Banty awaiting seal of approval

MEATH secretary Cyril Creavin fears the county’s search for a new senior football boss may drag on until 2011 if Seamus McEnaney is not ratified at tonight’s crunch board meeting in Navan.

The county management committee ratified McEnaney’s candidature last week and it will be put before club delegates to be rubberstamped tonight. But that may not be a fait accompli with former Meath boss Eamonn Barry claiming in recent days that many clubs are against the appointment of an outside manager and have grave concerns over the costs involved in financing the new setup.

Creavin has urged club delegates to put aside personal agendas and focus on the betterment of football in the county when they come to vote tonight.

“It’s been going on far too long and it’s not going to be helpful if it is dragged out any longer. We’re back to square one if Seamus McEnaney is not appointed tonight. If he doesn’t get ratified, I think we’ll be hard pressed to get a new man in place before Christmas and it’d go into the New Year then. I’m sure that you’ll find most players in other counties have now started putting training packages together for next season. We’re already behind and we need to get moving. “We can’t be hanging on a whole lot longer if we’re going to prepare properly for the 2011 season. The county management have finalised their decision to put Seamus McEnaney forward. It’s now down to the clubs whether they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When putting the case forward tonight, we will be outlining how personal agendas should not come into it. From the interview process, the candidacy of Seamus McEnaney is the way forward. Improving Meath football is what is most important here. Hopefully we’ll get it ratified and the whole thing will be put to bed.”

McEnaney’s appointment would see Meath break with tradition as the Corduff native would be the first man from outside the county to take the senior post. McEnaney’s proposed backroom team consists of renowned trainer Martin McElkennon and All-Ireland winning Armagh coach Paul Grimley. Local legend Liam Harnan, who is currently at the helm of Skryne who contest Sunday week’s Leinster Club SFC semi-final against Offaly champions Rhode, has also been added to the ticket as a selector.

Creavin believes the time has come to break with traditional practices and also argues that many people inside the county are excited by this management package.

“All things run their course and I think that’s the case with the managerial appointment. I know there are an awful lot of very proud Meath football men who would prefer if it was someone inside the county got the job. But in this situation we need to get the best personnel to do the job. I think the time has come to get away from that situation where we stay inside and it’s time to look outside for expertise. Since we sourced Seamus McEnaney, I know a lot of people are excited by the backroom staff and the perspective is that this could be very positive for Meath football.”

Tonight is the last Meath county board meeting before the county convention on December 12th with proceedings set to start at 8pm. The management issue is set to be the first item on the agenda with the 59 club delegates and the 15 members of the county executive committee all entitled to vote. McEnaney requires a minimum of 38 votes to be appointed.

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