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Royals chiefs have Boylan on standby for hotseat

MEATH GAA chiefs played their trump card today by confirming they have Seán Boylan lined up to replace Seamus McEnaney in the Royal football hotseat.

The county board executive will table a motion of no-confidence in the increasingly beleaguered ‘Banty’ at a full meeting of club delegates next Wednesday night.

However, confirmation that Boylan is set to lead their new managerial ticket will be viewed as a coup likely to scupper any slim chance of McEnaney repelling this board-backed onslaught.

A statement from the Meath hierarchy, released this morning after an executive meeting last night, read as follows: “It has been decided by Coiste Bainistí to recommend to the next meeting of Coiste na Mí CLG (Wednesday 18th April) that Seamus McEnaney’s term as Meath senior football team manager be terminated. Coiste Bainistí is also recommending that Seán Boylan be appointed as Meath senior football team manager.”

Club delegates will now have their say on whether McEnaney is ousted or given a pre-championship stay of execution, but the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against the under-fire Monaghan native.

McEnaney is defiantly holding his ground, doubtless hoping that support from his own dressing-room will swing the pendulum back in his favour … but his tenuous grip on the Meath hotseat could be fatally weakened by news that Boylan is ready and waiting to step into the breach.

The Meath GAA hierarchy has shipped plenty of criticism for its handling of various managerial controversies ever since Boylan – the greatest manager in the county’s history – retired after an epic 23-year reign in 2005.

The top table took even more flak when it emerged last week that Boylan had stepped down from the Meath director of football role to which he had been appointed – only last Septe

meber – to much county board fanfare.

The position didn’t work out, a typically diplomatic Boylan declaring that “we never really got it off the ground”. However, at a meeting this week to clear the air over his departure, the possibility of the four-time All-Ireland winner taking over in the event of a vacancy was broached.

Today’s latest twist capped a remarkable few days for a Royal county in crisis. The chain of developments started with Meath suffering the ignominy of relegation to Division Three after a humiliating nine-point home defeat to Louth on Sunday.

This was followed by the calling of a snap executive meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the management issue, when it was decided to offer McEnaney the chance to resign.

It’s understood that board chairman Barney Allen travelled to Monaghan yesterday and asked McEnaney to step aside, his side having lost five Division Two games on the spin. But McEnaney refused to go, on the grounds that he was determined to see out the second year of his term. And in a further show of defiance, it was “business as usual” for the Corduff man last night as he attended the Meath SFC game between Dunboyne and Dunshaughlin in Ashbourne, in the company of fellow selectors Graham Geraghty and Tom Keague.