Wednesday 28 September 2016

No room for error in Meath promotion bid - Giles

Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30

Jimmy Feehan (Tipperary), Frank Burns (Tyrone), Cathal Compton (Roscommon) and Eoin Murchan (Dublin) on Dollymount Strand after the launch of the EirGrid U-21 All-Ireland Football Championship (SPORTSFILE)
Jimmy Feehan (Tipperary), Frank Burns (Tyrone), Cathal Compton (Roscommon) and Eoin Murchan (Dublin) on Dollymount Strand after the launch of the EirGrid U-21 All-Ireland Football Championship (SPORTSFILE)

Meath legend Trevor Giles believes the Royals will have to win four of their last five league games if they are to make a return to the top flight this year.

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The defeat away to Fermanagh in round two means Mick O'Dowd's side face an uphill battle to restore their Division 1 status, given that only two of those games are at home and come against Cavan and Tyrone.

"It's massive (gaining promotion to Division 1). It's the place to be," said the Skryne man.

"I think if you are good enough you will get there but we just fell slightly short.

"Everyone in Meath would love to see Kerry coming to Navan for a League game, Mayo, Cork, there's a few teams out there you haven't played in years.

"We played Donegal in Ballybofey a few years ago and that was a massively exciting game for us. We drew with them.

"We just hadn't played Donegal before. You'd love to get up there and have those kind of fixtures. There'd be huge excitement in the county.

"But that's where Mick is trying to get to. He's working really hard, made a great start against Armagh, but then lost to Fermanagh, so he'll probably get promoted with winning five games in Division 2, if you won the right five games.

"That's not leaving him a whole lot of room for error, with five games to go, they'll have to win four of them."

Family and work commitments saw Giles step down as a selector at the end of the 2015 campaign but he remains confident Meath will be able to turn things around in the near future.

"No doubt things will change. You look at the Leinster rugby team; a few years ago everybody was saying they were brilliant, their academies were brilliant and attendances were great. But once you lose a couple of players, the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, they are hard to replace. I think things will change a bit."

And Giles wants to see the county put a greater emphasis on coaching.

"Look at Meath, pretty much all the clubs (have) great facilities, the facilities are terrific... My dad is chairman in Skryne, they are fundraising to get these facilities paid for so it's probably only happening a little bit now that clubs are starting to think about foundation (coaching) courses, level 1 and level 2.

"So it's probably going to take a bit of time before the clubs get enough coaches qualified to the right level to start producing the better quality player."

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