No room for sentiment as Sheridan faces Meath exit
LOUTH supporters might well have seen the back of Joe Sheridan in an intercounty jersey!
The Meath man who broke Wee County hearts back in 2010 with the most controversial goal in GAA history that handed the Royals the Leinster crown has been told by boss Mick O'Dowd that he is not part of plans for the 2014 Division 2 league campaign.
Twenty nine-year-old Sheridan is just one of a number of prominent Royals who might not have a part to play in the county's future under O'Dowd who is already planning for a second of a three-year term.
Other high profile players surplus to requirements include veterans Brian Farrell, Peadar Byrne and Caoimhin King as well as youngsters Ciaran Lenehan, Sean Tobin and Brian Dillon.
The axing of so many of the players who has served the county over the past 10 years is a bold move by the Meath management team and a further indication that there is little sentiment in todays game.
It is also further evidence that manager O'Dowd is determined to put his own stamp on the county team and isn't afraid to yield the axe.
Sheridan's omission will come as a major shock, especially as he was a firm favourite with Meath supporters, even if he only played a bit- part in this years championship campaign and was mostly used by O'Dowd as an impact sub.
The 29-year-old did start in Round 4 of the All-Ireland qualifiers against Tyrone but was withdrawn early in the second half as Meath exited the championship.
A member of the county minor team that lost out to Derry in the 2002 All-Ireland final, the Seneschalstown man was handed a senior championship debut by the legendary Sean Boylan in 2004.
However he had to wait until 2010 for his only Leinster SFC medal when his late controversial goal won Meath the title and deprived Louth of a first provincial success since 1957.
There was chaotic scenes at the final whistle as a number of Louth fans attempted to get at referee Martin Sludden who allowed the score to stand despite television replays clearly showing that Sheridan had thrown the ball into the net.
The semi-finals of the Meath senior, intermediate and junior championships take place this weekend and Mick O'Dowd and his selectors Sean Kelly and Trevor Giles will be attempting to unearth new talent for next years championship and Division 2 league campaign.