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Meath Post 2010

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Meath had declined from the period of 1996-2001 by 2004 when beaten by Laois in a Leinster semi in 2004. But they were still a feared team. Tyrone were strong Ulster Champions in 2007 and Meath dispatched them in style in a memorable all-ireland quarter final in 2007. Graham Geraghty scoring a brilliantly improvised goal flicking a ballover the Tyrone keeper. Meath played an all-ireland semi in 2009 against Kerry and were the last team to beat Dublin scoring 5 goals against them in the Leinster semi of 2010.

Is it too much of a coincidence that the county's decline has coincided with the infamous Leinster final v Louth in 2010? I know probably only Graham Reilly and Mickey Burke survive from the starters that day (open to correction). But was the event bigger than the players that started that day? As Trevor Giles and others stated at the time were Meath so badly in need of a Leinster that they couldn't offer Louth a replay.. Many neutrals wanted Kildare to beat Meath when they met later in that championship. I never really thought much about Karma. However this really feels like Karma. Nothing has gone right for Meath football since. They county appears to have lost all it's old traits. Meath players don't appear to work hard enough on the field, they don't believe they'll claw back leads, they seem to have lost confidence in who they are as a football county. Successive managers don't seem to be finding solutions.

Now i have to look at my own county too and we've fallen a bit and aren't producing players like in the 90s and 2000s. However we're a small county and any bit of success will be cyclical. Meath should be doing better. They have a stronger, more successful legacy than us. Has lingering embarrassment/regret over the 2010 Leinster effected the Meath psyche, as a poster mentioned on here recently. Surely it's not as simple an answer as they players aren't there. Clare made an all ireland quarter final, you'd expect Meath to be able to at least achieve that. The whole mystique and fear of playing Meath seems to be gone.

Maybe i'll have to eat my words in the qualifiers and if so i'll eat my humble pie!

Laois76 (Laois) - 19/06/2017 12:21:26    2001748

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It's nothing to do with Karma or whatever.

Meath just aren't any good anymore.

It'll change eventually and they'll be back maybe soon but Saturday evening was quite the eye opener in terms of the road they have left to travel.

MesAmis (Dublin) - 19/06/2017 12:46:40    2001773

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It's not karma its a curse.

As the 2001 Semi-final entered extra time and the hordes of Meath fans ole ole'd and cheered every pass between their players - I stood up from my seat in the upper Cusack Stand, stretched out my bony 17 year old hands and swore that Meath would never again accomplish anything on merit in senior football as vengeance for what they inflicted on Kerry that day.

To ensure all this came to pass, I erected a pyre of every one of those accursed white Kerry jersey's and burned them all as a sacrifice to the Gods.

TheHermit (Kerry) - 19/06/2017 13:08:36    2001787

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It's a tad early for karma. It's only 7 years since the ?able win. Give it another 10-20 years and if it's still a talking point then it might be in Mayo territory.

ged (Louth) - 19/06/2017 13:11:10    2001790

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Replying To Laois76:  "Meath had declined from the period of 1996-2001 by 2004 when beaten by Laois in a Leinster semi in 2004. But they were still a feared team. Tyrone were strong Ulster Champions in 2007 and Meath dispatched them in style in a memorable all-ireland quarter final in 2007. Graham Geraghty scoring a brilliantly improvised goal flicking a ballover the Tyrone keeper. Meath played an all-ireland semi in 2009 against Kerry and were the last team to beat Dublin scoring 5 goals against them in the Leinster semi of 2010.

Is it too much of a coincidence that the county's decline has coincided with the infamous Leinster final v Louth in 2010? I know probably only Graham Reilly and Mickey Burke survive from the starters that day (open to correction). But was the event bigger than the players that started that day? As Trevor Giles and others stated at the time were Meath so badly in need of a Leinster that they couldn't offer Louth a replay.. Many neutrals wanted Kildare to beat Meath when they met later in that championship. I never really thought much about Karma. However this really feels like Karma. Nothing has gone right for Meath football since. They county appears to have lost all it's old traits. Meath players don't appear to work hard enough on the field, they don't believe they'll claw back leads, they seem to have lost confidence in who they are as a football county. Successive managers don't seem to be finding solutions.

Now i have to look at my own county too and we've fallen a bit and aren't producing players like in the 90s and 2000s. However we're a small county and any bit of success will be cyclical. Meath should be doing better. They have a stronger, more successful legacy than us. Has lingering embarrassment/regret over the 2010 Leinster effected the Meath psyche, as a poster mentioned on here recently. Surely it's not as simple an answer as they players aren't there. Clare made an all ireland quarter final, you'd expect Meath to be able to at least achieve that. The whole mystique and fear of playing Meath seems to be gone.

Maybe i'll have to eat my words in the qualifiers and if so i'll eat my humble pie!"
If you're superstitious which I'm not than you could make a point for karma but with regard to it having an effect on the current crop of Meath players it is irrelevant.

Meath since 2001 haven't produced a consistently competitive team bar a few flashes in the pan in 2007, 2009 & 2010. The issues with the senior team have already been well documented from other posters but basically we haven't produced the same level of quality players as we used to. This was down to poor underage structures and an out of date county board.

With regard to our current crop this year, we found our level after the Kildare game which brought us all back down to earth. It's McEntees first year so he'll need time to make his mark on this team. Whether or not he can get them competing at the other end of the spectrum remains to be seen. We're hopeful but we need to be realistic with the quality he has at his disposal.

RoyalClass (Meath) - 19/06/2017 13:18:12    2001797

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Karma eh? Anyone ever watch My Name Is Earl? We're gonna have to start a list and try to make up for all the bad things we've done, first on the list, replay the 2010 Leinster final.

In all honesty we've been poor since 2001 (except for a pair of decent runs to the AI semi-finals) for a number of reasons:

1. Rubbish club championship structure, went from 4 groups of 4 to 2 groups of 8 in 2003 (it's now 3 groups of 6), which Sean Boylan was completely against at the time. You could conceivably loss 4 games and still become Meath champions, he argued that it would destroy the competitive edge in the players, sure what would he know I suppose.

2. Only getting our underage structures sorted out in the last few years......you know 10-15 years behind the likes of Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone etc

3. Appointing poor managers, not entirely their fault of course and no man can perform miracles but the likes of Banty and O'Dowd are not intercounty standard managers. Eamon O'Brien had done a reasonably good job as Meath manager in 09 and 10 and was then inexplicably ousted by the clubs.

4. We're just on a bad cycle, we've had plenty of them before, that's just the way it is at the minute.

We in Meath could write a comprehensive guide on how to royally (see what i did there) fcuk up a good thing, we've perfected it over the last 15 years.

Htaem (Meath) - 19/06/2017 13:34:28    2001818

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Its not karma, Its not a curse, Its not coincidence and its not a lack of time and effort that their players are putting in.

You can try and dress it up with little bows and bring some modern curse like phenomenon, But its as simple and as black and white as this......They simply aren't all that good.

For me, There is Dublin, Kerry and Mayo who are the leading pack, then as far as I'm concerned there is probably Monaghan, Tyrone, Donegal who are the level below, Then there is Galway and Kildare who are the nearest to breaking into the Mon/Tyr/Don.... And then there is the rest, 9-32 who you can literally put in any order ye want.

Meath don't have the footballers anymore. In Biggie they have a talented footballer, against average sides. When the going gets tough, there isn't one single player on that Meath panel that I would trust to stand up and smash heads together in the dressing room

They are a decent-good bunch of players, But they aren't anywhere near the top 8 or 9 at present. They are playing at their level and facile wins toward the end of the league and against Louth gave *some* of their fans a little bit more confidence than maybe was justified.

But the reality is Kildare are further along the road than Meath at present, And before any Meath player/fan/management starts contemplating putting it up to the Dubs, they must first focus on putting it up to the Kildares of this world before making the step up cause currently they are miles behind Kildare, let alone teams above that

The one thing that struck me at the game on Saturday, was that Meath players where absolutely goosed and out on their feet from very, very early doors. Kildare were playing in the same conditions and they seemed so comfortable.

Meath may well get a decent run in the qualifiers, They got Sligo in the draw this morning, but realistically their season will end before or at the quarter final stage.

Andy McEntee should go hell for leather at the league next year, Meath need to be playing the Dublin and Kerrys of this world in the spring for two reasons

1) To make them realize the level they have to try reach in terms of consistency, skill, mentality etc of the top teams
2) To get them accustomed to playing these types of teams again cause right now they are miles off.

But worth remembering its McEntees first year. Plenty of time to do it , Meath fans just have to be patient. But at present, with the panel in place, a mediocre championship summer is now all but certain.

waynoI (Dublin) - 19/06/2017 13:40:21    2001823

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It's more to do with a lack of underage development. It's exactly ten years since Meath beat Kildare at either u21 or minor level in Leinster. Most of the Kildare team on Sunday had either Leinster u21, Leinster minor or Leinster junior medals in their back pockets.

There are signs at underage that Meath are finally getting their act together but that's going to take a few years for it to be seen at senior level. It has taken the guts of four years for the current Kildare team to emerge and they've had to learn some very harsh lessons along the way. It's very difficult to bring through a whole glut of youngsters together when there are only a handful of experienced heads on the panel. It's easy for the likes of Dublin to bring through two or three new young lads each year into an already successful senior set up.

beir_bua (Kildare) - 19/06/2017 13:57:09    2001838

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Meath had two golden generations on the bounce

Winning 4 of their 7 All Irelands under one manager overseeing the two teams

This was actually an anomaly when you look at their entire GAA history - a fantastic one mind!!

This anomaly IMO lured them into a situation where I think the powers that be in Meath GAA circles just thought they could sit back and watch the magic continue.

But in reality the ground work wasn't being done at underage and when Boylan left - the managers that followed didn't have the same raw materials close to hand, and as such the magic stopped.

jimbodub (Dublin) - 19/06/2017 14:05:56    2001847

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All good points and overall true.

But the 80s team weren't back boned by underage success. The fight seems to have left them. In gaelic football, as opposed to hurling, with decent organisation and heart you should be able to rise into the top 10 to 12 counties like Clare.

Even in previous barren spells Meath were a tough outfit to play against. Now they look sluggish, unfit.. areas you'd expect to be rectified. They look as unfit as Laois at present! I don't understand it, players mix with other inter county players at college and regardless of management should know the level of fitness required, diet etc.

I saw some of the Laois fellas out and about yesterday with fizzy drinks and ice cream cones and the like. I know i'll be slated for this as it's so puritanical... but consuming that food and drink shouldn't be on for a modern day footballer...it's pure shi*e!! You have to really go all out, putting good fuel in the engine is important. Ok if it's a once off, but if your down at the local shop eating chocolate and fizzy drinks it won't cut it now.

That's modern sport and to be an athlete for a possible 80min of football or more in 26-27C heat everything has to be perfect.

Laois76 (Laois) - 19/06/2017 14:34:53    2001869

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Not just underage groundwork , I lived in Enfield for a few years and watched a bit of the club football around those years With na fianna winning a county title and while some eexcellent players the general standard of football abilty of alot of players would not be of a senior standard in surrounding counties

ctowers (Dublin) - 19/06/2017 14:37:11    2001871

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Not just underage groundwork , I lived in Enfield for a few years and watched a bit of the club football around those years With na fianna winning a county title and while some eexcellent players the general standard of football abilty of alot of players would not be of a senior standard in surrounding counties

ctowers (Dublin) - 19/06/2017 14:37:39    2001872

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Replying To Laois76:  "All good points and overall true.

But the 80s team weren't back boned by underage success. The fight seems to have left them. In gaelic football, as opposed to hurling, with decent organisation and heart you should be able to rise into the top 10 to 12 counties like Clare.

Even in previous barren spells Meath were a tough outfit to play against. Now they look sluggish, unfit.. areas you'd expect to be rectified. They look as unfit as Laois at present! I don't understand it, players mix with other inter county players at college and regardless of management should know the level of fitness required, diet etc.

I saw some of the Laois fellas out and about yesterday with fizzy drinks and ice cream cones and the like. I know i'll be slated for this as it's so puritanical... but consuming that food and drink shouldn't be on for a modern day footballer...it's pure shi*e!! You have to really go all out, putting good fuel in the engine is important. Ok if it's a once off, but if your down at the local shop eating chocolate and fizzy drinks it won't cut it now.

That's modern sport and to be an athlete for a possible 80min of football or more in 26-27C heat everything has to be perfect."
The players where there in the 80's they just prized club more than county at the time. The Meath club scene then was ferociously competitive whereas the county structure was poor until Boylan came along. The 96 and 99 all Ireland winning team had players who had tasted success at minor and under 21. Fast forward a couple of years and the underage was a mess. The last time St Pats school in Navan won the colleges all Ireland only a couple of them bothered to play on the minor team that year. Apparently the training they were doing for the minor team was so bad they kept picking up injuries. So most dropped off the panel and focused on the school where they won an all Ireland. That's an example of the disorganisation of the county underage structure. That's why we are suffering.

HighKings (Meath) - 19/06/2017 15:12:14    2001902

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To me 2008 was the turning point for Meath football. To see a Meath team winning by ten points at half time and then to throw away such a lead and lose to Wexford by a point. And then to lose to Limerick in the qualifiers and the Royals were twenty points down at one stage was unbelievable. The recession hit Meath football the worse in 2008.

OLLIE (Louth) - 19/06/2017 15:21:10    2001905

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Replying To jimbodub:  "Meath had two golden generations on the bounce

Winning 4 of their 7 All Irelands under one manager overseeing the two teams

This was actually an anomaly when you look at their entire GAA history - a fantastic one mind!!

This anomaly IMO lured them into a situation where I think the powers that be in Meath GAA circles just thought they could sit back and watch the magic continue.

But in reality the ground work wasn't being done at underage and when Boylan left - the managers that followed didn't have the same raw materials close to hand, and as such the magic stopped."
I think it was more that a manager of the Boylan standard wasn't taking over after Boylan than the lack of quality players. His were huge boots to fill. Just my opinion, the opinions that count the most in this thread are Meath supporters because they know what's going on on the ground. You can blame the lack of underage success, lack of defenders, midfielder, forwards, more interest in club over county, too many small skilful players and not enough big physical players and a load of other stuff but somethings you can improve and some you can't. McEntee shows a lot more promise than the post-Boylan era. From 2010 things went downhill but they've definitely improved under McEntee.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - 19/06/2017 15:32:11    2001915

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Replying To OLLIE:  "To me 2008 was the turning point for Meath football. To see a Meath team winning by ten points at half time and then to throw away such a lead and lose to Wexford by a point. And then to lose to Limerick in the qualifiers and the Royals were twenty points down at one stage was unbelievable. The recession hit Meath football the worse in 2008."
Yes this is true, we had a great 2007 drawing with (and should have beaten) the Dubs before having a great qualifier run to the semi finals, we also won Division 2 of the league that year but due to more tinkering we never saw Division 1 football in 2008 and instead saw ourselves in a revamped Division 2, o always felt that wax something that hindered that particular team as they could have developed well on Division 1, we will never know though........

Richieq (Meath) - 19/06/2017 16:45:04    2001960

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Replying To beir_bua:  "It's more to do with a lack of underage development. It's exactly ten years since Meath beat Kildare at either u21 or minor level in Leinster. Most of the Kildare team on Sunday had either Leinster u21, Leinster minor or Leinster junior medals in their back pockets.

There are signs at underage that Meath are finally getting their act together but that's going to take a few years for it to be seen at senior level. It has taken the guts of four years for the current Kildare team to emerge and they've had to learn some very harsh lessons along the way. It's very difficult to bring through a whole glut of youngsters together when there are only a handful of experienced heads on the panel. It's easy for the likes of Dublin to bring through two or three new young lads each year into an already successful senior set up."
Meath need a bit of sucess to get the young lads intrested again, we are losing too many to other sports and activites, Kildare you would imagine faced the same problems, but whatever underage systems you put in place seems to be reaping rewards. Hopefully we can get our act together over next few years.

seadog54 (Meath) - 19/06/2017 17:02:36    2001971

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I think people are forgetting how bad Meath really were between 2001 and 2009. Aside from a draw vs. Dublin and a win vs. Tyrone in 2007 there were almost no big wins. In 2001, 2004 and 2006 Meath were relegated from a 16 team divison 1 of the league, being a yoyo team from the old division 2. Meath lost to Fermanagh 2 years in a row, then lost to Wexford twice in 3 years, and then Limerick too in 2008.

Between 2002 and 2009 we didn't make one Leinster semi final (which only requires stringing 2 wins together at worst) In comparison we've only missed one Leinster semi final in the last 8 years.
In 2010 we reached a final for the first time in 9 years, but followed it up with reaching 3 finals in 4 years.

I'm not saying all's rosy or that we're doing great, but people are rewriting history to try and paint the 2000s as anything but terrible.

CastleBravo (Meath) - 19/06/2017 17:32:06    2001998

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Meath are just your average county team at the moment. Kildare are on a high so beat us but it's yet to be seen if they're high enough to beat Dublin who are actually on a slight lull right now.

Underage in the county is good so we won't be getting any worse in the next 10/15 years. We'll probably get better. But in terms of leinster it doesn't really matter because we might never get to the level of Dublin who are basically a professional team with the resources of a province.

Jack_Goff (Meath) - 19/06/2017 17:55:56    2002009

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They just don't have the players at the moment. I don't remember them having a strong minor or under 21 team in a long time.

In fairness to Meath they always seemed like they are giving it their all and are hard to beat. If will eventually turned around for them as a county. Cork hurling is a good example of that.

Killarney.87 (Tipperary) - 19/06/2017 18:31:29    2002039

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