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Longford V Meath

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So far in Leinster the underdogs have won (Carlow and Wicklow) so i give
Longford every chance against Meath.

carlovia (None) - Posts: 837 - 16/05/2018 11:42:21    2101311

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Replying To LongfordSham:  "Has anyone on this thread actually written ye off? I'm seeing a lot of talk on this thread and over in the Meath forum about progress being made over the last while. Without sounding smart, what progress is this? Genuinely wondering how you are measuring this? I would love to see Meath back amongst the top table, it's good for football in Leinster and the championship as a whole.

I know for us progress would be seen as a solid league campaign in a div2 or a promotion from div 3 in the leagues and either a win or 2 in the leinster or a good run in the qualifiers is always used as a barometer for progress. We havnt gotten to a Leinster Semi-Final in over 30 years, which even for a county of our size is an absolute disgrace. Given a few occasions in previous years if we had been on the other side of a Leinster draw we could have made a few finals but if my granny had balls etc etc."
I would take a lot of what you read on the Meath forum with a pinch of salt. There are a few posters over there who like to have the run of the place and can't see the wood from the trees. To be honest with you, we have made insufficient progress from 2013/14. Player retention has been a major problem for Meath. The squad has seen a huge turnover of players year on year. In recent months, three from county champions Simonstown opted off the squad. Take the Leinster semi final against Kildare last summer, 9 of the 21 players that played that day are not involved at present. I know all counties have to deal with players opting off etc but it has affected us greatly. Last year was a baptism of fire for Andy McEntee and he has done very well to keep our place in Division 2 for 2019.

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 12:37:51    2101334

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Replying To carlovia:  "So far in Leinster the underdogs have won (Carlow and Wicklow) so i give
Longford every chance against Meath."
You're forgetting about Wexford v Laois but to be fair that was so close to being a victory for the underdogs!

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 12:43:41    2101336

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Replying To Toney:  "I would take a lot of what you read on the Meath forum with a pinch of salt. There are a few posters over there who like to have the run of the place and can't see the wood from the trees. To be honest with you, we have made insufficient progress from 2013/14. Player retention has been a major problem for Meath. The squad has seen a huge turnover of players year on year. In recent months, three from county champions Simonstown opted off the squad. Take the Leinster semi final against Kildare last summer, 9 of the 21 players that played that day are not involved at present. I know all counties have to deal with players opting off etc but it has affected us greatly. Last year was a baptism of fire for Andy McEntee and he has done very well to keep our place in Division 2 for 2019."
While it could be viewed as a good situation to be in having the pool of players available to replace these guys that opt out, the downside of this is the potential consistency of having a solid panel of players for several seasons together . I would imagine that in a county like Meath, if you were to have a group together for maybe 3 seasons and all external factors in your favour ye would be performing at a much higher lever.

High levels of turnover is never good as you have to start the rebuilding process all over again. It's not something we would be used to here in Longford as our playing pick is so small.

LongfordSham (Longford) - Posts: 80 - 16/05/2018 12:51:52    2101339

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Replying To Toney:  "I would take a lot of what you read on the Meath forum with a pinch of salt. There are a few posters over there who like to have the run of the place and can't see the wood from the trees. To be honest with you, we have made insufficient progress from 2013/14. Player retention has been a major problem for Meath. The squad has seen a huge turnover of players year on year. In recent months, three from county champions Simonstown opted off the squad. Take the Leinster semi final against Kildare last summer, 9 of the 21 players that played that day are not involved at present. I know all counties have to deal with players opting off etc but it has affected us greatly. Last year was a baptism of fire for Andy McEntee and he has done very well to keep our place in Division 2 for 2019."
Player retention is not just a Meath issue its a national issue particularly a leinster issue. Players are leaving panels nationwide. Its the first time its happened in Meath. But its going on in other counties for years. Anyway here r just a small sample to emphasis a national issue. These are the number of players who played in each counties league last year but never returned this year .
The teams with the lowest non returnees are of top div 1 teams eg
Tyrone 4 players
Monaghan 5 players
Dublin 6 players
Mayo 6 players
Donegal 6 players

Other counties
Derry 19 players
Cork 18 players
Wexford 17 players
Offaly 16 players
Meath 16 players
Wicklow 15 players
Antrim 14 players
London 14 players
Westmeath 13 players
Longford 12 players
limerick 12 players
Roscommon 12 players
Down 12 player
Galway 11 players
Kildare 9 players

Thats just a small sample. Longford had 12 non returnees. So they have also had an issue.
In terms of Meath players leaving after league. Players have left Galway ( Silke best club footballer in the country) Kildare ( McCormack one of kildare best young forwards) and Carlow ( Murphy one of the best midfielders in Ireland) . And players have left Donegal anf Louth footballers and Clare and Waterford hurlers. This is a very worrying national thread.

Cork and Galway together between them called up 10 players from the Corofin and Nemo Rangers teams who played on St Patricks Day this year in the club final. Of the 10 only 4 players agreed to join up with their respective counties inter county senior panel. Thats a stat says alot. When traditional football strongholds like Cork or Galway are having problem getting some of their top club players involved in the senior panel. Its a thread that has accelerated recently nationwide and doesnt look like it will slow up anytime soon.

PS Thanks for your comments again Longfordbaz. Your a gentleman.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 13:32:07    2101356

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Player retention is not just a Meath issue its a national issue particularly a leinster issue. Players are leaving panels nationwide. Its the first time its happened in Meath. But its going on in other counties for years. Anyway here r just a small sample to emphasis a national issue. These are the number of players who played in each counties league last year but never returned this year .
The teams with the lowest non returnees are of top div 1 teams eg
Tyrone 4 players
Monaghan 5 players
Dublin 6 players
Mayo 6 players
Donegal 6 players

Other counties
Derry 19 players
Cork 18 players
Wexford 17 players
Offaly 16 players
Meath 16 players
Wicklow 15 players
Antrim 14 players
London 14 players
Westmeath 13 players
Longford 12 players
limerick 12 players
Roscommon 12 players
Down 12 player
Galway 11 players
Kildare 9 players

Thats just a small sample. Longford had 12 non returnees. So they have also had an issue.
In terms of Meath players leaving after league. Players have left Galway ( Silke best club footballer in the country) Kildare ( McCormack one of kildare best young forwards) and Carlow ( Murphy one of the best midfielders in Ireland) . And players have left Donegal anf Louth footballers and Clare and Waterford hurlers. This is a very worrying national thread.

Cork and Galway together between them called up 10 players from the Corofin and Nemo Rangers teams who played on St Patricks Day this year in the club final. Of the 10 only 4 players agreed to join up with their respective counties inter county senior panel. Thats a stat says alot. When traditional football strongholds like Cork or Galway are having problem getting some of their top club players involved in the senior panel. Its a thread that has accelerated recently nationwide and doesnt look like it will slow up anytime soon.

PS Thanks for your comments again Longfordbaz. Your a gentleman."
Out f curiosity, can you show me where you found these stats or provide the names of the 12 players from Longford who opted off this years panel compared to last years? Genuinely interested to find out.

LongfordSham (Longford) - Posts: 80 - 16/05/2018 13:58:50    2101371

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Replying To Toney:  "Longford have nearly twice as many championship wins as us over the past three years and against some better teams. They've beaten Louth, Down, Monaghan, Offaly, Carlow and Clare during that time. We've taken the scalp of Louth twice, Sligo and Wicklow.

The odds are wrong for this one.

Meath should be underdogs heading to Estadio da Pearse..."
Meath have beaten allot of those teams also in the last year. Some of them by big margins
Longford have beaten Louth Down Derry and Clare so have Meath. Meath have beaten louth 3 times in the last 2 years. Meath scored 27 points v louth last year ( a record points scored for leinster championship). Meath defeated Down by 9 points a couple of weeks ago. And defeated Clare twice in last 2 years by 12 points in Ennis last year and 14 points a couple of months ago. Meath also defeated Derry by 15 points last year. Meath also defeated Galway in the last year. The last time that Galway were defeated in the league until Dublins league final victory last month v Galway. Meath drew with Cork in Cork last year. And Meath also drew with Roscommon in the Hyde and had two other challenge victories over Roscommon in the last 12 months. Meath also lost by a point or two to Donegal in the last year. So both counties record is similar enough. Meath have had bad loses to kildare Cavan and Tipp. But they have also had some good performances. The problem is Meaths inconsistency.

Also Meaths big victories over Louth Clare Derry Fermanagh Westmeath and Down in the last year have been in good dry conditions. This Meath team are a small pacey team. Under McEntee fitness and strength and conditioning have improved. This team is made for dry hot conditions in the summer championship. Its a pacey counter attackin team. They're is a few issues. And the main one is inconsistency. Which team will turn v longford. The team that played so well v Westmeath on Sunday or defeated Galway last year or the team that played so poorly v Tipp and Cavan in this years league.

The reason is why Meath might lose because Longford are a good team. Meath are div 2 team. Longford are div 3. But Longford will soon be promoted to Div 2 next year or the year after. And they I expect like Clare will maintain and stay in div 2.
Longford in Longford are capable of beating any team in leinster outside Dublin. Meath defeated them on free kicks earlier this year. And Longford also defeated kildare earlier this year.

Longford in that game v Meath in Navan were impressive. They looked a proper good gaelic football team a young team with a shrewd manager. Longford in Pearse is one of the tougher place to play in recent years they have defeated Derry Mayo Monaghan and Down down there. So it would be no surprise if they defeated Meath. I think Meath are little more down the road on terms of team development but would I be surprised if Longford won, no because they are a good team who will soon be playing div 2 football.

My worry is longfords underage results v Meath. One of the major reasons kildare and Westmeath defeated Meath in recent championships
Is those victories at senior level where a continunation of results kildare and Westmeath had at underage v Meath in recent years. kildares win last year were similar to particularly under 21 kildare victories over Meath. longford teams have defeated Meath at underage in recent years also

So they would have no fear of Meath. And with sucessful under 21 and minor teams longford have done good work at underage. Its only in the last few years Meath have started to put in the work in at underage. We now need to see this work turning into leinster minor and under 20 titles. Hopefully Meaths leinster final victory over Dublin in last years new minor grade level will be a sign of things to come. We need to do what Dublin kildare Cavan Galway and Roscommon footballers and Waterford Clare and limerick hurlers have done recently. In that they have all had underage sucess for a prolonged period of time, particularly at provicial level. But even 1 leinster title at minor or under 20 level would be a great help for self confidence in Meath football going forward.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 14:10:06    2101379

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Replying To LongfordSham:  "Out f curiosity, can you show me where you found these stats or provide the names of the 12 players from Longford who opted off this years panel compared to last years? Genuinely interested to find out."
They were in the Irish Independent recently. I just have the numbers no names for longford. Sorry for that.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 14:11:53    2101381

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Replying To LongfordSham:  "While it could be viewed as a good situation to be in having the pool of players available to replace these guys that opt out, the downside of this is the potential consistency of having a solid panel of players for several seasons together . I would imagine that in a county like Meath, if you were to have a group together for maybe 3 seasons and all external factors in your favour ye would be performing at a much higher lever.

High levels of turnover is never good as you have to start the rebuilding process all over again. It's not something we would be used to here in Longford as our playing pick is so small."
That's the reality of it but at the same time though we're lacking in quality players. We need to start producing more players of the calibre of Conor Nash. He would be our best footballer if he was around and he's only 20. I will go as far as saying he would make the Dublin team he's that good! Longford are doing very well for a county with the lowest number of clubs in Ireland. Compared to a county like Meath who have over twice as many football clubs.

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 14:18:05    2101385

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Meath have beaten allot of those teams also in the last year. Some of them by big margins
Longford have beaten Louth Down Derry and Clare so have Meath. Meath have beaten louth 3 times in the last 2 years. Meath scored 27 points v louth last year ( a record points scored for leinster championship). Meath defeated Down by 9 points a couple of weeks ago. And defeated Clare twice in last 2 years by 12 points in Ennis last year and 14 points a couple of months ago. Meath also defeated Derry by 15 points last year. Meath also defeated Galway in the last year. The last time that Galway were defeated in the league until Dublins league final victory last month v Galway. Meath drew with Cork in Cork last year. And Meath also drew with Roscommon in the Hyde and had two other challenge victories over Roscommon in the last 12 months. Meath also lost by a point or two to Donegal in the last year. So both counties record is similar enough. Meath have had bad loses to kildare Cavan and Tipp. But they have also had some good performances. The problem is Meaths inconsistency.

Also Meaths big victories over Louth Clare Derry Fermanagh Westmeath and Down in the last year have been in good dry conditions. This Meath team are a small pacey team. Under McEntee fitness and strength and conditioning have improved. This team is made for dry hot conditions in the summer championship. Its a pacey counter attackin team. They're is a few issues. And the main one is inconsistency. Which team will turn v longford. The team that played so well v Westmeath on Sunday or defeated Galway last year or the team that played so poorly v Tipp and Cavan in this years league.

The reason is why Meath might lose because Longford are a good team. Meath are div 2 team. Longford are div 3. But Longford will soon be promoted to Div 2 next year or the year after. And they I expect like Clare will maintain and stay in div 2.
Longford in Longford are capable of beating any team in leinster outside Dublin. Meath defeated them on free kicks earlier this year. And Longford also defeated kildare earlier this year.

Longford in that game v Meath in Navan were impressive. They looked a proper good gaelic football team a young team with a shrewd manager. Longford in Pearse is one of the tougher place to play in recent years they have defeated Derry Mayo Monaghan and Down down there. So it would be no surprise if they defeated Meath. I think Meath are little more down the road on terms of team development but would I be surprised if Longford won, no because they are a good team who will soon be playing div 2 football.

My worry is longfords underage results v Meath. One of the major reasons kildare and Westmeath defeated Meath in recent championships
Is those victories at senior level where a continunation of results kildare and Westmeath had at underage v Meath in recent years. kildares win last year were similar to particularly under 21 kildare victories over Meath. longford teams have defeated Meath at underage in recent years also

So they would have no fear of Meath. And with sucessful under 21 and minor teams longford have done good work at underage. Its only in the last few years Meath have started to put in the work in at underage. We now need to see this work turning into leinster minor and under 20 titles. Hopefully Meaths leinster final victory over Dublin in last years new minor grade level will be a sign of things to come. We need to do what Dublin kildare Cavan Galway and Roscommon footballers and Waterford Clare and limerick hurlers have done recently. In that they have all had underage sucess for a prolonged period of time, particularly at provicial level. But even 1 leinster title at minor or under 20 level would be a great help for self confidence in Meath football going forward."
Good work furlong. Is your name Paraic Farrelly because you're a fountain of knowledge?

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 14:23:31    2101387

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Replying To Toney:  "Good work furlong. Is your name Paraic Farrelly because you're a fountain of knowledge?"
Anyway, my point was made on championship wins alone. Not league or challenge matches. Can you produce the results to suggest Longford have had the upperhand over us at underage level? Head to head? I would disagree.

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 14:59:19    2101398

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Replying To Toney:  "Anyway, my point was made on championship wins alone. Not league or challenge matches. Can you produce the results to suggest Longford have had the upperhand over us at underage level? Head to head? I would disagree."
We still defeated all those teams in the last year, there has been some good performances that people are ignoring. We defeated Clare by an aggregate score of 26 points in two games in the last year and a half. And allot of people are tipping Clare as an outside bet for Super 8. But we have been incredibly inconsistent.

It was a general point I was making that longford have been good at underage level recently. We havent been good. Head to head I dont know I dont know the full stats . So Ur probaly right. But the underage game that sticks out for me. When we defeated a highly rated under 21 Dublin team managed by Jim Galvin in a great leinster semi final a few years ago. That Dublin Under 21 team had many players who would later play and win Sam for Dubs seniors. That Meath team had Brian Menton Mickey Newman Mark Sullivan and Ciaran lenihan and was managed by liam Harnan. After a brillant win v Dublin. longford defeated us in the leinster under 21 final.

At under 21 level our record is atrocious.We havent won leinster under 21 title in 17 years . We have only played in 1 leinster under 21 final in 17 years. That was the team that had Bryan McMahon Bobby O Brien and Conor McGill. We havent won a leinster minor title in 10 years. A team that had Shane O Rourke and Mickey Newman. We did reach a All Ireland at minor in this decade . But overall in leinster minor football we have really dropped down the football table.

Prior to this decade our record at minor was good..We had a better record at minor then kildare ( who have never won a minor All Ireland and played in 1 minor All Ireland final in 1973) and Dublin ( didn't win a minor All Ireland in late 80s 90s or 00s) for decades. But in recent years Dublin and kildare have become top dogs at underage level. Dublin at under 21 level are dominate with kildare in second place. And at minor in last 4 years kildare have been the number 1 team. Results at under 15 16 and 17 would suggest the gap has closed between Meath and Dublin and kildare. And Meath have had some big victories over Dublin at these grades. Both with two strong minor teams recently we still didnt reach a leinster final . That must change.

Westmeath and longford have had some good victories at underage. Westmeath defeated us in 2015 at senior with players that were playing on an under 21 team that defeated Meath a few years. Kildare victory last year at senior , many of those young kildare footballers had victories over Meath at minor and particularly under 21 level. Years and years of defeats at underage level has left our senior players with very low confidence. Thats what McEntee has to do..Instill them with belief . This will take years not months to rectify.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 15:51:47    2101417

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "We still defeated all those teams in the last year, there has been some good performances that people are ignoring. We defeated Clare by an aggregate score of 26 points in two games in the last year and a half. And allot of people are tipping Clare as an outside bet for Super 8. But we have been incredibly inconsistent.

It was a general point I was making that longford have been good at underage level recently. We havent been good. Head to head I dont know I dont know the full stats . So Ur probaly right. But the underage game that sticks out for me. When we defeated a highly rated under 21 Dublin team managed by Jim Galvin in a great leinster semi final a few years ago. That Dublin Under 21 team had many players who would later play and win Sam for Dubs seniors. That Meath team had Brian Menton Mickey Newman Mark Sullivan and Ciaran lenihan and was managed by liam Harnan. After a brillant win v Dublin. longford defeated us in the leinster under 21 final.

At under 21 level our record is atrocious.We havent won leinster under 21 title in 17 years . We have only played in 1 leinster under 21 final in 17 years. That was the team that had Bryan McMahon Bobby O Brien and Conor McGill. We havent won a leinster minor title in 10 years. A team that had Shane O Rourke and Mickey Newman. We did reach a All Ireland at minor in this decade . But overall in leinster minor football we have really dropped down the football table.

Prior to this decade our record at minor was good..We had a better record at minor then kildare ( who have never won a minor All Ireland and played in 1 minor All Ireland final in 1973) and Dublin ( didn't win a minor All Ireland in late 80s 90s or 00s) for decades. But in recent years Dublin and kildare have become top dogs at underage level. Dublin at under 21 level are dominate with kildare in second place. And at minor in last 4 years kildare have been the number 1 team. Results at under 15 16 and 17 would suggest the gap has closed between Meath and Dublin and kildare. And Meath have had some big victories over Dublin at these grades. Both with two strong minor teams recently we still didnt reach a leinster final . That must change.

Westmeath and longford have had some good victories at underage. Westmeath defeated us in 2015 at senior with players that were playing on an under 21 team that defeated Meath a few years. Kildare victory last year at senior , many of those young kildare footballers had victories over Meath at minor and particularly under 21 level. Years and years of defeats at underage level has left our senior players with very low confidence. Thats what McEntee has to do..Instill them with belief . This will take years not months to rectify."
It was 2011 when we beat Dublin in the Leinster U21 championship. You're right that Longford beat us after that but it wasn't in the final.

Toney (Meath) - Posts: 283 - 16/05/2018 16:04:24    2101419

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Replying To Longfordbaz:  "We need a post on this thread from royal poster, furlong......an indept, statistical analysis of the two teams, and a final prediction!!!!

(for my fellow longfordians, go onto royals forum and read some of his posts... Fantastically researched stuff, Although I'm no expert on meath county and club scene!)

PS. Apart from killoe Emmet og, beating o mahonys twice in three yrs in leinster.....(couldn't resist)!!"
No Toney Im not P Farrelly. I never heard of him. I am named after Offalys Martin Furlong who was the greatest football goalkeeper ever ( its eitheir him or Geraghty from Galway 60s team or Corks Billy Morgan) until a certain Stephen Cluxton emerged on the scene and changed the face of gaelic football goalkeeping.

Thanks for the comments LongfordBaz .
If u dont like my style u better off stop reading now for this is a long long one covering problems and issues in Meath football.

I wouldnt give a prediction v Longford because as long as we can come out of Pearse Stadium with a victory I will be happy. Ever since the draw and watching your team longford in Byrne Cup longfordbaz in Navan in the spring I always thought this game was a tough opener for Meath. And I havent changed my mind , I wouldnt be surprised if Longford won but of course Im hoping Meath win. Longford have had two big wins over Meath before which were very significant. I hope on Sunday week we wouldnt have a third famous loss to the men from the Midlands.

What I will say if this game was in the qualifiers you would have to fancy longford big time. longford in the qualifiers in Peasre stadium.has been one of the toughest and trickiest place to go. With Mayo Derry Down and Monaghan all beaten in Pearse stadium. Like Sligo Wexford Tipperary and Fermanagh longford have shown outside the rigid proviencal championships, they can prosper as all these teams in the qualifiers have shown some great performances and victories.

In the leinster championship Longfords recent form had been poor. While Meath are having their worst decade since Independence people might be surprised to hear that after Dublin that Meath have been the second most successful county in leinster championship not kildare. kildare are fourth. In this decade Dublin are number 1 of course with 7 titles. Meath are second with 4 leinster final appearances and 1 leinster title, Westmeath are third with 2 leinster final appearances and kildare Wexford and louth are joint 4th with 1 leinster final appearance each .

Meath I always feel up their game come the championship . Meath are a great championship county and it would be very rare for Meath to lose their opening round of leinster championship. It usually happened in unusual circumstances eg losing to Offaly in 2000 . We were reigning All Ireland champions and had played in a national league division 1 final and replay a week or to before. And Offaly caught us in the first round. On 1992 laois defeated Meath in first round but that was the last game of that great 87 87 team , it was breaking up. Meath usually always play well in the first round. Theyre had been one or two bad performances recently V Carlow under Banty. And we had a game v Wicklow in first round in Navan under O Dowd where Wicklow caused a good few problems. But overall we usually start the championship well. Last two years we played well v louth in opening games. You would probaly have to back to 1982 when longford beat us in first round for a real bad defeat in leinster championship in first round.( I hope that is not a sign).As the game comes closer Im becoming quite anxious. I would love to have a crack at Dublin this year. I know people might laugh at that. I know Dublin will win. But still being from Meath playing Dublin in Croke Park is always the big one for us.But firstly we have to get over longford. Which will be a tough opener. Where both sides can win.

Meath I believe are not as bad as many people want or need us to be. We are not as good as we want to be eitheir. However I do believe there is potential with this young team and best management we have had since Boylan. But it will take time. Lots of it. I believe we are 24 months away from being were we want to be div 1 football team and reaching the super 8. When a traditional county is in the doldrums it takes years to turn things around. It took Boylan 4 years on 2 different occasion 86 96 to turn Meath around. It also took McGee 4 years to turn Offaly around in 1980 and it took Dywer 5 years in his second term to turn kildare around in 98. It took Pat Gilroy 3 years to turn Dublin around. While it took Jimmy Barry Murphy and Nicholas English years of bad defeats to turn their counties around in early 90s. It was not til the 4th year Kevin Walsh has turned Galway around. McEntee needs the same time.

I believed from the start of the year we wouldn't get promotion, the game with longford was a tough opener. If we won we would give Dublin a good rattle ( I know there is little evidence for that, just a gut feeling in that Meath are due performance v Dublin in the Meath v Dublin rivalry. Its a gut feeling based on no evidence other then also for me McEntee all year for me is setting a Meath team up to play Dublin tactically. ) Dublin of course will win and we will get knocked out of the championship in mid July.I believe next year we will see some sort of real progress next eg promotion to div 1 or defeat of top div 1 team in the championship)..And in year 4 I believe then we will see real progres eg div 1 football super 8 and pushing for leinster title. Thats only opinion. I could be wrong. Its just my opinion. But I believe we are at least 24 months away from where we need to be. But u never know.

There are three massives issues for Meath..1 The county the players are lacking serious belief in themselves that will take years of good management by good manager eg McEntee to turn around. We need to give this management time we need lots of patience. As we will have many ups and downs to go yet.

Secondly a style of play that is modern and works. The way we won 7 Sams with traditional kick and catch long balls into forward line is not fit for purpose. Eitheir is the way other kick and catch counties won All Irelands not fit fot purpose eg Down and Galway. Football now is more possession based,more tactically driven and there must be more thought put into how a team must perform
Sean Boylans sucess was based on one tactic. That was organised choas. I know that makes no sense but let me try and explain. Every player fought for the ball like there life depended on it. There was no real tactic just get that ball into forward line as fast and as quick as you can and players like Geraghty and O Rourke had to fight tooth and nail to win possession. It was pretty basic tactically wise. But it was hugely sucessful and was actually very good to watch. Some of the football under Boylan was as good as kerry or Galway in 90s or 00s. There was great swashbuckling performances of brillant total football v Dublin 88 league final and 99 leinster final Offaly 98 99 Kerry 2015 and many more great games eg kildare 97 second game 2001 V Westmeath q final.

That system doesnt work anymore kicking long balls atop of your full forward line. Sweepers blanket defences kick out strategy are all changes since 2001..We have failed miserably to adapt. However I did actually think our performance v Westmeath on Sunday was a very modern style of play. I thought we played in an intelligent controlled and efficient way. We played like a modern team, like I would even say division 1 team. But that game is the only game I have seen thst sort of efficent style. Its a start. But we now need to deliver it consistently. Against mid and then top div 2 teams. And then hopefully over a 2 to 3 year period we will see performances v div 1 teams. It will take time. But I thought Westmeath on Sunday was a real improvement even on wins we had v Down or louth or draw v Roscommon in the league. I have seen us hammer teams recently v Fermanagh Derry Clare. But this performance was more measured and more cleverer and well organised then I have seen. The next step is to see us perform like this consistently. Longford game we could see a performance that is less impressive. We need to be patient.

Thirdly we have had three problem areas. First area in the half back line. We havent had a top class wing back since O Connell and an effective centre back since McManus. All the top teams have top class half backs eg Keegan Mcarthy McCaffrey Lacey. It is the most important area of the field in modern football. It where attacks start. If you have a strong half back line this is massive. We struggled at 5 6 and 7 all decade long. However I believe at the end of the league our half back line was improved compared to last year or even the start of this years league.

The moving of Donal keogham our best player a player who would walk onto 80s or 90s team from corner back to centre back is massive. He is wasted at 2. He always reminded me of Karl Lacey. And karl lacey was pivotal to Donegal sucess and the moving of him from the corner was a masterstroke by McGuiness.

Moving keoghan means for the first time in a l88ing time we have our best player in the half back line. He offers attacking threat which he showed on Sunday with a goal..But he offers leadership and football ability in this most important sector of the field.. He needs to learn how to hold the middle. But overall when he has played in the half back line v Second half Cork last year, louth this year and last year, Byrne cup campaign 2018, v Roscommon and Down 2018. When he played in the half back line in only those games recently we didnt lose any of them. Moving keoghan to 6 is massive plus. While two McEntees on wings have been effective and playing well.

Shane McEntee for me in the poor team performances v Tipp and Cavan was one of the few who kept trying to the very end. His performance last game v louth was very good. He is improving and needs to still to learn more defensive wing back play which will come with experience. But his atitude is top notch and could at long last solve a problem position we had for years, the number 7 position.

James McEntee has been really impressive. He was wing forward. But could never find consistency in his play. He also suffered injuries. But the moving of James to wing back has been a great move. Any time he has played there we havent lost eg second half v Cork last year and Down louth and Westmeath game this year. He could become a really important player for us at 5. His performance v Westmeath on sunday was one of the best I have seen from Meath wing back in years.If he could keep playing well and be effective along with his cousin and keoghan we at long last could sort our this half back line problem which has bedevilled Meath football since 2001.

Conor McGill at full back is not well known but I view him as one if not the best young full back in the country. There are very few top class full backs in the country. Meaths number 3 for 3 years since he was 20. And we have never felt the loss of Kevin Reilly..This is down to McGill. Irish Independent did a list of ten best players in this year 4 divisions in each division. The only Meath man in top 10 in division 2 was McGill. People havent seen him on the national stage but with Keoghan at 6 and McGill , Meath do have 2 top class defenders at centre of the defence. And with other defenders eg Conor Dempsey S Lavin Shane Glynn showing well and Mickey Burke now being used more as a sweeper . Meath defence since the Tipp and Cavan games has two positional changes and 1 new defender. The defence has improved. But only till we play longford in championship and if we will play Dubs and play other teams in the qualifiers will we see the extent of improvement..The losses to Tipp and Cavan exposed the weakness in the team and McEntee had to go back to drawing board and change team selection. The moving of Keoghan and J McEntee to half back has been a massive positive.

The other problem Meath have had since 2001 is midfield. We havent had a top class midfielder since John McDermont. Gillespie S O Rourke and Nash all could have been quality midfielders. But we will never know. Last year we finished with Menton and a 19 year old half back in his first full game at midfield eg B Conlon. Menton has had 7 different partners in 1 year and half eg O Brien Toher Flanagan Rooney Jones Conlon Kennelly. This shows how much a problem midfield is. Menton himself best position for me is wing back. But he does offer Atleticism at midfield. But you need a more traditional high fielding midfielder with Menton. Rooney would be the best we have here. But he had a poor league and after year travelling he needs to get match fitness and a years club football under him. Hes gone now so as impact sub he is a loss. But hopefully we see him next year.

Flanagan is more traditional midfielder. And I am a fan. His distribution lets him down at times..At 23 he can only improve. But Kennelly again is another player who appeared after Tipp and Cavan games. He was excellent v Louth Down and Westmeath before being sent off. Hopefully he can form a decent partnership with Menton. The last time Meath had a good season was 2012 2013 we had a strong partnership with Gillespie and Meade at center of midfield. My only worry with kinnelly he is very inexperienced. Him and Menton have only played 1 full game together. We wouldnt know if Kennelly is a real option at midfield until he faces a quality midfielder like kildares Feehily. Maybe he is more a wing forward. But overall since last year and even start of thr league kennellys impact along with Flanagan means midfield is improving. Breaking ball is still an issue we need to keep working at.

The one area that hasnt improved since last year is the forwards. The forwards will pretty much be the same as last year only for Brennan change. It could be weaker with Alan Forde out with his cruciate. He is a big player for us and when he comes back as wing forward he will be big addition.

We r relying on lenihan and then pacey players like Reilly Wallaces McMahon and Sullivan to cause problems. It has worked and big scores v Clare louth Derry Fermanagh prove that. But can it break down a blanket defence/sweepers. I have my doubts. We are playing more direct then we did v Tipp and Cavan. And Sullivan is stepping up to the plate with lenihan who was injured and lacking match fitness for much of the leagur. The loss of Mckeever is huge. For me Mckeever and lenihan both 26 27 both at their peaks , both best forwards in the county. Mckeever for me is the best. I was looking forward to seen them play together this year. But they only played once v Down where we scored 4 -14 and they were very good. Hopefully we have Mckeever next year. Meath football sucess has always been based on duo in the forward line eg 40s 50s McDermont Meegan 60s Curran Shanley 80s O Rourke Flynn, Stafford used to play a bit deep, 90s Ollie and Geraghty. The last time we had a good year in 2013 we had Newman and Wallace.

So a duo of Mckeever and lenihan for me has huge potential with Sullivan playing a little deeper. A Sullivan Mckeever Lenihan full forward line would be a div 1 full forward line. But Mckeever loss is huge..I believe with him we could have had outside shot at Super 8. But with him gone I dont know if our forwards can break down stronger defences. This is a concern. And with Toibin gone as an impact sub. And other players like Conlon, the depth of our squad is effected and this could become a bigger issue later on in the summer.

The final issue for Meath and the one that shows we are so near yet so far is division 1 football..Everyone knows to be sucessful you need to play in div 1 and stay in div 1 you win titles eg Monaghan Tyrone and Donegal . Its always been the same. Meaths past sucess was based on div 1 football. After kerry and Dublin for 70 or 80 years Meath had one of the best records in division 1. Dublin always found Navan hard to win. So did many teams. When kildare won in Navan in 1999 or 2000 in the league it was their first win there in 70 years . Galway even to this day havent beaten us in Navan in over 30 years. Playing so much division 1 football helped us win 7 Sams in the past. Meath won national league division 1 titles in the 30s 40s 50s 70s 80s and 90s. And played in a national league div 1 final in the 00s. Meath played in senior all Ireland finals in 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s and 00s. Its linked. If Meath get into Division 1 and stay there you will see a big improvement. The same way you see how Monaghan have improved by playing divsion 1 in recent years.

Meath have been incredibly close to promotion to div 1. Even this year if we defeated Cavan we would have been promoted to div 1. In 4 of the 5 last seaons Meath were 1 win away fron promotion to div 1. If we defeated Cavan this year, Down last year, Roscommon in 2015 and defeated not drew with Donegal in 2014 we would have been promoted to div 1 in each of those year. So we are very close , but yet so far.

If we could get promoted to divsion 1 , it would be a gamechanger for Meath football. The fact is Meath havent been in divsion 1 in 12 years ago the year we drew with Dublin defeated Galway and great Tyrone team of the 00s and reached All Ireland semi final. All in the year we played division 1 football. Its linked sucess = staying in divsion 1.

So in summary I think we have sorted out problems that surfaced in mid league. With a new half back line and new midfielder. But I still have worries with midfield and the forwards. In the forwards without Mckeever I don't see a difference since last year..If we could find consistency maybe we could go on a run in the qualifiers but for me its more likely we will see an improved Meath next year and the year affer. I must say also playing Mickey Burke at wing forward could also be a plus. He is a warrior and we have always played backs/leaders not just forwards in the forward line eg Cassells in 87 88, Reilly in 96, Curtis 99 and Moyles in 07. And when we played S Kenny in forwards in early decade it worked well. Playing a grafter, a hard worker in the hakf forward line who can come back and play sweeper also is something we havent done in a while. For the last few years we have usually always played 6 out and out forwards. Meath sucess is always based on a player/ a defender who turns into effective hard working forward eg Cassells 87 88 Moyles 07 S Kenny 2011 2012. Burke in the forwards could work.

Overall the longford game is a tough opener. If we play like we did on Sunday we will be hard to beat.If we play like we did v Tipp and Cavan longford will win pulling up..Which Meath will we see in Pearse stadium Sunday week..Time will tell.But whatever happens we need to give the current management and 2 years to keep improving. Anyone could see on sunday that McEntee is slowly but surely building a modern efficient proper gaelic football inter county team..But it will take time and many ups and downs before we really turn the corner. For the championship to be sucess..Alot of things would need to come together. For me its a long shot but not impossible. Next year and following year sucess will be attained eg division 1 football and Super 8 participants.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 18:26:10    2101468

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Replying To Longfordbaz:  "We need a post on this thread from royal poster, furlong......an indept, statistical analysis of the two teams, and a final prediction!!!!

(for my fellow longfordians, go onto royals forum and read some of his posts... Fantastically researched stuff, Although I'm no expert on meath county and club scene!)

PS. Apart from killoe Emmet og, beating o mahonys twice in three yrs in leinster.....(couldn't resist)!!"
Meath and longford have had two significants games between them for both counties for different reasons in the past.

Firstly Longford is a great football county with great GAA people. They have always had to deal with an issue of resources but it is a county with strong clubs and followers who follow the team through the bad and the good days. They have also produced two men of vision who changed the game. The first was Liam Mulihvil. A longford man through and through who has lived in Meath for decades. Mulihvil was director general of the GAA..And it was Mulihvil idea to revamp Croke Park. Many people thought at the time there was no need and we needed to spend money elsewhere.

But stage by stage he slowly built the stadium we have today into the World sports arena we have now. When you sit in Croker in your nice p seats and look out and around a first class stadium for the 21st century. It was Liam Mulihvil who had the vision drive and foresight to remodel Croker. He also did before price of building went through the roof.Mulihvil was a guy who would be open to change and forward thinking .If the GAA had a young Mulihvil and Dublins John Costello in charge now they would be the kind of men who could bring the necessary change we need to see in GAA land.

The second great longford GAA figure. Is Eugene McGee. McGee is very underated and is one of the great managers. Only two outside managers have managed teams to senior All Ireland football sucess and that is Mayos John O Mahoney with Galway and Longfords Mcgee with Offaly. Not only did he win the most famous final ever. He was the Jimmy McGuiness of his day. While Dywer and Heffernan were the first real managers. Both were old school in terms of training and tactics. Dwyer ran laps of field and with brillant man management got the best from players. Heffernan was a more old school manager and his players respected him but also feared him. McGee was innovative and tryed to bring new ideas to football.He took on St Vincent's in Dublin club championship with UCD and won..He is the only manager to defeat Kevin Heffernan s Dublin 70s team and kerrys greatest team ever.

For Meath and longford there are two games that standout. In 1968 longford defeated Meath in the leinster championship. It was significant for Meath were the reigning All Ireland champions . Many Meath supporters felt that the lost to longford cost Meath a two in a row. Down won All Ireland in 1968. But Meath had hammered the great Down team two years in 1966 in an All Ireland semi final by 14 points. So there was no fear of Down and it was felt that in 1968 the double was on for Meath.

But the fact is that Meath team was beaten by one of the best teams to come out of leinster. Longford would defeat Meath and Dublin in 1968 leinster championship . They would win their only and first leinster title and then lose very narrowly in a semi final to a kerry team with Mick Dywer and Mick O Connell, a kerry team that would win 2 All Irelands in a row in the following two years.
If Longford hadnt to meet kerry who knows might what have happened. But that leinster win was historic not just for longford but for leinster football. That victory in 1968 stands alone. Between 1958 and 1997 Meath Dublin and Offaly in that period of nearly 40 years won all the leinster titles between them. The only team in that 40 year period to win leinster that wasnt Meath Dublin Offaly was the longford team of 68.

To show how good they were they defeated Galway in the 1966 National league division 1 final. The significance of this was in the year that Galway won 3 All Irelands in a row securing the title as the greatest football team to ever cross the Shannon from the west of Ireland and one of greatest ever teams, Longford were the only team to beat them in a final. When Galway 3 in a row where at their height of their powers , Longford beat them.

Again this is a significant win in leinster football. Besides Meath and Dublin the only teams to win a national league division 1 football title since the league began in 1920s until mid 1980s was laois in mid 30s and the longford team in 1966. They were the only 2 leinater winners outside Meath and Dublin of the national league division 1 title from 1920s to mid 1980s. The only other leinster winners since of national league divsion 1 football titlea were laois in 1986 and Offaly in 98 outside the big 2. So in leinster only 4 teams outside Meath ( 7 national league division 1 titles) and Dublin( 14 national league division 1 titles) have won the national league division 1 title and they were laois in 1936 and 1986, Offaly in 1998 and Longford in 1966. Thats show how brillant that longford team was in 1968.

They also defeated the two best teams of the mid 60s , the greatest Galway team ever in a league final and one of Meath greatest team the 1967 All Ireland champions. Longford 1968 leinster champions were a great leinster team..And if you talk to any peoole from that era they will tell u longford had a great team in late 60s that could have and probaly should have won Sam. But in 69 a great Offaly appeared that would win two All Irelands in a row. Meath team of 60s would have one final kick left in them in them with reaching All Ireland final v kerry in 70. Offaly then won 2 in a row ib 71 72. kildare also had a very good team in the early 70s that were unlucky not to win leinster. A kildare team that was backboned by kildares greatest underage period ever . Kildare won 3 in a row leinster in late 60s and their first and only All Ireland under 21 title in late 60s and won a couple of minors and reached minor All Ireland final in 73. These young players from kildare became a very good senior team which many kildare people believe was their second best team to come from kildare in the last 70 years after 98 to 2000 team.

So longford were unlucky that a great Offfaly team came on the scene with a strong kildare team. If things were a little different Longford in 1968 could have been the first team to bring Sam Maguire to midlands instead of Offaly in 1971.

The next significant game between both counties is in 1982. After being defeated by Wexford a division 3 team in 1981. Meath were hoping for an upturn in 82. Instead Longford who were in divsion 4 team at the time defeated Meath in the leinster championship. It the only time in living memory a div 4 team knocked Meath out of the championship. The Meath Chronicle had an article after the game with a caption of a tombstone and written on it was Meath Football RIP. The loss was a turning point for both counties. Afterwards no one would take the Meath job. Gerry McEntee turned it down and so did person after person. So the county board asked a former Meath hurler would he take the team to train for the winter. He did and his name of course was Sean Boylan . And the rest is histoey. Both counties after the game in 82 improved. Longford went from Division 4 to div 2 by mid 80s..Meath would be leinster title winners by 86 and All Ireland winners in 87.

So thats two games where longford defeated Meath and both were significant. From a Meath point of view I hope we dont have a third famous win on Sunday week. Looking forward to going to longford for the championship sunday week you cannot beat the summer and championship football.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 16/05/2018 19:35:58    2101481

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Going in as underdogs is going to suit us Sunday week. We are written off before we even get there but thats grand nothing new there. Remember the old saying lads....you havent beaten Meath until your on the bus home. Play like we did last week with Reilly in top gear and i have no fear for this game. Meath by 4pts.

Loyalroyal17 (Meath) - Posts: 585 - 17/05/2018 00:42:02    2101565

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Meath and longford have had two significants games between them for both counties for different reasons in the past.

Firstly Longford is a great football county with great GAA people. They have always had to deal with an issue of resources but it is a county with strong clubs and followers who follow the team through the bad and the good days. They have also produced two men of vision who changed the game. The first was Liam Mulihvil. A longford man through and through who has lived in Meath for decades. Mulihvil was director general of the GAA..And it was Mulihvil idea to revamp Croke Park. Many people thought at the time there was no need and we needed to spend money elsewhere.

But stage by stage he slowly built the stadium we have today into the World sports arena we have now. When you sit in Croker in your nice p seats and look out and around a first class stadium for the 21st century. It was Liam Mulihvil who had the vision drive and foresight to remodel Croker. He also did before price of building went through the roof.Mulihvil was a guy who would be open to change and forward thinking .If the GAA had a young Mulihvil and Dublins John Costello in charge now they would be the kind of men who could bring the necessary change we need to see in GAA land.

The second great longford GAA figure. Is Eugene McGee. McGee is very underated and is one of the great managers. Only two outside managers have managed teams to senior All Ireland football sucess and that is Mayos John O Mahoney with Galway and Longfords Mcgee with Offaly. Not only did he win the most famous final ever. He was the Jimmy McGuiness of his day. While Dywer and Heffernan were the first real managers. Both were old school in terms of training and tactics. Dwyer ran laps of field and with brillant man management got the best from players. Heffernan was a more old school manager and his players respected him but also feared him. McGee was innovative and tryed to bring new ideas to football.He took on St Vincent's in Dublin club championship with UCD and won..He is the only manager to defeat Kevin Heffernan s Dublin 70s team and kerrys greatest team ever.

For Meath and longford there are two games that standout. In 1968 longford defeated Meath in the leinster championship. It was significant for Meath were the reigning All Ireland champions . Many Meath supporters felt that the lost to longford cost Meath a two in a row. Down won All Ireland in 1968. But Meath had hammered the great Down team two years in 1966 in an All Ireland semi final by 14 points. So there was no fear of Down and it was felt that in 1968 the double was on for Meath.

But the fact is that Meath team was beaten by one of the best teams to come out of leinster. Longford would defeat Meath and Dublin in 1968 leinster championship . They would win their only and first leinster title and then lose very narrowly in a semi final to a kerry team with Mick Dywer and Mick O Connell, a kerry team that would win 2 All Irelands in a row in the following two years.
If Longford hadnt to meet kerry who knows might what have happened. But that leinster win was historic not just for longford but for leinster football. That victory in 1968 stands alone. Between 1958 and 1997 Meath Dublin and Offaly in that period of nearly 40 years won all the leinster titles between them. The only team in that 40 year period to win leinster that wasnt Meath Dublin Offaly was the longford team of 68.

To show how good they were they defeated Galway in the 1966 National league division 1 final. The significance of this was in the year that Galway won 3 All Irelands in a row securing the title as the greatest football team to ever cross the Shannon from the west of Ireland and one of greatest ever teams, Longford were the only team to beat them in a final. When Galway 3 in a row where at their height of their powers , Longford beat them.

Again this is a significant win in leinster football. Besides Meath and Dublin the only teams to win a national league division 1 football title since the league began in 1920s until mid 1980s was laois in mid 30s and the longford team in 1966. They were the only 2 leinater winners outside Meath and Dublin of the national league division 1 title from 1920s to mid 1980s. The only other leinster winners since of national league divsion 1 football titlea were laois in 1986 and Offaly in 98 outside the big 2. So in leinster only 4 teams outside Meath ( 7 national league division 1 titles) and Dublin( 14 national league division 1 titles) have won the national league division 1 title and they were laois in 1936 and 1986, Offaly in 1998 and Longford in 1966. Thats show how brillant that longford team was in 1968.

They also defeated the two best teams of the mid 60s , the greatest Galway team ever in a league final and one of Meath greatest team the 1967 All Ireland champions. Longford 1968 leinster champions were a great leinster team..And if you talk to any peoole from that era they will tell u longford had a great team in late 60s that could have and probaly should have won Sam. But in 69 a great Offaly appeared that would win two All Irelands in a row. Meath team of 60s would have one final kick left in them in them with reaching All Ireland final v kerry in 70. Offaly then won 2 in a row ib 71 72. kildare also had a very good team in the early 70s that were unlucky not to win leinster. A kildare team that was backboned by kildares greatest underage period ever . Kildare won 3 in a row leinster in late 60s and their first and only All Ireland under 21 title in late 60s and won a couple of minors and reached minor All Ireland final in 73. These young players from kildare became a very good senior team which many kildare people believe was their second best team to come from kildare in the last 70 years after 98 to 2000 team.

So longford were unlucky that a great Offfaly team came on the scene with a strong kildare team. If things were a little different Longford in 1968 could have been the first team to bring Sam Maguire to midlands instead of Offaly in 1971.

The next significant game between both counties is in 1982. After being defeated by Wexford a division 3 team in 1981. Meath were hoping for an upturn in 82. Instead Longford who were in divsion 4 team at the time defeated Meath in the leinster championship. It the only time in living memory a div 4 team knocked Meath out of the championship. The Meath Chronicle had an article after the game with a caption of a tombstone and written on it was Meath Football RIP. The loss was a turning point for both counties. Afterwards no one would take the Meath job. Gerry McEntee turned it down and so did person after person. So the county board asked a former Meath hurler would he take the team to train for the winter. He did and his name of course was Sean Boylan . And the rest is histoey. Both counties after the game in 82 improved. Longford went from Division 4 to div 2 by mid 80s..Meath would be leinster title winners by 86 and All Ireland winners in 87.

So thats two games where longford defeated Meath and both were significant. From a Meath point of view I hope we dont have a third famous win on Sunday week. Looking forward to going to longford for the championship sunday week you cannot beat the summer and championship football."
I knew very little about the 68 loss. But I remember 82 in cusack park like it was yesterday.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 13842 - 17/05/2018 06:40:44    2101576

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Replying To Loyalroyal17:  "Going in as underdogs is going to suit us Sunday week. We are written off before we even get there but thats grand nothing new there. Remember the old saying lads....you havent beaten Meath until your on the bus home. Play like we did last week with Reilly in top gear and i have no fear for this game. Meath by 4pts."
Meath are the raging favourites .Underdog's Longford are 5/2 which makes them rank outsiders. Going in as underdog's will suit Longford.

salvador (Roscommon) - Posts: 439 - 17/05/2018 09:41:14    2101605

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Replying To salvador:  "Meath are the raging favourites .Underdog's Longford are 5/2 which makes them rank outsiders. Going in as underdog's will suit Longford."
We may be raging favourites with the bookies, but not with the other 31 counties of Ireland.

Loyalroyal17 (Meath) - Posts: 585 - 17/05/2018 10:05:38    2101609

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This will be the first championship meeting between these teams since 1995. They have played 16 times with Meath winning 10 times and Longford winning 6 times. There have been no draws. Meath have won the last two championship meetings. Pearse Park is a huge advantage to Longford. In terms of league position's Meath were involved in a relegation battle right up until the last day of the season and Longford just missed out on promotion. There was not much between the sides when they played in the O'Byrne Cup semi-final in January. I will go with a draw at full time and Meath winning it in extra time.

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 11560 - 17/05/2018 10:40:26    2101628

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