Boy­lan’s Meath plans ‘blocked’

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA - Paul Keane

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.”

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