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O'Dowd hits back at Meath 'experts'

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Mick O'Dowd

Mick O'Dowd

Mick O'Dowd

THE last time he spoke to media after a match, Mick O'Dowd was so agitated, he lost composure momentarily.

On Saturday night, with Meath's season over, he spoke with hurt and a little dignity.

The pain of defeat, of not making discernible progress on last year, of failing to respond to the Leinster final with a little show of Meath grit, was etched on his face.

But he had a point to make.

"I hear criticism sometimes from past players," he said of the aftermath of the Dublin defeat.

"But they didn't have to dedicate themselves to the jersey like the modern inter-county player does."

While not going so far as naming names, O'Dowd's defence of his players was both genuine and not designed to delfect from the fact that they weren;t good enough to beat Armagh.

"To be honest I don't think the performance there...the lads licked their wounds and then drove on from there," he said, refusing to use the magnitude of the Dublin loss as mitigation.

"You have to give credit to Armagh today."

negative

"You could focus on the people who are negative towards amateur players," he said when asked to return to the earlier theme.

"I'd focus more on the people within county Meath that stood by these players.

"They know they are young, amateur footballers who are giving their lives to the Meath jersey. As amateurs. That's very important thing to state.

"So anyone that uses, and I'm talking about you professional journalists, I'm talking about people you know who are so called experts. They'd really want to think about what they say about players."

"But in general most Meath people realise there is a period of development going on. We just need to stand tall, stand by one another and work hard for the county. At the end of the day," O'Dowd concluded, "that's what we are all doing."

"We'll be back again for sure."


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