football Championship title since 1981 and to be fair 99% of the current squad weren’t even born then. It’s going to be a huge test but the current Erne Gaels squad is going well with a great mix of experience and youth that really blends well.”
For now Ultan Kelm will put his whole thoughts into Sunday’s testing encounter against Monaghan, if the young Erne Gaels man can put in a similar performance to the one that he put in against Donegal then it may just be the start of a special day for the Erne County.
Ultan Kelm – Interview