Meath Forum

Meath V Westmeath 2015

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Agree whole heartedly with the comments from Young Gael. To progress this Meath team needs to establish themselves as a solid 6-12 ranked team in the country and build from that base. They're not going to catch Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone in the next couple of years but we need to start beating the teams around us consistently like Galway, Roscommon, Cork, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan and Kildare. We need to build a team and panel that will get into the later stages of the championship. and look to take out one of those top 5 teams.

We're established as the second best team in Leinster and we need to keep that in tact and strengthen the hold we have on that. Yes we'll lose to Dublin in Leinster finals but its better to get to them and play higher quality opposition and measure ourselves against that. The only game Dublin played in any kind of high gear all year was against Meath. They crushed us from the first minute. Dessie Farrell was used to losing to Meath and wanted to nip any idea that we were back in the bud by giving us a right good hiding.

We also need to get some more players who teams would want if their was a transfer market. Bar Donal Keoghan I don't think anyone would be queuing up for any of our players. And lets not forget Keoghy is no spring chicken. Same for Bryan Menton. Probably 2/3 years left with both, if that. Some of the players there have the potential to be top class but they need the right guidance and support.

We have some young talent in Walsh, Morris, Jones and others but we're missing lads in their mid 20's to drive this team on. The likes of Cillian, Padraic, James, Brian and Shane really need to grab this team by the throat and push things forward. They need to show that desire to improve and win things, set the standards and show the younger lads that they can challenge and break into that upper echelon. It could be time for Andy to hand the captaincy to one of those players and let them know this is their team, you lead us forward.

I don't think there's a huge difference between Meath and any of those teams around them so being a consistent top 6 team is an aim they can set for themselves, but they have to show they have the tolls themselves to deliver on it.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1020 - 19/01/2021 13:03:38    2328054

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Replying To brian:  "Agree whole heartedly with the comments from Young Gael. To progress this Meath team needs to establish themselves as a solid 6-12 ranked team in the country and build from that base. They're not going to catch Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone in the next couple of years but we need to start beating the teams around us consistently like Galway, Roscommon, Cork, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan and Kildare. We need to build a team and panel that will get into the later stages of the championship. and look to take out one of those top 5 teams.

We're established as the second best team in Leinster and we need to keep that in tact and strengthen the hold we have on that. Yes we'll lose to Dublin in Leinster finals but its better to get to them and play higher quality opposition and measure ourselves against that. The only game Dublin played in any kind of high gear all year was against Meath. They crushed us from the first minute. Dessie Farrell was used to losing to Meath and wanted to nip any idea that we were back in the bud by giving us a right good hiding.

We also need to get some more players who teams would want if their was a transfer market. Bar Donal Keoghan I don't think anyone would be queuing up for any of our players. And lets not forget Keoghy is no spring chicken. Same for Bryan Menton. Probably 2/3 years left with both, if that. Some of the players there have the potential to be top class but they need the right guidance and support.

We have some young talent in Walsh, Morris, Jones and others but we're missing lads in their mid 20's to drive this team on. The likes of Cillian, Padraic, James, Brian and Shane really need to grab this team by the throat and push things forward. They need to show that desire to improve and win things, set the standards and show the younger lads that they can challenge and break into that upper echelon. It could be time for Andy to hand the captaincy to one of those players and let them know this is their team, you lead us forward.

I don't think there's a huge difference between Meath and any of those teams around them so being a consistent top 6 team is an aim they can set for themselves, but they have to show they have the tolls themselves to deliver on it."
Well said, 100% agree.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 429 - 19/01/2021 13:22:16    2328057

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Replying To Young_gael:  "Well said, 100% agree."
love last two posts.... and will add two comments that we might pick up one at a later stage under its own headings...but first comment is to say clearly what I have said in a few posts late last year....WE NED to STAY in DIV 2 unless...we find that we cant help ourselves but get promoted….and in doing so, it will mean Andy & co are prioritising some medium to longer term issues incl for instance finding that next generation of leaders .
The other question that really bothers me is two fold.
A) is the Club Football scene weak....and b) if so...why

Thelongwoodslasher (Meath) - Posts: 123 - 19/01/2021 13:38:57    2328067

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Replying To Thelongwoodslasher:  "love last two posts.... and will add two comments that we might pick up one at a later stage under its own headings...but first comment is to say clearly what I have said in a few posts late last year....WE NED to STAY in DIV 2 unless...we find that we cant help ourselves but get promoted….and in doing so, it will mean Andy & co are prioritising some medium to longer term issues incl for instance finding that next generation of leaders .
The other question that really bothers me is two fold.
A) is the Club Football scene weak....and b) if so...why"
On the club scene, i think its weaker at senior level and we could do with a couple of cubs coming through and challenging the Ratoath's of the world. St Colmcilles and Dunshaughlin look like teams getting things together at underage level and seem to have continued success which should feed into their senior teams in the medium term.

I think a strong senior grade is when there's 4-5 teams competing and then going on into Leinster and getting to semi's and finals. I think in some counties and our own is going that way you have an exceptional team Rhode in Offaly, Portlaoise in Laois and they push on at Leinster level. Ratoath need to be doing the same if they are going to start dominating the Meath scene. Meath club football was at its heights in the 70's and 80's when you'd strong teams in O'Mahony's, Summerhill, Walterstown , Skryne and Senchelstown. Those teams had sustained periods as younger lads replaced the aging Meath greats who grew up on a diet of Meath winning all irelands. Hopefully we can start seeing that come back.

Success breeds success, and hopefully with our underage imroving as it has been, succession plans in place like the U21's we're starting to learn our lessons and become more "professional" in our approach as a county. That should then feed down to the club scene as players are performing better.

Its no surprise that our last all ireland final in 2001 was also the last time we'd a Meath team do much in Leinster. The Dunshaughlin 3 in a row team won one Leinster 2002 and lost out to Rathnew in a twice replayed semi final (i think) in 2001. Skryne got to a final in 2004 but i don't think any team has gone close since.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1020 - 19/01/2021 14:22:36    2328077

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Replying To brian:  "P O'Rourke; J McEntee, C McGill, D Tobin; M Burke, D Keogan (C), B Menton (0-01); H Rooney, K Reilly; G Reilly (0-04), P Harnan, A Tormey (0-02f); E Wallace (0-04), S Bray (0-03); B McMahon (2-02).

Subs: A Flanagan for Rooney (45), D Dalton for Burke (45), M Newman (0-02, 1f) for Reilly (BC 46), J Wallace for Tobin (BC 61)

That was the team and scorers on the day in 2015 v Westmeath.

This was the team that lost to Kildare in 2017 in Andy's first year in charge

P O'Rourke; C McGill, D Keogan, D Tobin; P Harnan, M Burke (0-01), S McEntee (0-01); B Menton (0-02), R Jones; J Toher (0-01), C O'Sullivan, E Wallace; G Reilly, B McMahon, D Lenihan (0-05, 0-02f).

Subs: J McEntee for Toher 28, R O Coileain (0-03) for Wallace h/t, B Conlon for Jones 47, T O'Reilly for McMahon 51, S Tobin for Reilly 56, A Douglas for O'Sullivan 69.

From that 15 team the only players no longer on that panel in 2017 were
Rooney who left for Oz
Reilly and Bray who retired
Tormey who was injured
Dalton was likely injured or dropped (can't recall)

Really negates your argument their RD. You'd pretty much the same panel in 2017 as 2015."
I'll just remind people Brian menton played no part in the year 16, and only returned when mod went. The reason our current capt didn't stay involved I thought was common knowledge. Obviously not

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17198 - 19/01/2021 18:28:32    2328124

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Replying To Thelongwoodslasher:  "love last two posts.... and will add two comments that we might pick up one at a later stage under its own headings...but first comment is to say clearly what I have said in a few posts late last year....WE NED to STAY in DIV 2 unless...we find that we cant help ourselves but get promoted….and in doing so, it will mean Andy & co are prioritising some medium to longer term issues incl for instance finding that next generation of leaders .
The other question that really bothers me is two fold.
A) is the Club Football scene weak....and b) if so...why"
Need to STAY in division 2 and NOT get promoted. Ahh I've heard it all now. Thank Christ none of u 3 lads are near the county team or we'd be fkd

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17198 - 19/01/2021 18:30:52    2328126

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I'd argue that our club scene has never really been strong in the province and that's never been tied with how our county team has done. Meath clubs won 3 Leinster club titles from 77 - 83 (Walterstown twice and Summerhill once). Our county team made one Leinster final in that time (77) and were probably one of the worst in Leinster by the end of that time. During Boylan's glory years (mid-80s to late 90s), Seneschalstown were the only Meath team to make a Leinster club final, where they lost to Kilmacud Crokes.
I think Meath clubs put more emphasis on winning the county title and Leinster is more of an afterthought. I'd say that it's probably one of the most competitive county championships in the province (in terms of the number of teams that could win it).
Portlaoise are a strong club without a doubt, but they barely have to break a sweat to win their county title. They've won 12 of the last 13 Laois titles. With Offaly, only 5 different teams have won their senior championship since the turn of the century with 7 different teams competing in the final. In the same time, 10 different teams have won it in Meath with 15 different teams competing in the final. Having club teams do well in Leinster doesn't necessarily mean it's a strong championship, it could mean that the county's best players are generally concentrated in a handful of clubs.

Ratoath Royal (Meath) - Posts: 1202 - 19/01/2021 20:29:51    2328139

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Replying To Ratoath Royal:  "I'd argue that our club scene has never really been strong in the province and that's never been tied with how our county team has done. Meath clubs won 3 Leinster club titles from 77 - 83 (Walterstown twice and Summerhill once). Our county team made one Leinster final in that time (77) and were probably one of the worst in Leinster by the end of that time. During Boylan's glory years (mid-80s to late 90s), Seneschalstown were the only Meath team to make a Leinster club final, where they lost to Kilmacud Crokes.
I think Meath clubs put more emphasis on winning the county title and Leinster is more of an afterthought. I'd say that it's probably one of the most competitive county championships in the province (in terms of the number of teams that could win it).
Portlaoise are a strong club without a doubt, but they barely have to break a sweat to win their county title. They've won 12 of the last 13 Laois titles. With Offaly, only 5 different teams have won their senior championship since the turn of the century with 7 different teams competing in the final. In the same time, 10 different teams have won it in Meath with 15 different teams competing in the final. Having club teams do well in Leinster doesn't necessarily mean it's a strong championship, it could mean that the county's best players are generally concentrated in a handful of clubs."
All very good points, I must say I had no idea of the comparative winners in Laois and Offaly for example... thanks for the info. I suppose one has to imagine the spread of winners in Meath has to be an advantage in those circumstances. Maybe if I was to rephrase my original point I'd direct my point more toward the style played here, whilst still sticking to my original point that the quality isn't as high as other counties, its more the way the teams play the game, the way the players are coached, the culture of how they go about playing. It seems like a Leinster issue as a whole; I dont think its necessarily fair when people throw blanket statements around about Leinster football, its not that they're bad teams in most cases, its the way they play the game. Similarly about how Ulster teams are often bigged up; it isnt that theyre so good, but how they, in turn, play the game.
Meath have turned a corner on this issue in the last two years though, we're not nearly as conservative or purist as before.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 429 - 19/01/2021 20:49:39    2328141

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Replying To brian:  "Agree whole heartedly with the comments from Young Gael. To progress this Meath team needs to establish themselves as a solid 6-12 ranked team in the country and build from that base. They're not going to catch Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone in the next couple of years but we need to start beating the teams around us consistently like Galway, Roscommon, Cork, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan and Kildare. We need to build a team and panel that will get into the later stages of the championship. and look to take out one of those top 5 teams.

We're established as the second best team in Leinster and we need to keep that in tact and strengthen the hold we have on that. Yes we'll lose to Dublin in Leinster finals but its better to get to them and play higher quality opposition and measure ourselves against that. The only game Dublin played in any kind of high gear all year was against Meath. They crushed us from the first minute. Dessie Farrell was used to losing to Meath and wanted to nip any idea that we were back in the bud by giving us a right good hiding.

We also need to get some more players who teams would want if their was a transfer market. Bar Donal Keoghan I don't think anyone would be queuing up for any of our players. And lets not forget Keoghy is no spring chicken. Same for Bryan Menton. Probably 2/3 years left with both, if that. Some of the players there have the potential to be top class but they need the right guidance and support.

We have some young talent in Walsh, Morris, Jones and others but we're missing lads in their mid 20's to drive this team on. The likes of Cillian, Padraic, James, Brian and Shane really need to grab this team by the throat and push things forward. They need to show that desire to improve and win things, set the standards and show the younger lads that they can challenge and break into that upper echelon. It could be time for Andy to hand the captaincy to one of those players and let them know this is their team, you lead us forward.

I don't think there's a huge difference between Meath and any of those teams around them so being a consistent top 6 team is an aim they can set for themselves, but they have to show they have the tolls themselves to deliver on it."
While I agree with you that in order to progress, Meath need to establish themselves as a solid 6-12 ranked team, in reality we have been trying to get there for several years. So far we have shown little progress in achieving this, unfortunatly we still are very inconsistant and never know what Meath will show up on any given day. Meath have been ranked about 12 -14 over last few years and its hard to argue with that. We have a way to go to be regarded as the second best in Leinster, yes we have been in last two Leinster finals, however there is little to seperate us from Kildare or Westmeath and doubt if Offaly or Longfort would be unduely worried about playing us. Kildares collapse in last years semi-final beggars belief, so would not put too much emphisis on that win, other than they floundered and Meath in fairness took full advantage. Kildare v Meath has always been 50/50 and dont see that changing over coming years. Dublin never got out of low gear against us in final, after ten minutes game was won and they knew this, made the hammering all the harder to take.
In fairness to COS. he always takes the game to opposition and apart from DK is one of the few leaders in current team. Highlight of last year was the emergence of young lads like Hickey, Harkin, Costello, Scully,Jones and Morris who looked willing to step up and drive us forward, the return of James Mac and Harnan will add experience and badly needed leadership on field. Its then down to management to mould this group into a team that fully exploits their potential. If league goes ahead promotion, as always, will be difficult but these lads need to be given their chance. Our last promotion was achieved with a core of 17/18 players therefore we did not have the strength in depth or experience to maintain Div One status.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1471 - 19/01/2021 21:03:59    2328144

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Replying To royaldunne:  "I'll just remind people Brian menton played no part in the year 16, and only returned when mod went. The reason our current capt didn't stay involved I thought was common knowledge. Obviously not"
RD we know you've an axe to grind with Mick O'Dowd. It's four year down the line you really need to move on with it.

Yes menton wasn't there in 16 but he was back in 17, so the point stands that bar a handful of players the team was pretty much unchanged between 2015 and 2017.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1020 - 20/01/2021 09:40:34    2328167

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Seadog, think its a case of glass half empty or half full as we are making similar points. I would say we are established as the second best team in Leinster and easily in the top 12 teams in the country and its about pushing on. We are now beating the teams we should routinely and losing to the teams we should too i.e top 5 teams since 2019.

If you look at the years before that you couldn't predict which Meath would show up, whereas now you can predict it. The Kildare game was a microcosm of the state of Meath football. Played poorly in the first half, adjusted and beat Kildare out of sight. Everyone of a glass half empty persuasion loves to say well Kildare didn't turn up in the second half which isn't true. Meath upped their performance and played Kildare off the park in exactly the same fashion Dublin played us off the park in the Leinster final. Meath only allowed Kildare play so well, they turned them over repeatedly, broke quickly and took their scores and most importantly goals when they could. Kildare couldn't match it in the same way we couldn't match it in the Leinster Final.

You're right in terms of lots of young players coming through but they need those lads like Cillian, James, Padraic to lead them on. Cillian for me still needs to become a better team player and not try and do it all himself. There's no doubt he has talent but all too often he tries to do it himself rather than give a simple pass to his team mates. He has the same habit of running up dark alleys as Graham Reilly had in latter years and got turned over. Better teams know how to mark players like that and will always sheppard him into those alleys. If he could develop that awareness he could be a special player.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1020 - 20/01/2021 09:54:33    2328169

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Need to STAY in division 2 and NOT get promoted. Ahh I've heard it all now. Thank Christ none of u 3 lads are near the county team or we'd be fkd"
Apologies Guys , its next to impossible to get into any serious level of detail and at same time trying to keep a post to a reasonable level of content. My point was that achieving Div 1 status without reasonably having the Squad depth to stay there for at least 3 years , can be detrimental . My own view is that like in 2019 , if we roll our sleeves & make a right good push to get back to Div 1 , we can do it....but at what cost. It could mean , Andy looking to put his strongest Team in all Games , as there are no soft games in Div 2 , and that means that player development could be sacrificed for that main goal. It brings stress & pressure to a league campaign , that can arguably be the opposite to what may be needed as an environment around that squad at the moment post leinster final 2020
two other points....each year at Div 2 , there are always 2-3 Serious Top 8 Teams involved , that Andy & Co can target as a game for a Yardstick, if he feels he needs that & plus can be used as great games coming into a Leinster campaign
The other point...and I know there are those who wont like the comparison....but Clare, Galway & Limerick, all came through the second tier at Hurling to win the big one , and form comments in the papers at the time , I do remember, kiley & o Donoghue saying that being in Div 1 b to regroup , and build a base , was not detrimental to them . Im not in any way saying that we should lack ambition & languish there for ever more ...but yo yoing..has done no favours to Kildare, Roscommon or cork

Thelongwoodslasher (Meath) - Posts: 123 - 20/01/2021 10:16:55    2328173

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Replying To brian:  "RD we know you've an axe to grind with Mick O'Dowd. It's four year down the line you really need to move on with it.

Yes menton wasn't there in 16 but he was back in 17, so the point stands that bar a handful of players the team was pretty much unchanged between 2015 and 2017."
Always thought Mento played his best under MOD in half back position

bert09 (Meath) - Posts: 1676 - 20/01/2021 12:38:31    2328193

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Replying To brian:  "RD we know you've an axe to grind with Mick O'Dowd. It's four year down the line you really need to move on with it.

Yes menton wasn't there in 16 but he was back in 17, so the point stands that bar a handful of players the team was pretty much unchanged between 2015 and 2017."
Not at all. Nothing to do with my opinions on mod (I have always blamed those who appointed him). What I was stating that a player left in 15 cause of loss to wm, u said that didn't happen, I pointed out that it did, and I never said the panel changed dramatically, I did say there was mental scars that mcentee had to deal with over that day, think you misunderstood what I was saying. I've backed up everything I wrote.
So really don't see the problem.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17198 - 20/01/2021 15:10:54    2328222

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Replying To Thelongwoodslasher:  "Apologies Guys , its next to impossible to get into any serious level of detail and at same time trying to keep a post to a reasonable level of content. My point was that achieving Div 1 status without reasonably having the Squad depth to stay there for at least 3 years , can be detrimental . My own view is that like in 2019 , if we roll our sleeves & make a right good push to get back to Div 1 , we can do it....but at what cost. It could mean , Andy looking to put his strongest Team in all Games , as there are no soft games in Div 2 , and that means that player development could be sacrificed for that main goal. It brings stress & pressure to a league campaign , that can arguably be the opposite to what may be needed as an environment around that squad at the moment post leinster final 2020
two other points....each year at Div 2 , there are always 2-3 Serious Top 8 Teams involved , that Andy & Co can target as a game for a Yardstick, if he feels he needs that & plus can be used as great games coming into a Leinster campaign
The other point...and I know there are those who wont like the comparison....but Clare, Galway & Limerick, all came through the second tier at Hurling to win the big one , and form comments in the papers at the time , I do remember, kiley & o Donoghue saying that being in Div 1 b to regroup , and build a base , was not detrimental to them . Im not in any way saying that we should lack ambition & languish there for ever more ...but yo yoing..has done no favours to Kildare, Roscommon or cork"
But what team should we put out ?? Should the aim with a team who have played in division one for a year not get back there ASAP when they still together?? I think we can all point to at least 3 games where we were to use the phrase "unlucky " Kerry mayo and galway. Where errors and mistakes cost us dearly, it's not like we weren't competitive in majority of games, barring Tyrone game where we looked lost I don't think any other game was a given. I absolutely believe that promotion this year is not only achievable it is a must if we are to progress, let next year take care of itself, the likely hood is that Meath won't play in front of a crowd until 22. It would be nice for that to be in division 1 for all concerned.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17198 - 20/01/2021 15:20:55    2328223

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Replying To royaldunne:  "But what team should we put out ?? Should the aim with a team who have played in division one for a year not get back there ASAP when they still together?? I think we can all point to at least 3 games where we were to use the phrase "unlucky " Kerry mayo and galway. Where errors and mistakes cost us dearly, it's not like we weren't competitive in majority of games, barring Tyrone game where we looked lost I don't think any other game was a given. I absolutely believe that promotion this year is not only achievable it is a must if we are to progress, let next year take care of itself, the likely hood is that Meath won't play in front of a crowd until 22. It would be nice for that to be in division 1 for all concerned."
its just a small nuance or balance RD...so for example i agree with you in relation to how close we ere or how competitive we were & wouldn't disagree with that point....but i think to be so, we over utilised too many of our strongest players...eg Donal, , menton, cillian excl injured period) ..and im just not sure we can be competitive at div 1 without playing these lads week in week out....but leading to others issues in the summer
and don't disagree with any other of the points you make

Thelongwoodslasher (Meath) - Posts: 123 - 20/01/2021 16:24:21    2328235

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Replying To Thelongwoodslasher:  "its just a small nuance or balance RD...so for example i agree with you in relation to how close we ere or how competitive we were & wouldn't disagree with that point....but i think to be so, we over utilised too many of our strongest players...eg Donal, , menton, cillian excl injured period) ..and im just not sure we can be competitive at div 1 without playing these lads week in week out....but leading to others issues in the summer
and don't disagree with any other of the points you make"
Fair enough. But I just don't see how we can get around that.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17198 - 20/01/2021 17:21:29    2328245

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Replying To brian:  "Seadog, think its a case of glass half empty or half full as we are making similar points. I would say we are established as the second best team in Leinster and easily in the top 12 teams in the country and its about pushing on. We are now beating the teams we should routinely and losing to the teams we should too i.e top 5 teams since 2019.

If you look at the years before that you couldn't predict which Meath would show up, whereas now you can predict it. The Kildare game was a microcosm of the state of Meath football. Played poorly in the first half, adjusted and beat Kildare out of sight. Everyone of a glass half empty persuasion loves to say well Kildare didn't turn up in the second half which isn't true. Meath upped their performance and played Kildare off the park in exactly the same fashion Dublin played us off the park in the Leinster final. Meath only allowed Kildare play so well, they turned them over repeatedly, broke quickly and took their scores and most importantly goals when they could. Kildare couldn't match it in the same way we couldn't match it in the Leinster Final.

You're right in terms of lots of young players coming through but they need those lads like Cillian, James, Padraic to lead them on. Cillian for me still needs to become a better team player and not try and do it all himself. There's no doubt he has talent but all too often he tries to do it himself rather than give a simple pass to his team mates. He has the same habit of running up dark alleys as Graham Reilly had in latter years and got turned over. Better teams know how to mark players like that and will always sheppard him into those alleys. If he could develop that awareness he could be a special player."
Will have to agree to disagree about Kildare game, however the warning bells were ringing clearly throughout that game for what was about to happen in Leinster Final. but were ignored by management, who chose to overlook the first half display and put too much credence in what unfolded in second period. We paid a heavy price for this oversight against Dublin.
From my point of view COS is the ultimate team player, in that he never gives up, makes a mistake he just goes again, no standing with hands on hips, head down if things are not going his way. Can be inclined to overplay the ball, especially in second half, however by then he has covered every blade of grass in his effort to drive team on and has just ran out of steam. His awareness has improved, especially this year, when he was one of the few players we could not do without. A vital cog in the wheel if we are to progress.
Difficult to say one point of view is not true, its down to opinion, we can watch the same game/players, but come up with wildly different analysis.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1471 - 20/01/2021 20:26:39    2328258

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