Royal rivalry still burns for Dubs - Gavin
Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30
Jim Gavin believes the rivalry between Dublin and Meath remains strong despite his side's dominance of the fixture recently.
Dublin have won the last three championship encounters by a cumulative total of 26 points and the bookmakers are expecting a similarly one-sided clash on Sunday, with the All-Ireland champions priced at around 1/50. However, Gavin believes the rivalry remains strong.
"It's a local derby. Our border counties are Meath, Kildare and Wicklow and any time we play those teams the players would know each other well from college or playing club friendlies or living in the other counties.
"We had a lot more games back in the '90s between the teams than in recent times but that Dublin-Meath rivalry is strong and it's still strong. The current Dublin players are very aware of that tradition that is there. Meath will go into the game trading off that tradition."
Meath's overhaul under Mick O'Dowd continues and they will field just one player who played when the Royals last turned over the Dubs back in 2010.
And while Meath's players may be unfamiliar to many, Gavin believes they have a "good handle" on the Royals.
"We have a good handle on where they're at. They had a very good (pre-season), they obviously prepared well for it. They beat Longford in the O'Byrne Cup final, they started the National League very well by beating Armagh and a lot of the games they played in Division 2, they were very much in the game in the second half - they let the lead slip. But they were very dominant in those games.
"As we've seen in recent results, there's nothing now between Division 2 and Division 1. Either team can have expectations of winning those games and they closed off the National League campaign very well."