MEATH LEGEND TREVOR Giles says that earning promotion to Division 1 for 2020 is “a massive thing” for the county.
The Royals booked their place in the top flight following a seven-point win over Fermanagh last month, a result which sees them return to Division 1 for the first time since 2006.
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Meath coughed up an eight-point lead before losing out to Donegal in the Division 2 decider, but Giles says that the success of the footballers has generated a renewed sense of positivity in the county.
“Things have changed, getting to Division One in the League for next year is a massive thing,” noted the three-time All-Star.
It is massive because crowds were good for the latter stages of the league for Meath.
“I got the train up for the Division 2 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.
Giles, who won All-Irelands with Meath in 1996 and 1999, added:
Meath’s Thomas O’Reilly scoring a goal in the Division 2 final against Donegal.
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
“There is a good positive feeling around Meath. That has to be good. Getting to Division One is very important.
“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.”
Elaborating on his point about the improvements in Meath football, Giles remarked that the county is performing well at underage level.
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The minor side ended a 10-year wait for a Leinster title last year, while their U20s defeated a Kildare outfit who went on to win last year’s All-Ireland final.
It all bodes well for further success in the county, but Giles insists that the Meath seniors must now focus on picking up a few victories in the Leinster championship this summer and possibly target a spot in the provincial final.
“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.
“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.”
Trevor Giles was speaking at the launch of the Beko Club Bua programme 2019, the quality mark for Leinster GAA clubs.
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