Saturday 24 March 2018

McEnaney insists his loyalties lie solely with Royal cause

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

MEATH manager Seamus McEnaney insists his loyalties will lie only with the Royals -- even if they come up against his native Monaghan over the course of the summer.

The counties can't meet in a competitive game until the championship as the Farney men will play league football in the top flight in 2011 and Meath play in Division 2 but, speaking at the launch of the their fight night -- titled 'Battle of the Royals' -- McEnaney stated that he'll have no problem facing the side he managed for six years.

"My job now is to manage Meath," he said. "When I left Monaghan I did intend on taking 12 months out and taking a break from football. The opportunity of managing Meath came up.

"With the traditions that Meath have, I suppose to get the job was a privilege and an honour for me and while I'm in that dressing-room, I will always want that dressing-room to win, it'll not make any difference who we're playing against."

After his protracted appointment, McEnaney felt Meath were behind their Leinster rivals in terms of preparation and moved quickly to meet the squad and hand out their strength and conditioning programmes.

One trial has already been run and others are planned, with the new management team intending to look at almost 70 footballers before cutting the panel to 40 for the O'Byrne Cup and approximately 32 for the league.

McEnaney also confirmed that all of the 2010 panel have made themselves available for selection, meaning senior players like Anthony Moyles, Nigel Crawford and Brendan Murphy will return.

"I suppose the most pleasing part was that every player I've called in Meath to either take the weights programme or come in for trials has committed themselves to it," he said.

"That's a huge thing. You could talk to 65 players and there might be 10 refusals. There were absolutely no refusals in Meath and that's encouraging.

"Meath has a particular style of football and it's been very successful for them over a long period of time. This group of players would feel they haven't been as successful as they could be. What we'll do is put together a game plan that will suit this bunch of players.

"At the end of the day my job as Meath team manager is to get the best footballers in Meath, first of all, and to get the best out of them. We will be deciding on a game plan that suits this team.

"We wouldn't be setting any long-term plan. We have to play Laois in the National Football League in the first weekend in February. Beyond that we wouldn't be looking."

Boxing promoter Brian Peters and Jimmy Magee were on hand yesterday to help Meath launch their fight night, which will take place in Trim's Knightsbrook Hotel on January 2.

Cavan boxer Andy Murray will help choose the pairings and McEnaney, who ran similar events during his six years with Monaghan, is confident the night will help the players.

"I have no doubt that it'll be good for them," said the manager. "But it's great fun and great bonding for them too. It's a great opportunity for the lads to get to know each other physically."

Approximately 1,500 tickets, priced at €30 each, have gone on sale and are available from the venue, county board officials and the clubs.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport