Ageless Geraghty to finally grace Sigerson stage
MEATH legend Graham Geraghty is back in the big time as he's set to make his Sigerson Cup debut at 40 years old.
The 1999 All-Ireland-winning captain has enrolled in a Social and Community Development course in Blanchardstown IT and will line out as the college make their bow in the blue riband competition early next year.
"It came as bit of a surprise," Geraghty said. "I didn't think I'd ever play college football at any stage and it's definitely a surprise to be playing at this level.
"I was meant to do a sports and recreational course in Colaiste Ide but I never did and 23 years later here I am."
Geraghty is still active as a player at club level and was one of the leading lights as his Athboy-based side Clann na nGael reached the Meath IFC final earlier this year.
He has also been involved in management and is set to take charge of Duleek-Bellewstown next year. Last season he managed Blanchardstown IT to a Trench Cup title along with Val Andrews, a success that saw them progress to the Sigerson ranks.
Yesterday's draw in Croke Park handed the minnows a home tie against NUI Maynooth but after retaining their top-flight status, Geraghty is hopeful of a good performance.
"We have lost eight of the team from last year and it's a massive blow for a small college like us. But it's a challenge and we managed to stay up in the league."
Geraghty's long association with the Meath senior footballers ended with the departure of Seamus McEnaney last year but he heaped praise on his replacement Mick O'Dowd, who is "building a team".
"Mick is doing a good job," Geraghty asserted. "Last year was a progression from the year before and he is trying to build a team. You have to let go of some of the lads that had been there a while.
"I won't say they are getting on but maybe they are slowing down a wee bit and to play at that level you have to be at the top of your game the whole time. So I think he's going the right way about it, bringing on young players.
"He's there for three years so it's probably the only way to do it, giving a lad time to develop a team. You can't do it in one or two years so it's good to see some of the young lads coming through.
"Some of them would be good club players but when they are playing at county they will be playing with better players and become better themselves.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how Eamonn Wallace and Mickey Newman get on next year, they were good in the year gone by and it's up to them to step up next year and lead the team."