Meath Gaa announced a development plan for transition from Minor to U20s at their annual County Convention on Monday night, January 11th.
As part of the new three year personnel strategy for the development of underage intercounty players Meath GAA will have a Under-18/19 panel (Post Academy Panel) to run parallel with the Under-20 panel.
This panel will facilitate the continued development of those players who come from the Under-17/Minor grade and who do not make the Under-20 panel in the year after their exit from the grade.
Year one (2021) and year two (2022) will have Bernard Flynn as manager of the U-20 Football team. Current Minor manager John McCarthy will manage the Post Academy Panel in Year one, and will become a selector of the Under-20 panel in Year two.
In Year three (2023), John McCarthy will become the Under-20 Manager. In year two (2022) Cathal O’Bric, who is minor manager in 2021, will manage the Post Academy Panel.
The Post Academy Panel will operate in line with the same physical, technical and tactical programme as the Under-20 panel. Coaches from the Under-20s will contribute to this squad during the season.
The Under-20 provincial championships are scheduled to start on the weekend of March 27th. It will be played on a straight knockout format and will be run over a six-week period, with the All-Ireland final to be played on the opening weekend of May.
Under-20 inter-county football panels are not permitted to return to collective training before Friday, February 5th.
As expected, Meath last night confirmed the appointment of Bernard Flynn as county U20 football manager.
The two-time All-Ireland winner was named as the new Royal U20 boss at the Meath GAA county convention.
Flynn previously managed Mullingar Shamrocks and succeeds Dunboyne clubman Ger Robinson in the position.
He will be assisted by fellow Meath legend Graham Geraghty, who is set for a remarkable return to the inter-county scene just months after undergoing life-saving surgery after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Recently retired star Graham Reilly will also act as a selector, while Mayo ladies manager Peter Leahy and Kilmacud Crokes boss Robbie Brennan are set for coaching roles along with former Dublin goalkeeper Shane Supple.
Meanwhile, Meath senior football manager Andy McEntee has added last year’s minor selector Paul Nestor to his backroom team for 2021, as a replacement for the outgoing Gerry Cooney.
Scoil Dara Kilcock has always had a proud history of producing top class Gaa players through the years and their current crop of stars from Meath and Kildare are up there with some of the best.
6th year student and Kilcock Gaa Star Shane Farrell came off the bench (in my opinion he should have never been on it) to kick two second half points, while putting in a fine performance at midfield as Kildare Minor Footballers ran out comfortable 2-16 to 1-07 winners over Louth in Newbridge.
Farrell’s team and school mate Darragh Sloane who plays his club football with Balyna, started the game at full forward for Kildare and struck a first half goal for the Lilywhites.
In Pairc Tailteann, Navan, Meath defeated neighbours Westmeath on a full time scoreline of 3-11 to 0-07 to set up a semi final meeting with Laois.
Summerhill duo Eoghan Frayne and Ben Moran both started and starred for the Royals, with Adam McDonnell, Michael Brady and Oisin Bright also part of the extended panel. Captain Frayne scored 0-04 during another fine performance.
A mouth watering Leinster Final in early 2021 is still on the cards between Meath and Kildare and if both sides get over their Semi finals next weekend, it will serve for a few interesting weeks in the Kilcock school.
Meath play Laois and Kildare face Offaly in next week’s Leinster Semi Finals.
The Meath Minor Footballers take on neighbours Westmeath in the Quarter Final of the Leinster Minor Football Championship in Navan on Saturday, with Captain Eoghan Frayne delighted they are getting the chance to do so.
Summerhill man Frayne said that after the highs of the Dublin game and the uncertainty of lockdown, that he and his team mates are now ready to play anytime and anywhere. And that starts with Saturday’s clash against a side that knocked the young Royals out in 2019, a game Frayne was also involved in.
The ace marksman who is a 5th year student in Scoil Dara Kilcock, was man of the match and voted Minor Player Of The Week after his flawless performance against Dublin in round one way back on October 17th.
Frayne kicked scores from all angles that, finishing with a personal tally of 0-07 but it was the overall performance of the Meath team that particularly impressed as they swept aside the Dubs with a second half blitz to run out convincing 1-15 to 0-07 winners.
Unfortunately for the team and management the country entered its second lockdown shortly after and uncertainty surrounded the future of the 2020 Minor Championship, with the Gaa allowing only Senior competitions to played during the six week lockdown period.
This week we caught up with a buoyant Frayne to discuss the highs and lows of the last few weeks and to look ahead to the Westmeath clash on Saturday, a game he is really looking forward too.
“Ahh look Robert it’s great to get back at it after the uncertainty of the last few weeks since the Dublin game. We were ready to play this game anytime and anywhere. We just wanted to get it played and we were looking forward to going as far into the Championship as we could.
I suppose like every county, we’ve worked so hard for this. And not only this year, we’ve been building towards this for the last few years. Training together as a group all through the developments squads and it’s just great that we are getting the chance to finish it, whatever the outcome may be.
With regards the Dublin game. Not a word of a lie, we spent the last number of years building towards that game. John and the rest of the management team have been preparing us for that game for a long time. So we knew when the time came that we would be well ready for that challenge.
To be fair to all the lads, the effort through the years has been immense and thankfully we all stuck together. The improvement through the years has been ten fold.
We really hit the ground running the day we played Dublin in Navan and thankfully we got our just reward.
After that game and all the effort we had put into it, it was a bit of a kick in the teeth to find out the Championship was cancelled. It was disappointing at the time looking back but we never lost faith and knew it would be back at some stage.
To be honest in a way the postponment may have done us a bit of good as it brought us back down earth a bit after the high of the Dublin game. It gave us a chance to refocus and not to live off that one result, however good it might have been”
Lockdown – “Yeah we weren’t allowed to train together for the Six weeks. So like the first lockdown, we just had to train on our own.
You could see the first night we went back and we started the running that the boys had clearly put in the work on their own and were clearly up to it. Even the lads that weren’t picked the last day, you could see what they might have been working on to try and put themselves in contention for the Westmeath game. All the lads put in a serious effort”
Championship is back – “There was a bit of speculation about the date of the Westmeath game. We weren’t sure to be honest, though it was good to hear talk of it returning.
When we finally got it confirmed for sure we then only had two weeks together to prepare. It’s not ideal obviously as it’s a short space of time but look all teams are in the same boat.
We obviously couldn’t even get a challenge game in or anything. We had to make the most of our training sessions, working on the fitness and getting the eye in with the ball skills.
But as I said earlier, the lads came back in serious shape and everyone was up for it. It was clear to see that we hadn’t lost much ground at all over the lockdown.
We’re all ready now for the intensity that Westmeath are sure to bring to Navan on Saturday. It’s our next game so in our eyes it’s our most important. The next game is always the most important.
We’re looking to go as far as we can in this competition and are grateful that it’s back up and running and for us the Westmeath game is the next step on our journey. We really can’t wait and will give it our all”
Meath man Ger Robinson has taken over as manager of Kildare Intermediate Football Champions Clogherinkoe for the 2021 season.
Robinson, who was in charge of the Meath U20 footballers in 2020, takes over from the out-going Ronan Quinn, who leaves the club in a good place, as they look forward to competing in the Kildare Senior Football Championship for the first time next year.
The Dunboyne was once on the books of Middlesbrough and rubbed shoulders with stars like Gazza before returning home and helping his club to win a Meath SFC title in 2005 as a player.
He has since gone on to manage underage and adult teams in Dunboyne to Championship success, as well as been on the management team as the club won the Senior Football Championship in 2018.
Robinson will be joined by Enfield man Shane Barrett as coach.
Clogherinkoe took to their social media pages tonight to announce the news; “Clogherinkoe Gaa are delighted to announce the appointment of Ger Robinson (Manager) and Shane Barrett (Coach) as our management team for the Senior football side in 2021.
Ger is the outgoing Meath U20 manager, while Shane was involved as coach in the Royals setup in the year just gone. Both have built up considerable experience over the last few years with Ger leading his native Dunboyne to JFC and U21 success in 2018, while he was also senior selector the same year as his club won the Meath SFC.
Shane has also been involved with a number of teams overs the years and was involved with Kildare side Confey in 2018.
This is a positive appointment by the club ahead of our first year in the Kildare SFC and we wish the management and players every success going forward”