Trevor Giles: 'There is a lot more interest now in the county'
By Cian O’Connell
Former Meath star Trevor Giles is encouraged that the Royals are making progress.
Having secured promotion to Division One of the Allianz Football League for 2020 Giles believes that Meath underage teams have improved considerably in recent years.
Ultimately it means capable footballers are being produced by Meath with Andy McEntee’s charges beginning to deliver at senior level.
“Things have changed, getting to Division One in the League for next year is a massive thing,” Giles admits. “It is massive because crowds were good for the latter stages of the League for Meath. I got the train up for the Division Two Final here against Donegal, it was packed.
“So there is a lot more interest now in the county, kids are bringing a ball along to the matches to get out at half-time at Pairc Tailteann to play. There is a good positive feeling around Meath. That has to be good.”
Giles is adamant that the work being carried out by clubs at juvenile level during the past decade carries importance.
“The underage has been good in Meath for the last few years, they have won the last two Leinster Under 17s, the Under 20s last year beat Kildare, who went on to win the All Ireland,” Giles states.
“They are competing well at underage. Getting to Division One is very important. Meath need to win a few games in Leinster, getting to a Leinster Final whether you win that or not you have a chance to get to the Super 8s.
“Some of those Meath players could improve during the year, they could grow. Some of them haven't played in Croke Park a whole lot. Come next February when the League starts Meath could potentially be a different team compared to where they have finished.”
Operating at the highest level in the League will benefit Meath in the longer term according to Giles. “It is better to go up to see how you get on to stay in Division Two and wonder how you'd get on,” Giles stresses.
“People in Meath now just want to see what the draw is for the League next year. Who is coming to Navan and where they might be going for away games? Look at all the teams there is no unattractive fixtures there. So yeah it is very exciting, it is tough.
“You have a top six in football and you've only eight places in Division One. To get into that top six in Division One you'd have to win two games and draw another or win three games. That takes a bit of doing.
“If the team can grow during the year and the underage keeps producing a couple of players every year Meath can improve over the next few years and be sustainable.
“Maybe you could yo yo a little bit for a year or two, but eventually you'd stay in Division One. Then you have a chance to compete for the ultimate honours.”