New Meath football manager, Colm O’Rourke, has claimed that the ladies team’s success in winning last year’s All Ireland gave the game in the county a huge lift.
Speaking on LMFM’s Late Lunch show he revealed that even the players themselves were a little taken aback at just how big an impact they had.
‘Some of them came into St Pat’s school where I work and I could sense they were apprehensive at first but then when they discovered that most of the lads were either at the match or watching it on TV they realised a little of what it meant to the county it certainly gave the GAA in Meath a huge boost.’
Addressing the fact that at 64 he would be one of the oldest ever first-time county managers O’Rourke cited American sports as an example of how age should not be a barrier, saying, ‘Maybe there is a little bit of ageism in the GAA and perhaps some people may have thought I had run my course but look at the USA in Baseball, Basketball and American football age is no barrier to who gets a coaching role.
‘Look not being Meath manager wasn’t something that kept me awake at night but I suppose if you have a passion for football and have managed at the levels I have then this was the next logical step.
‘It has been suggested that our recent success at underage level is a sign of good things to come but if you look at the successful Meath teams there are plenty of players on them who never shone at underage and plenty from junior and intermediate teams.
‘In that regard, I hope a regional competition for junior and intermediate clubs that is being mooted for November happens that will give myself and the selectors a further chance to see what is out there.
‘We will be looking at players not once, twice, or even three times we will be looking at them several times and probably looking at a hundred players before we settle on a squad.’
He also reiterated his comments that beating Dublin has to be the aim.
‘Look for generations of Meath footballers Dublin and how you play against them has been the yardstick and it is up to us to get to their level not wait for them to drop back to ours.
‘With that in mind division 2 of the league is going to be ultra-competitive with two provincial champions, Dublin and Derry god Kildare side and the local derby with Louth but ultimately history shows division 1 is where teams with ambitions of All Ireland’s need to be.
‘I’m looking forward to it I won’t be involved with The Sunday Game I am all in with Meath.’