Boylan’s Meath plans ‘blocked’
Legendary Meath manager Sean Boylan has revealed that his attempts to leave the county on a stable footing after retiring were blocked by officials.
Boylan managed Meath to four All-ireland titles during a remarkable 23-year reign between 1982 and 2005, but the county has claimed just one Leinster title since and current boss Andy Mcentee is Meath’s sixth in 11 years.
Boylan revealed in an interview for The Stand podcast with Eamon Dunphy that he wanted to work alongside his replacement for a period and then step down, ensuring a smooth transition of power.
The Dunboyne herbalist, who subsequently managed Ireland’s International Rules team, wasn’t taken up on his offer though and Eamonn Barry replaced him.
“I remember coming up from Sean Purcell’s funeral in Tuam, God be good to him, and I knew there was something I needed to do, because when you’ve had 20 years of stability, if you don’t handle it right you can have great instability,” said Boylan.
“I spoke with the chairman and the secretary, the central council representative and the county treasurer and I said: ‘Look, there’s something I’d like to do.’ I’d never looked for two years, I’d never worked for longer than a year, but I said I’d like to go for two years, on one condition, that you allow me to bring somebody with me and that after a year I would step aside.
“They couldn’t do it. But was there any hassle? None.”
Meath return to duty against Sligo in the qualifiers tomorrow evening. New boss Mcentee is looking to revive the glory era Boylan enjoyed in the eighties, ‘87 and ‘ 88, and 1996 and 1999 when Meath won All -Irelands.
“I always remember after 1995, when we were beaten by Dublin by 10 points in a Leinster final, some of the older players came to me, these were lads who had retired, and they said, ‘Look, maybe it’s time to go because the last thing you want is people having a go at you because you’re held in great esteem’ and so on,” said Boylan.
“And I said, ‘You’re absolutely right but I have a problem. Go and talk to the players and come back to me’. And they came back to me an hour and a half later and said, ‘You can’t go, the young lads think they’ll win an All-ireland with you’. The following year, six of those lads that I’d just brought in, 19 years of age, they had an All-ireland medal.
“That led to the team of Trevor Giles, the Graham Geraghtys, the Darren Fays, Ollie Murphy and John Mcdermott.”