Monday 27 February 2017

Key selectors quit Meath camp in wake of Geraghty return

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Meath football has been rocked by the departure of two members of the management team over the weekend in the wake of Graham Geraghty's surprise return to inter-county football.

Assistant manager Liam Harnan and selector Barry Callaghan, both former All-Ireland medal winners with the county, have both stepped down just two weeks before the county play Kildare in the Leinster quarter-final.

Callaghan made his intentions known to Meath manager Seamus McEnaney on Friday when it was confirmed that Geraghty was returning.

Harnan waited until a team meeting in Trim yesterday morning to inform the players and the rest of the management of his decision.

It is understood that neither selector was happy about the return of Geraghty to inter-county football after a three-year absence.

However, it's not clear if the Geraghty issue was the only bone of contention between the management team or if divisions in the camp had been simmering for some time.

Harnan was a key figure in McEnaney's appointment as the first outside manager in Meath. Without such a high-profile former Meath player on the ticket, Meath County Board might not have made the move. Harnan was initially a contender in his own right but joined forces with McEnaney to form a strong back-room team.

The three-man committee who made the recommendation to appoint McEnaney also advised him to appoint another Meath selector and Callaghan was brought on board.

McEnaney will continue on as manager with just Paul Grimley as a selector and Martin McElkennon as trainer.

The Meath players are also understood to be fully behind McEnaney and the rest of his team. But the pressure to win against Kildare has intensified after events over the last 48 hours.

Geraghty made his competitive return as a substitute in a challenge match against Galway in Mullingar yesterday, which Meath won by 0-10 to 0-8.

Irish Independent

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