Club officials at last night's meeting in Navan

Meath gaa unveil new plans

Meath GAA Operations Manager Seamus Kenny and members of the Football Steering Group (FSG) outlined the key points contained in their plan that is aimed at improving the fortunes of county teams across all age groups from u-14 to senior at a well-attended meeting in Áras Táilteann last night.

There was also a presentation from Noel Dempsey's Player-retention Committee (PRC) which address various issues including the fall-off in participation (Darren McMahon - Trim), hurling (Jim Condra - Kilmainhamwood), fixtures and competitions (Peter O'Halloran - Drumconrath and Co Board vice-chairman), coaching and games (Ciaran Benville - Donaghmore/Ashbourne), schools ((Keith Loughman) and facilities (Noel Dempsey).

The Player-retention report was presented first and while the information, and subsequent question and answer session, was interesting and important, it was cut short by chairman Conor Tormey who was understandably anxious to allow the Football Steering Group ample time.

The members of the Football Steering Group were introduced at approx 9.45pm and at that stage many of the club officials - (two from each club) - were a little bit weary as they had been there since approx 7.30pm

Nevertheless, the presentations from Colm O'Rourke, Gerry McEntee, Sean Boylan, John Kavanagh and Seamus Kenny were excellent, but it was rushed and most club reps seemed to be relieved when 'time' was called at approx 10.50pm.

'There is not that much wrong with the game in the county and we have a strong base and good clubs to work from, but we must be ambitious to have Meath competing with the top counties again,' said Colm O'Rourke.

Gerry McEntee spoke about the urgent need for the appointment of strength and conditioning coach.

'Physicality had been an integral part of Gaelic football down the decades, it is still a very physical game and referees in Meath can play a vital role in allowing games to be physical,' he said

Another point that was made by the Football Steering Group was that it is important to be properly organised.

Maybe that could have applied on Monday night also. Could it have been split into two sessions with the FSG and PRC afforded their own platforms?

It did not appear as if there was a copy of the 'plan' for club officials although maybe it had been emailed to each club secretary beforehand.

In response to a question from the floor, a Co Board official indicated that the 'plan' (or plans) will be discussed by the clubs before the convention and will then be ratified or rejected at the annual convention next December.

However, it appears that internal communications in some clubs seem to be deficient based on a question posed by one representative who asked

'Was there a meeting in our area about this'

to which he was told -

'Yes, that meeting took place in (I'm not identifying the club in this instance)

to which the rep replied

'I didn't know anything about that.'