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NFL Division 2

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Replying To Donegal_abroad:  "Do they still play the ABBA music at half time in Navan for games? Witnessed it during the qualifier game there in 2017. Had to hear it to believe it, during a championship game of all things."
I have to say music played at half a few weeks ago for our league game with Meath was great.

Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and 5ive, all that was missing was the S Club 7 medley to round it off.

if_in_doubt (Kildare) - Posts: 3631 - 27/03/2019 15:56:59    2175837

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Replying To Al_Maguire:  "We played a few time against each other in the league in the late 80s and early 90s

We beat them in out first ever year in Division 1 in 1988 I think it was when they were All Ireland Champions

Remember a league quarter final game around 1990/1991 between us too."
You're right - they played against each other in the 88-89 league campaign, the following year's playoffs and in division 1 the subsequent year (and probably on other occasions).

I foolishly got my information from the gaelic stats website which is clearly incomplete. My bad on that one.

I did think it strange that it said they'd only played each other 3 times before this year.

Kurt_Angle (Dublin) - Posts: 510 - 27/03/2019 16:06:47    2175842

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Why have Meath improved this year?. McEntee was always going to take years before he cud turn things around. Nally a new coach this year has improved matters. But I think two things have happened that have been the most important. The 2012 All Ireland minor finalist team , players from that team r peaking and players from sucessful underage teams in last 3 years are coming thru. These young players have come in with confidence and talent. But they are the first young Meath players to come through under the new strenght and conditioning and the new underage system in Meath which was put in place 5 years ago. These two groupings coming together have contributed to Meaths improvement.

Meath only sucessful underage team up to recently was the 2012 All Ireland minor finalist. That team was managed by Andy McEntee. It was a good team but in many ways we had to over rely on that team , as it was our only underage sucess up to recent times in this decade. It was a very good team who defeated highly fancied Tyrone and Mayo teams. They were comprehensivly beaten by one of best underage teams in this decade by Dublin 2012 minor team. That Dublin team was the most athletic minor team I have ever seen. They were a huge team where so many of their players looked like senior. In comparison that Meath team had talent but was a small team even by minor standards.

After so many of those minors played for Meath seniors. For example of 2012 minor Meath team all these went on to play senior. For example James McEntee, Shane McEntee, Seamus Lavin, Ruari O Coilean , Adam Flanagan Paddy Kennelly, Harry Rooney , Cillian Sullivan , Robbie Burlingham , Brian Power, Shane Gallagher, Padraig Harnan, Barry Dardis and Fiachra Ward all have played senior football for that Meath team played on 2012 Meath minor. Of the 12 players who played Dublin in 2012 All-Ireland minor final, 12 of the starting 15 played senior for Meath afterwards. That is allot. Probaly we were overeliant on that team. The Meath team that started v Fermanagh on Sunday 6 of the starting 15 played for Meath 2012 minors eg Seamus Lavin Shane Gallagher James's McEntee Shane McEntee Cillian Sullivan and Barry Dardis.

When these Meath players first came on Meath panel they had football ability. But they were small in stature. Meath had a small team up to recently. What has happened Meath were tackled and easily lost possession. This year Meath players with 5 or 6 years strenght and conditioning now are not easily overturned in the tackle. Also the class of 2012 are now 25 and are now peaking as footballers. Footballers peak from age 25 26 to 28. Players like Seamus Lavin Shane McEntee and Barry Dardis have really improved in last 24 months. But 2 players have really gone up a level and they are James's McEntee and Cillian Sullivan. I will talk about them in a second. Meath team are much more physical in the tackle this year. Up to this year we lacked physicality. This is an area of improvement.

The class of 2012 are peaking as footballers. While thw underage class of 2016 2017 2018 are starting to break onto the Meath team. Coming together of both groupings is the foundation of Meaths improvement. Only in the last 5 years Meath have got their act together with strenght and conditioning, Academies and development squads. Campion Devine Ryan Conlon T O Reilly are the first wave of new talented Meath young footballers to come through this process. In the early part of this decade at underage Dublin and kildare teams beat Meath teams comprehensivly. Also Westmeath and longford also were beating Meath at underage. Those players went onto beat Meath at senior.

In the last couple of seasons Meath underage teams r beaten Dublin and kildare regularly. Meath have beaten Dublin 4 times in 4 years at minor level. The only loss v Dublin at minor level in 4 years and Meath were 9 points up half time v Dubs. We are also beating kildare at minor and where only team who defeated their All Ireland winning under 20 team last year in the championship. The good news for Meath is our next two minors are expected to be stronger then this years current Meath minor team who r leinster champions. This should hopefully lead to ( but u never know with young players ) Meath been strong and competitive at under 20 level in leinster in next 3 or 4 years. If Meath start winning under 20 leinster titles that probaly will be a game changer.

Under 20 , under 21 is an age grade we have never really done well. Our record at under 21 level was dreadful. No leinster title in 16 years at under 21 level and only 1 leinster under 21 appearance in 16 years. We won 4 or 5 leinster under 21 titles and an All Ireland under 21 title and two minor All Irelands in the 90s. Before that tlr record was poor at under 21 and decent at minor. Other then 90s our record at underage has been patchy. However at senior our record was outstanding up to 2010. We built teams with little underage sucess up to 1990. 1987 1988 team hadn't an underage medal between them. Things have changed. U cannot have sucess at senior without underage sucess. To give Meath credit , anytime we have had sucess at underage, we have always turned it into senior sucess.

So for me 2012 minor team players peaking and new talented players coming onto the senior team and making instant impact straightaway have contributed massively to Meaths improvement. But I think 4 players have come of age have become real leaders on this Meath team. They r Conor McGill Donal keoghan Cillian Sullivan and James McEntee.

1 Donal keoghan wud walk onto any team in country. On his day one of best defenders in Ireland and on his day best defender in the country. A real leader at number 6 for Meath . He is 27 and is now playing the best football of his career.

2 Conor McGill would walk onto to any team in the country. Even the Dublin team. Dublin have problems at full back. McGill is as good a full back if not better then Rory Carroll. Only 25 he is also starting to peak. He could possibly be the best full back in the country. Name a better one. Another player who is becoming a leader.

3 James McEntee has been transformed since he moved from wing forward to wing back at the end last years league. In his last 9 matchs for Meath he has been man of the match in 5 or 6 of the matchs. He is an attacking wing back , a type of player Meath have been crying out for years. Another player peaking at age of 25.

4 Cillian Sullivan. Cillian Sullivan always had a touch of class about him. Skilful player with huge pace and vision. However in first few years was inconsistent. He could be brillant one day poor next. He also had massive injury problems. He was also player who had a tendency to lose ball in tackle. This year he has really bulked up after 4 years stenght and conditioning. Now he doesnt lose the ball in the tackler.

He has been very consistent this year. A real leader on the 40. He was brillant v Fermanagh. He is also peaking at the age of 25. I always felt Sullivan was hugely important player for Meath. And he is becoming one. He is shown real maturity and leadership this year. Sullivan McGill Keoghan or J McEntee one of them will be Meaths next all.star player. In the coming season or two. People outside the county are going to be talking about these guys.

While Seamus Lavin Shane Gallagher Ronan Ryan Shane McEntee Daragh Campion Ben Brennan T O Reilly have been good this year and have all improved this year , and Menton and Newman r experienced players who have also had good seasons. For me Donal keoghan Conor McGill James McEntee and Cillian Sullivan are the main men on this team and are all coming of age as footballers. The good thing is so many of these Meath players have their best football in the Meath jersey ahead of them.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 833 - 27/03/2019 17:13:56    2175859

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Replying To Kurt_Angle:  "You're right - they played against each other in the 88-89 league campaign, the following year's playoffs and in division 1 the subsequent year (and probably on other occasions).

I foolishly got my information from the gaelic stats website which is clearly incomplete. My bad on that one.

I did think it strange that it said they'd only played each other 3 times before this year."
I dont think its that surprising. Donegal won their first Ulster title in 1972 and played in their first All-Ireland final in 1992. Donegal have become a football superpower in last 25 years. But before that were well behind Downs Cavans Armaghs Monaghans in Ulster. Meath were very strong from the 1930s into early 00s. While Donegal have been consistently strong since 1990s. Meath have been decline since 90s. So when Donegal have been strong recently Meath have been weak. Thats why they have only 3 championship meetings.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 833 - 27/03/2019 17:41:00    2175865

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "I dont think its that surprising. Donegal won their first Ulster title in 1972 and played in their first All-Ireland final in 1992. Donegal have become a football superpower in last 25 years. But before that were well behind Downs Cavans Armaghs Monaghans in Ulster. Meath were very strong from the 1930s into early 00s. While Donegal have been consistently strong since 1990s. Meath have been decline since 90s. So when Donegal have been strong recently Meath have been weak. Thats why they have only 3 championship meetings."
Donegal were a extremely late arrival in Ulster Football, and even later to top tier football in general. But I don't think we are anywhere near being considered a football superpower anytime soon, but in Ulster football we've definitely become one of the consistently strong Counties in the last 30 years.

Ulster Championship Finals
1970's - Won 2/3 finals.

1980's - Won 1/2 finals.

1990's - Won 2/5 finals.
Won 1/1 All Ireland finals.

2000's - Won 0/3 finals.

2010's - Won 4/7 finals.
Won 1/2 All Ireland finals.

We are getting better, still would like a better win rate

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 497 - 27/03/2019 19:11:57    2175880

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Replying To Commodore:  "Donegal were a extremely late arrival in Ulster Football, and even later to top tier football in general. But I don't think we are anywhere near being considered a football superpower anytime soon, but in Ulster football we've definitely become one of the consistently strong Counties in the last 30 years.

Ulster Championship Finals
1970's - Won 2/3 finals.

1980's - Won 1/2 finals.

1990's - Won 2/5 finals.
Won 1/1 All Ireland finals.

2000's - Won 0/3 finals.

2010's - Won 4/7 finals.
Won 1/2 All Ireland finals.

We are getting better, still would like a better win rate"
I would disagree Commodore , Donegal have become a consistently strong county since early 1990s. U won Sam in 90s , had good team in 00s which won a div 1 league title and where unlucky Tyrone and Armagh had their greatest teams ever then. In any other era that Donegal team would have won Ulster. And in this decade only kerry Dublin Cork and Donegal have won Sam. 2 All Irelands in 25 years is a big haul. People look.at kilkenny and Dublins winning tons of All Ireland. But for most counties winning Sam Maguire is an incredibly hard thing to do and rarely happens. Donegal have been consistently strong in the last three decades. And yes I see them as one of stronger sucessful counties. I would call them football superpower.

Donegal since 1990 have been more sucessful then any county in Connacht. And only Tyrone have won more All Irelands in Ulster. Since 1992 they have won more All Irelands then Cork. And leaving Dublin and Meath to one side , since 1990 Donegal have twice as many All Irelands as all of leinster put together in last 35 years. Donegal have been very successful since 1990. McEniff built modern Donegal football. But McGuiness gave Donegal a very strong identity . There is a clear and strong link between Donegal people and their team now. Things like that can be so important in developing a sucessful atitude in a county. And Donegal will have another strong team in 2020s. Their fourth strong generation of players in 4 decades in a row. Their fourth decade in a row Donegal will push for Sam. Only a handful few counties have that level of sucess. I would consider after Kerry and Dublin since 1990 Donegal a football superpower one of the strongest counties.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 833 - 28/03/2019 00:11:29    2175935

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I tipped Donegal and Kildare to get promoted and Fermanagh and Clare to get relegated at the start of the campaign so I only got one prediction right. I will stick with that prediction and pick Donegal to win tomorrow.

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 12060 - 29/03/2019 17:43:56    2176264

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Replying To Royal.Legend:  "You won't top the table. Possibly not make the final either never mind win it."
So, about that.... lol

Donegal_abroad (Donegal) - Posts: 777 - 30/03/2019 22:40:09    2176532

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