Wednesday 13 December 2017

Colm Keys: Former star Beggy joins Boylan at Meath helm

DAVID BEGGY looks set to join Sean Boylan's new-look Meath management team in the coming days.

The former double All-Ireland medal winner may even be unveiled when Meath face Longford in a challenge match under lights at the grounds of Beggy's own club, Navan O'Mahony's, tonight.

And it has emerged that Boylan is looking for a second selector after Eamonn O'Brien decided to step down after eight years service.

O'Brien joined up with Boylan in 1996, the year Meath won their third All-Ireland under the Dunboyne herbalist and has been an ever-present figure on the sidelines since then.

Beggy's imminent appointment has been triggered by Colm Brady's decision to step down from the role after just one year, citing business and family commitments as the main reason for his quick departure.

Beggy, a sales representative in the Meath area with Guinness, began and ended his sporting career by playing rugby and was even capped for Leinster at one stage during a successful spell at Blackrock College.

He successfully made the transition into coaching at GAA club level this year by steering Ardcath side St Vincent's to a Meath junior 'B' championship success.

Beggy will become the ninth different selector to work with Boylan since the management team was culled from a top heavy seven to three in 1985.

He follows in the footsteps of Pat Reynolds, Tony Brennan (1986-93), Joe Cassells and Mick Lyons (1994-95), O'Brien (1996-03), Frank Foley (1996-2000), Colm Coyle (2001-02) and Brady (2003).

It remains to be seen if Boylan will assume control of training again after handing some of the responsibility to Coyle and Brady over the last three seasons.

Meanwhile, the green light has been given for a new inter-county club league which will feature 42 clubs from four Ulster counties.

The league, which is scheduled to get underway in February, will involve 14 teams from Cavan, ten from both Monaghan and Armagh, and eight from Fermanagh.

Declan Flanagan, a presidential appointment to the committee that is exploring the whole area of expanding the club competitions programme, said he was very confident that the competition would be a big success.

"We are proposing to play the competition in seven groups of six clubs with the top team in each section going through to the play-offs," he said.

It was initially planned for include clubs from just three counties, but according to Flanagan, "Armagh were very keen to come into this and we welcomed the request as it will give a better spread of games.

"The Ulster Council has given the green light to the idea and will come on board to handle discipline and all matters pertaining to referees, so we should be in a position to draw up fixtures shortly," he added.

Tyrone captain Peter Canavan and manager Mickey Harte are due to appear on The Dunphy Show tonight to discuss their new books, Every Step We Took and Kicking Down Heaven's Door.

Both men will have to leave the All-Stars Banquet in the Citywest Hotel to appear on the chat show.

Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey, who failed to be even short-listed for an All-Star this year, is also due to appear on the show.

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