The first thought that struck us here in Meath Live, when news broke last night that Bernard Flynn had resigned as Meath under 20 football manager in a row over senior manager Andy McEntee refusing to release the three eligible players from his squad back to the under 20s for their upcoming championship match, was to sincerely hope McEntee and Flynn never end up on the same tug of war team.
It was far too easy to imagine county committee chairman John Kavanagh screaming at them, ‘No No No lads you are meant to be pulling in the SAME direction’ and being ignored until the inevitable head on collision happened.
It’s also easy to feel sorry for Kavanagh as in fairness as Captain of the ship he couldn’t have seen this iceberg coming.
He had after all overseen a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ signed by all parties that would allow the three under 20s to revert to Flynn’s set up for the championship.
When this agreement was broken it was a clear case of the tail wagging the dog, and it should not have been broken as a deal is a deal, especially when it is signed off on.
And make no mistake about it when the tail does wag the dog the dog’s position is weakened.
To be fair to Andy McEntee he has one group that concerns him and one group only, the senior squad, and while he has to keep an eye on those progressing through the ranks his sole concern, and correctly so, would be on the SFC clash against either Longford or Carlow in a few weeks.
He knows that if he loses that the chances of his term as manager being extended are as slim as that of a controversial post making it on to a GAA website.
Clearly, and hindsight is a wonderful thing, the words ‘where possible’ or something similar should have been included in the agreement.
Equally, Bernard Flynn had an entirely different mindset and correctly so.
Why was it seemingly beyond someone in authority to sit them down and thrash out a resolution, there is always a compromise to be reached if those charged with doing so can find it.
That they couldn’t doesn’t suggest they didn’t try to.
The real losers here are the players, as both the under 20 and senior squads should be solely focusing on their upcoming games, now one is without a manager and the other has a manager with some explaining to do.
It’s a messy situation and one that could and should have been avoided.
Heads have to roll.
You can make your own mind up on whose heads they will be.