Geraghty greatest player in Meath's history - McEnaney
Published 29/06/2011 | 05:00
Meath manager Seamus McEnaney not only thinks that 38-year-old Geraghty can be an influence at the top level for another two years he is also, in his opinion, the best footballer Meath ever produced.
McEnaney delivered his assessment of Geraghty at yesterday's announcement of a series games in Croke Park next October to celebrate 125 years years of GAA in CIE, the old national transport network before it was broken up.
Pressed on his controversial decision to bring Geraghty back after a three-year absence at the end of May, McEnaney is adamant that he been nothing but positive in his influence.
"There's one thing I'll say about Graham Geraghty and I'll say it hand on heart, and some people might not like this, he is the best footballer Meath ever produced, in my eyes," said McEnaney.
"There's no doubt I'm absolutely satisfied with the decision to bring Graham back. He's an absolutely positive influence on the panel.
"He's very, very good with the young lads. He has a lot to offer to this Meath set-up, not just this year but for a couple of more years.
"It's as long as Graham's body allows him. For me, I don't care if a fella is 18 or 38, it doesn't make any difference. Am I right in saying Ciaran McManus scored three points from the middle of the field last Saturday evening against Monaghan and he's 35 years of age? There's nobody talking about that. Is it because he's Graham Geraghty?
"I've been watching Graham Geraghty, I've had fellas watching Graham Geraghty to see what sort of form he was showing at club level because, for me, class is permanent, form is temporary.
"I suppose you have to go with form along with class but he has that, he proved it a few weeks ago against Kildare. Unfortunately, he would have got more game time against Kildare only Brian Farrell was sent off.
"I was disappointed for Graham that he wasn't fit to come in against Louth. I would have loved to give him more game time because I believe there is more than 15 or 20 minutes in him."
Geraghty's recall at the end of May precipitated the departure of McEnaney's two 'local' selectors, Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan and created a controversy within the Royal county.
But McEnaney said it never bothered him that a circus developed around the decision.
"It doesn't make a difference to me what anyone thinks outside the four walls of the dressing-room. I couldn't care less what anybody thinks," said the Monaghan man.
"If I think that he's a benefit to the team or I think anyone is a benefit to the team, I couldn't care whether the media likes him or doesn't like him or likes what I do or doesn't like what I do. If it's good for the team well then it's good for me."
McEnaney admitted that when he got home on Saturday night and watched the DVD of the win over Louth he was unimpressed with some aspects of his team's play.
"I think there were a lot of good things about Meath's performance -- the things I would have been disappointed with would be the missed opportunities but, in general, it was a decent performance from where we're coming from," McEnaney continued.
"There was an element of relief for everyone in the dressing-room, me included. This group of players have been working seriously hard, me included.
"They're very committed, their application is top class, their discipline is top class -- everything you would want from a group of inter-county players, these lads have been doing it.
"Unfortun-ately, it hasn't been transforming into performances but the only thing I would say about that is that when they really needed to put a performance in against Tyrone to stay in Division 1, they did it
"They really needed (to find a performance) last Saturday night (and) they did it."