BOSS Jim Gavin will likely be looking to unearth another Brian Howard or Eoin Murchan when Dublin take on Meath in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final at Parnell Park this Saturday at 7pm.
Gavin will hardly be in a rush to have his established stars back in action this early in the year, so it will likely be an experimental side that will come up against their old rivals.
Fingallians’ Oisin Lynch, a member of the Under-21 All-Ireland-winning squad of 2017, scored 2-3 in the recent Dubs Stars Challenge and he could get another chance to impress.
Skerries Harps’ Stephen Smith is another forward also on Gavin’s radar, as is Paddy Small, brother of four-time All-Ireland winner John.
This will be Dublin’s first outing in the O’Byrne Cup as they received a bye to this stage of the competition.
When the sides last clashed a number of weeks back in the Sean Cox fundraiser Meath emerged victors 0-16 to 1-11. That Dublin team included just four All-Ireland starters - Eoin Murchan, Brian Fenton, Brian Howard and Niall Scully.
For Andy McEntee and Meath it is all about getting as many competitive matches as possible prior to the start of their NFL Division 2 campaign at home to Tipperary on January 27th.
Following the win over Wexford in Enniscorthy, McEntee expressed himself happy with the outcome as well as the contribution of the young additions to the panel.
‘The young lads that have come into the panel have added something - great energy, great enthusiasm,’ McEntee said. ‘ Most of them haven’t played at this level before and that was a fair scoreline on a day like that and on a pitch like that.
‘The vast majority of the scores came from open play. Wexford did get in for a couple of goal chances in the first half, so that is something we will be looking at,’ McEntee continued.
‘We also squandered three goal chances and you cannot afford that. You have to be more ruthless when opportunities present themselves.
‘When we attack I would like it to be a little bit quicker. That was evident at times today, but at other times our build-up was slower than what I would have liked, but we are definitely working on it.
‘The game against Tipperary at the end of the month is everyone’s focus, but there is no better preparation for that than to play Dublin in Parnell Park. I hope the lads are really looking forward to it,’ McEntee concluded.
Meath manager Andy McEntee watches the action unfold last Saturday.
forward to set up an attack.
One to watch - newcomer Oisin Lynch.