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O’Dowd takes up reins in Royal county

Mick O’Dowd of the Skryne club was ratified as the new Meath senior football manager in succession to Seamus McEnaney at last night’s county board meeting in Navan.

The 39-year–old former forward is the Royals’ fifth boss since Sean Boylan stepped down following the All-Ireland qualifiers defeat by Cavan in 2005, with Eamonn Barry having one term and Colm Coyle, Eamon O’Brien and McEnaney two each.

O’Dowd, Skryne’s player-manager for their SFC triumph in 2004 and who figured in attack on three other championship-winning teams, will have former club team-mate Trevor Giles as one of his selectors.

Giles, who was a member of McEnaney’s management team this year, brings a wealth of experience, having been one of the main attacking stars for Meath’s All-Ireland successes in 1996 and ’99.

He was honoured with Footballer of the Year accolades in both years.

Sean Kelly from Dunderry, who has an amount of managerial experience with a number of clubs and guided Navan O’Mahonys to their last county championship in 2008, will also be a selector.

The management team have been installed for a three-year term.

Former chairman Pat O’Neill wished the new management team all the best, expressing the wish that they will bring the county up to where they were a few years ago.

Current chairman Barney Allen thanked all the others who applied for the position.

Sean Barry of Simonstown Gaels was given the green light to take over from Liam Harnan as the county U21 manager. He was full-back on Dublin’s All-Ireland MFC-winning side in 1984.

Former Meath county seniors Padraig Lyons, Tom Hanley and Cormac Sullivan will be Barry’s selectors.

Andy McEntee, who managed Meath to reach the All-Ireland minor final this year, continues in the position while Offaly man Cillian Farrell will be the Royals’ hurling boss for a third term in 2013.

Meath football teams will have a new sponsor, with Tayto Park replacing the Comer Group for the next two years.

Supporters of the Royals will be hoping that the new sponsorship deal will lead to a crisper brand of football!