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David Reid encourages supporters to travel for ‘driven’ Louth’s Gerry Reilly Cup final against Meath

The Reds taken on the hosts in Oldcastle on Sunday bidding to deliver the county’s maiden success in the competition

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Micheál Reid, Seán Flynn, Paddy McHugh and Oran Martin. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Micheál Reid, Seán Flynn, Paddy McHugh and Oran Martin. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Jack Murtagh, Donnacha Hodgkins, Callum Shevlin and Ciarán McGinty. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Jack Murtagh, Donnacha Hodgkins, Callum Shevlin and Ciarán McGinty. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Donal McArdle and James Corcoran. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Donal McArdle and James Corcoran. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Daniel Craven, Shane Lennon, Dylan Shevlin and Justin Cooney. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Daniel Craven, Shane Lennon, Dylan Shevlin and Justin Cooney. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Adam Gillespie, Josh Taaffe, Andy Murray, Tiernan Cassidy and Keelan Martin. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Adam Gillespie, Josh Taaffe, Andy Murray, Tiernan Cassidy and Keelan Martin. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Shayne Soraghan (Left), Geraldines, Colm Hackett, St. Fechins, Caoimhin Prout, St. Kevins. Cillian Byrne, Stabannon Parnells and Robbie Mathews, St. Kevins. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Shayne Soraghan (Left), Geraldines, Colm Hackett, St. Fechins, Caoimhin Prout, St. Kevins. Cillian Byrne, Stabannon Parnells and Robbie Mathews, St. Kevins. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Jack Healy, Paul Galvin, Conor Browne and Conor McGinty. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Jack Healy, Paul Galvin, Conor Browne and Conor McGinty. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Cormac McKeown, Rian Devlin, Pearse Murphy Grimes and Jack O'Leary. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Cormac McKeown, Rian Devlin, Pearse Murphy Grimes and Jack O'Leary. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Paddy O'Connell, Tony McDonnell, Pádraig Tinley and Liam Coleman. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Paddy O'Connell, Tony McDonnell, Pádraig Tinley and Liam Coleman. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

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Micheál Reid, Seán Flynn, Paddy McHugh and Oran Martin. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

David Reid says Louth’s U16s are just one step away from achieving their season objective by delivering a maiden Gerry Reilly Cup success for the county.

No Wee team has ever taken the top honour at the Oldcastle tournament and yet having overcome Cavan and Kildare successively in a comprehensive manner, they're fancied to test Meath on home turf on Sunday evening (7pm).

"They’re a fairly driven bunch of players, this group,” Reid, who oversees team training with James Califf (Dreadnots) and Johnny Clerkin (O Raghallaighs), said on Saturday.

"We came into this development squad last year and got to the final of the Fr Manning tournament where we got quite a rude awakening against Mayo, unfortunately.

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“The final was played in the first week of December and we spoke coming off the field about how that was the level we needed to be at. In fairness, they’d dealt with everything pretty comfortably before that. 

“Against Mayo, they met a different level, but had we not made the final, the players wouldn’t have known what it was like against those type of teams – it was better to learn about the level we needed to reach going forward.

“The first meeting we had this year, we asked what our sole purpose was this year – and most of the group said they wanted to win the Gerry Reilly. 

"You know what you’re going to get against Meath. It’s their tournament in Oldcastle – they’re going to be hell bent on winning it. But it’s a serious opportunity for this group because Louth have never won the Gerry Reilly and that’s their goal.

“It’s our goal to give them every opportunity possible to perform and I’ve real confidence in the group that they will because they’ve done everything asked of them so far to the highest possible standard.

“And I’d ask everyone in the county to get behind these lads. They’re a really good group. The final is in Oldcastle at 7 o’clock on the 14th, if you’re at a loose end. It’s not the easiest journey to make but they're really good and there’s a lot to be positive about around this group.

“We’d love people to ride the crest of this wave because there’s been plenty of times where we’ve been kicked when we've been down.”

Without several players who were called into Aaron Hoey’s minor panel – including Adam Gillespie (Ardee St Mary’s) and the Shevlin twins, Dylan and Ryan – the Reds faced Meath in a challenge match prior to the Reilly Cup. 

It was a match that saw Reid’s boys impress in the opening half before fading after the interval. Though there were enough bright moments to indicate Louth will be hugely competitive this weekend. 

"We wanted players to better themselves so if they were good enough to go up a level, that was absolutely fine,” the Mattock Rangers clubman added.

"We picked between eight and 10 players (to move up) and left the option to come back if it wasn’t working out. 

“We were carrying a good squad so it wasn’t that disruptive and the door was then open for other players. We’re continually learning and we’ve got that mindset with this group.

“You can see from last year how much certain lads have developed and then on the flip side of that, other fellas have kind of stalled. It’s our job to manage that and keep an eye on it.

“You’re dealing with a tender age group and young males’ life. There’s plenty of things that are happening outside of football so you’re just trying to keep an open mind with everything and we can only base what we do on what we see on the field. We’ve a duty of care for the players first and foremost but they’re a good bunch and that attitude has generally been superb.

“We’d like to think that we’re available to talk if there are issues outside of football. It’s far from a dictatorship.”

Dundalk Gaels’ Pádraig Tinley is the team captain, though an injury sustained prior to the Kildare semi-final clash continues to rule him out of contention, with Micheál Reid, Hunterstown Rovers, deputising in Tinley’s absence.


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