Thursday 27 July 2017

'I was 21, he was 45 and he'd beat me in the bleep test!' - Rory's Stories on playing under Meath boss Andy McEntee

Rory O'Connor (left) and Andy McEntee (right).
Rory O'Connor (left) and Andy McEntee (right).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Andy McEntee has got off to an impressive start as Meath boss and Royals supporters are very excited.

One of those hopeful fans is Rory O'Connor of Rory's Stories, who is better placed than most to judge McEntee - O'Connor won a Meath intermediate championship under the manager with Donaghmore/Ashbourne in 2007.

McEntee joined Rory and Will Slattery on this week's episode of The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast, and shared some stories about his time in charge of the Meath club.

Rory remembers McEntee as a top tactician who drove the team to new heights through impressive dedication.

"Your theory on my playing days was that if I had a good game I was fit, and if I had a bad game I was unfit and my diet had to change!" Rory told McEntee.

"Andy used to say 'if you're 17 stone and you are playing midfield, I don't think that's acceptable' and Andy would arrange a bleep test. I think Andy was in his mid-forties at the time and I was maybe 21, 22 and he would purposely kill himself to stay in the bleep test until I dropped out and then I would get a phone call: 'Rory, I'm 45 years of age, I can't be beating you in the bleep test!'. But you know yourself Andy, you were a fit 45-year-old!"

For his part, McEntee has fond memories of managing Rory.

"He was fair handful in the middle of the field and we had some good days together. As he said, it's not easy carrying 17 stone around the pitch but he always gave a fair attempt at it."

Meath won their first championship game under McEntee last Sunday, advancing to the Leinster semi-final after beating Louth. The Royals will face Kildare in Tullamore in the provincial final four on June 17.

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