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Moyles signs up for new Royal campaign

AS a stockbroker, Anthony Moyles should know the value of things.

So, he's aware that Meath's Leinster title last summer was tarnished, but he also insists that the Royals weren't given due recognition for some of their performances earlier in the year.

"Look, we played enough tough games to get (to a Leinster final) last year," Moyles said.

"It has been talked about and written about umpteen times, but we feel we never got the recognition for the style that we played against Laois, who are a very, very good team. The same with the game against Dublin. We would feel there's some unfinished business there, definitely."

Moyles is part of a tiny minority in Leinster. As one of just two active players with an All-Ireland medal (Nigel Crawford is the other), he's coming towards the end of his career, but any thoughts he had about packing it all in were dismissed as soon as he had his first conversation with Seamus McEnaney.

"He's a straight talker. We had a very open and frank conversation. He made no promises.

"He said: 'Come back and we'll see how it goes. If you're good enough, you're good enough; if you're not, you're not'. That's all you really want.

"Obviously, with the age thing, anytime you go over the '30' figure plenty of people are writing you off, especially lads in the media.

"And people expect that your legs are gone if you get beaten for a ball or whatever," said the 34-year-old.

"I've been getting beaten for balls for 10 or 15 years, so it's not anything to do with the legs.

"Hopefully, we can push on this year. There's a lot of competition, which is a good thing. I suppose younger lads coming through, keep you on your toes."

Where exactly Moyles fits into McEnaney's plans is a mystery, even for the Oliver Plunkett's man. He has long been seen as Meath's troubleshooter, operating anywhere between the No 2 and No 12 shirts and he expects more of the same.

"I've been all over the place at this stage," said Moyles, who started his career with the St Paul's club in Clonee before moving to Blackhall Gaels and then Dublin side Plunketts.

"I don't know what the plans are this year. I'll do a job where I'm asked.

"I've started this year kind of coming into the half-forward line for Meath. It all depends on the system you're going to play and where I fit in with that."

Under McEnaney and Co, Meath are expected to evolve beyond their traditional system of getting long, early ball into the full-forwards and Moyles believes it's the right way to go.

"We've always had the tradition of 'get it in as quick as you can'. But when you have these massed defences now, it can kind of play against you, though when it's going well it's fantastic. Obviously, strategy is coming more into it.

"It's hard to get it out of lads' heads as well when they've been playing for 15 or 20 years in one particular style. If we can adapt I think it will help us big time."

Irish Independent