What is wrong with Meath football?

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Meath's 'new era', as it was called on another thread, is starting to look worringly like the eras of the last decade or so.

For 15 years up until 2001, Meath were the best and most consistent team in Ireland. They won 8 Leinster titles and made 7 All Ireland finals, winning 4 of them. They also won 3 NFLs and, until their relegation in 2001, they were virtually omnipresent in the top tier. Contrast that with the performance of their seniors since 2001. The controverisal 2010 victory over Louth was their only Leinster final appearance in the last 10 years while, a brief stint in the 3rd division aside, they have spent all their league time in division 2. The highpoints in the last decade were 2 all-ireland semi final appearances, but both resulted in comprehensive defeats.

Underage results have seen just as sharp a fall-off. Meath U21s won 8 Leinster titles between 1985-2001, yet have won none since then. The minors have won just 2 Leinster titles in the last 20 years, compared to 7 in the 20 before that.

So what has gone wrong? It is easy to claim that the retirement of the brilliant Sean Boylan has led to the decline, but Boylan was with the county up until 2005, and Meath were already in free-fall by that time. The managerial tenures of his successors, Eamonn Barry, Colm Coyle, Eamonn O'Brien and, thus far, Banty McEneaney have virtually morphed into one, such was their mediocrity and lack of consistent progress. (O'Brien perhaps produced the best results, although these were nothing that could be compared to the 80s/90s successes.)

5 different men have tried and failed with Meath in the last 10 years, indicating that the fault has not been with the management teams. Does that mean that Meath have not been producing players of sufficient quality? Perhaps, although there are a couple of arguments against that. Firstly, the population is no smaller now than it was 25 years ago so, as essentially a football only county, therefore Meath should still have a decent pool of players to choose from. I think it is also fair to say that, a few outstanding forwards aside, Boylan's teams were not dripping with individual brilliance, and were based more on toughness, organisation and conditioning. The best players from the mid-90s (Fay, Giles, Geraghty) were all still in their 20s in the early Noughties, so there were still players of quality around whom a new side could have been built. I'd concede that the last 6-7 years have failed to see the emergence of a Colm O'Rourke or a Bernard Flynn, but very few counties have produced players of that standard, yet they have still out-performed Meath.

Personally, I think that Meath football stopped developing sometime around the turn of the millennium, and it is in the areas of fitness, tactics, strategy, organisation and commitment that they have been left behind. I wouldn't blame the senior managers, as this has happened across all grades, and Banty in particular has demonstrated his worth as a motivator and a preparer of fit and tough sides during his time with Monaghan. Rather, it looks like a more endemic problem, affecting all areas of Meath football. I read on HS this week a number of Meath people advocating a return to the 'traditional' Meath game. I assume they are referring to big strong men sticking to their positions and driving the ball up the field to other big strong men, all of them scaring the life out of the opposition. Unfortunately, that sort of football went out of fashion years ago, and the modern game is all about speed, power and the ability to win possession. I haven't seen Meath demonstrate any of these qualities in a long time. It doesn't matter who they select, but they always look ponderous, slow and one-dimensional.

Whatever the reasons, there is little denying Meath's decline. They may beat Louth and survive the drop on Easter Sunday, but the issues will remain. Meath, the dominant county at the end of the 20th Century, must seriously look at what is going wrong very soon, or they run the risk of going the way of Cavan or Roscommon.
avatar
Thomas Clarke
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Tyrone
Number of posts : 4209

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  bluearmy1 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:53 pm

Loyal will love this one...
avatar
bluearmy1
GAA Minor
GAA Minor

Down
Number of posts : 311

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:56 pm

bluearmy1 wrote:Loyal will love this one...

Never mind Loyal, it isn't just for debate amongst Meath folk. What are your thoughts on it?
avatar
Thomas Clarke
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Tyrone
Number of posts : 4209

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:00 pm

Wouldn't worry about it really - Meath had no success in 70s right through to mid 80s. They tend to be cyclical. Anyway there's a rake of young Dublin lads living up there now so they are bound to come good once the naturalisation process takes place.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  bluearmy1 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:20 pm

To be honest I lost interest in Meath football a while ago, I could hardly name their line-up and never really want to watch them. That's not an insult to Meath folk, it's an honest expression of opinion and says a lot about how Meath football has deteriorated. All teams go through transition...any Down man can vouch for that having watched some of the most horrendous years of Down football over the past decade. But Down plugged away at underage level and slowly rebuilt their pool of talent. Meath just don't seem to have done this. They seem to have lost all sense of their rich footballing heritage, and the fearsome pedigree of the Meathmen appears to have become watered down...where once it was Meath and Dublin clashing for Leinster supremacy, the green and gold is now playing second fiddle to Kildare. They aren't good to watch anymore, not too many teams fear them (never thought we'd be saying that about Meath teams), they have shown no real signs of improvement and along the way have become dangerously stagnant. Perhaps they have struggled to come to terms with the intensity of the modern game, perhaps they have been too stubborn to try and adapt to it. When Meath play Kildare it really does seem all too apparent. Whereas the latter has embraced the intensity of modern football, the former appears to shy away from it.

As I said my knowledge of the current Meath team is limited so I'll leave a more in-depth analysis to someone else. But I think it's fair to say that Meath have lost heart and swagger somewhere along the line which is sad really considering their mighty achievements over the years. Surely there is at least one significant factor that is to blame for the decline of one of Ireland's footballing powerhouses.
avatar
bluearmy1
GAA Minor
GAA Minor

Down
Number of posts : 311

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:38 pm

Meath have no great All Ireland pedigree at all. In recent years they had some good times when a number of good players arrived at the right time. But to talk of them as greats of the game is plain wrong. Before their recent success in the 80s they had the same or less success than the likes of Wexford, Tipperary, Kildare, Mayo or Offaly .... or Cavan - now there's a great gone wrong.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:57 pm

I don't think anyone called them 'greats' of the game, but they did win all irelands in the 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. I called them the most dominant side in Ireland in the last 15 years of the 20th century, and it is hard to argue with their record in that period. Meath, with essentially 2 completely different teams during that period, were the side that no-one wanted to play, and always seemed to be competitive.

I know what you are saying about things being cyclical, but I think that is a bit too simplistic. They weren't cyclical for Cavan, for instance, who won all irelands in multiple decades, before falling off the end of the footballing earth. Meath are lacking success at all grades of late, and they are falling behind better organised counties across the country.
avatar
Thomas Clarke
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Tyrone
Number of posts : 4209

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:02 pm

Thats why I said Cavan is a much greater mystery and have said here many times. Its not unusual for a cycle like Meaths to be quite honest. Honestly can't see what the fuss is about.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:21 pm

Parouisa wrote: Its not unusual for a cycle like Meaths to be quite honest. Honestly can't see what the fuss is about.

It is unusual. Meath won 4 all irelands with 2 different sides. They were ever present in division 1. The won many U21 and minor Leinster/AI titles and are now struggling across the board. and staring at division 3.

Perhaps you don't think it strange, but you should have a look at the Meath forum on HS to get an idea of how the Royal fans feel. Besides, this is a forum for discussing such things, and we can't debate Cavan's demise on every thread.
avatar
Thomas Clarke
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Tyrone
Number of posts : 4209

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:42 pm

That is because they have been used to Meath winning. You would have had no such discussions in 1965 or 1975 or 1985! Should Tyrone not win Sam by 2025 I expect we will have similar threads. Laois and Westmeath had loads of underage success with little or no senior so that's no gauge either.

I actually find it far more remarkable that Wicklow have never won Sam nor have Kildare won it since the 20s.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:31 pm

Most All-Ireland winners would have some form of u21 silverware, either provincial or All-Ireland.

Meath were fortunate that two great teams came along in very quick succession. In the space of about 12 years, two completely different teams from the same county became dual All-Ireland winners. Must be a rare feat - has anyone else done it?

Only Dublin and Kerry have managed to stay competitive consistently in the last 50 years, and even both those went through low points too.

I'd say what's happening with Meath now is just about par for any county who'd achieved success 10 years earlier.

Fortunes will improve somewhere down the road. Meath people still have loftly expectations of the county. But even now, we are riding high. Only u21 victory in five years is not the sign of a team about to make inroads on All-Irelands.

By the way, the 2007 Meath team under Colm Coyle was strong. The form Peader Byrne, Anythony Moyles, Stephen Bray and Brian Farrell were in that year, we should have won something. Not forgetting Brendan Murphy, Graham Geraghty and Darren Fay were involved too.
avatar
Loyal2TheRoyal
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Meath
Number of posts : 3113

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:By the way, the 2007 Meath team under Colm Coyle was strong. The form Peader Byrne, Anythony Moyles, Stephen Bray and Brian Farrell were in that year, we should have won something. Not forgetting Brendan Murphy, Graham Geraghty and Darren Fay were involved too.

Disagree totally. How can you hope to win anything with 7/8 players that are good! Madness! Darren Fay was on his last legs as well.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:55 pm

Parouisa wrote:
Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:By the way, the 2007 Meath team under Colm Coyle was strong. The form Peader Byrne, Anythony Moyles, Stephen Bray and Brian Farrell were in that year, we should have won something. Not forgetting Brendan Murphy, Graham Geraghty and Darren Fay were involved too.

Disagree totally. How can you hope to win anything with 7/8 players that are good! Madness! Darren Fay was on his last legs as well.

Darren Fay was only 30/31 in 2007. He was nominated for An All-Star too. I think he may have been MOTM in the Quarter-Final too.

I only singled out those those players as they all played the best football of their careers that year. Meath won All-Irelands with 7/8 players and a lot of glue in other positions. In 2007, the games against Dublin, Galway and Tyrone were as good as any performance they had between 2002 and 2012.

Anyway, I only brought 2007 was I thought it deserved a mention.
avatar
Loyal2TheRoyal
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Meath
Number of posts : 3113

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:48 am

I agree with you Loyal when you say that Meath's 2007 team was perhaps their most talented in recent years. When you think of Moyles in defence, Nigel Crawford in midfield, and Geraghty, Farrell, Byrne, Shane O'Rourke and Stephen Bray all going well in attack, it was certainly a much more dangerous side than the current one. The one issue that Meath team had, and which stopped them winning anything of note, was their most-un-Meath-like soft centre. An excellent quarter final performance against Tyrone was followed up by a capitulation against Cork, and the humiliation by Limerick the following year confirmed a mental fragility.

Regarding future prospects, I genuinely don't think that it is as simple as saying that every county will come and go in cycles. A good development strategy, allied to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, is what will lead to success in the future. Too many counties are putting too much effort into coaching and development for someone to miraculously come along with a talented group of lads and challenge them, although this would have been possible 30 years ago. Look at the Dublin hurlers, a bunch who came from nowhere to become one of the top sides in Ireland. And it certainly isn't by chance that Tyrone footballers have become one of the major forces in the game. If both those counties continue to demonstrate the vision and attitude that they have over the last number of years, there is no reason why they can't remain at the top table.

Meath, on the other hand, need to figure out what they are doing wrong, and put that right. Yes, they will eventually stumble across a generation of fine footballers, but proper structures will ensure that they always make the most out of their resources, however naturally gifted the playing pool may be at any one time.
avatar
Thomas Clarke
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Tyrone
Number of posts : 4209

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:59 am

Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:Meath won All-Irelands with 7/8 players and a lot of glue in other positions.

Agree with this and have mentioned it here previously. Meath always had a brilliant spine in the team through the middle and always a good sprinkling of excellent forwards.

In 87-88 it was McQuillan, Mick Lyons, Harnan, Hayes-McEntee and then Beggy, O'Rourke, Stafford and Flynn. Second team was backboned by Fay, McManus, McDermott with the likes of Geraghty, Giles, Dowd and Ollie.

I don't think you would get away with glue in the current era though Loyal.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:43 pm

Robbie O'Malley, Mark O'Reilly, Terry Ferguson, Martin O'Connell and Paddy Reynolds weren't bad either.

I agree. Things are unlikely to improve if they're left to fate. There's a still a great football culture in Meath but the mechanisms aren't there to transform that love of the game into All-Irelands at minor, u21 and senior level.



avatar
Loyal2TheRoyal
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Meath
Number of posts : 3113

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:50 pm

Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:Robbie O'Malley, Mark O'Reilly, Terry Ferguson, Martin O'Connell and Paddy Reynolds weren't bad either.

No indeed - the point I was making that the spine (FB, CHB, MF) was usually very strong but as you say the likes of Martin O'Connell, Bobby O, Snitchy, Cassels or McEntee wouldn't have weakened any team at that time.

I think Meath suffers a bit like Dublin and more than most rural counties with the distractions of youth - other sports, women, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  RMDrive on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:02 pm

Parouisa wrote: think Meath suffers a bit like Dublin and more than most rural counties with the distractions of youth - other sports, women, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

Run this one by me again? How is a lad in Dublin more likely to be distracted by those things than a lad in Galway?
avatar
RMDrive
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Donegal
Number of posts : 3126
Age : 40

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:47 pm

RMDrive wrote:
Parouisa wrote: think Meath suffers a bit like Dublin and more than most rural counties with the distractions of youth - other sports, women, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

Run this one by me again? How is a lad in Dublin more likely to be distracted by those things than a lad in Galway?

More sports, better looking women, more alcohol, more cigarettes .... much more than Glenamaddy, Cornamonagh or Tynagh ....
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  RMDrive on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:54 pm

Parouisa wrote:
RMDrive wrote:
Parouisa wrote: think Meath suffers a bit like Dublin and more than most rural counties with the distractions of youth - other sports, women, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

Run this one by me again? How is a lad in Dublin more likely to be distracted by those things than a lad in Galway?

More sports, better looking women, more alcohol, more cigarettes .... much more than Glenamaddy, Cornamonagh or Tynagh ....

Ah I see. You were just talking ***** then.
avatar
RMDrive
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Donegal
Number of posts : 3126
Age : 40

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Parouisa on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:59 pm

No .... truly. Really and truly. The price of living in a hip, modern, happening, conurbation is the damaging detriment to the pursuit of our native games. If you live in most rural, rustic and backwater counties (Donegal a prime example) then GAA is all you got. You ain't nobody 'less you can solo a ball brother.
avatar
Parouisa
GAA Hero
GAA Hero

Dublin
Number of posts : 2476

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  patsymc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:57 pm

they way meath treated sean boylan was not good for meath football,i was told the structures they have in pace were poor,and theirs a lot of cub rivalary thats bad for the countie,its very diffcult to get over these things.the meath teams that won were very dirty they mustnt have that type of player anymore otherwise they would be winning,i remember the 96 game against tyrone that was very awful,and the final mayo lose was terrible,maybe meath should bring back boylan for the underage
avatar
patsymc
200 posts for rank
200 posts for rank

london
Number of posts : 181

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:15 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Loyal2TheRoyal
GAA Elite
GAA Elite

Meath
Number of posts : 3113

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Royal_Girl2k9 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:41 pm

There's a lot wrong with Meath football at the moment. I do love Sean Boylan though Smile
avatar
Royal_Girl2k9
GAA All Star
GAA All Star

Meath
Number of posts : 1144
Age : 21

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  redhandman on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:04 am

I think Meaths problem stems from an insistence on playing football in a certain manner , their type of game is not en vouge . Look even Kerry have had to adapt to the way the game has went . Down and galway way also suffering at the minute from this insistence on a certain style . They have a rake of handy players but don't want to play to a game plan as such .

Also looking at some of meaths players over the last few years a few could do with a bit of trimming up , fiance ward is very talented but if he shifted a few pounds surely he could offer more to the team.

I wouldn't be bantys biggest fan too much bs with him , playing a keeper outfield previously playing defender in nets changing kits at the last minute . Maybe his style just doesn't suit some teams .

Also seen that the clubs an board want him out surely he will jump before the day is out
avatar
redhandman
GAA Minor
GAA Minor

tyrone
Number of posts : 546
Age : 32

Back to top Go down

Re: What is wrong with Meath football?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum