Meath ratchet up pressure on Banty

Seamus McEnaney’s position as Meath football manager looks fatally weakened following an emergency county board management committee meeting on his future.

Unconfirmed reports last night indicate the committee have issued a ‘resign of face a no confidence vote’ to the Monaghan native. A well-placed source said ‘Banty’ “has been asked to consider his position” following Sunday’s relegation to Division 3.

The management committee is now awaiting a response from McEnaney. “We have to wait and see what Seamus says in response to what was discussed at the meeting,” the source said, amid fevered speculation the manager has been given until today to tender his resignation.

A full county board meeting hasn’t been ruled out for some time next week where a no confidence motion in McEnaney could be put before delegates.

There are also indications four-time All-Ireland-winning manager Seán Boylan could step into the breach for the remainder of the season. However, county board officials dismissed the suggestion they have already looked at finding a potential replacement for McEnaney.

As revealed by the Irish Examiner last Tuesday, a management committee was set to be called to discuss McEnaney’s future on the back of Meath’s relegation from Division 2 following five consecutive defeats.

Chairman Barney Allen also refused to confirm yesterday that McEnaney would be in charge of the team for the county’s Leinster SFC opener against Wicklow on May 27.

“I’m not going to say too much but things haven’t panned out the way we would have expected,” he told the Irish Examiner. “We’re disappointed that the team has been going so bad.”

Allen also described last Sunday’s defeat to Louth in Navan, which confirmed their relegation, as “one of the worst displays”.

Speaking after last Sunday’s game, McEnaney insisted he would remain in the position. “I have been involved in a lot of fights in my life, in my business, personal life, in my family and in football. I have never walked away from a fight in my life. This is a fight and it is a fight we have to get on with.”

While the players stand by the manager, there is growing opposition towards him continuing in the position after relegation.

“Division 3 is not a place Meath should be in,” said one county board official.

Allen has been a major supporter of McEnaney’s, defending him strenuously at a heated board meeting last September when statements from former selectors Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan were read out.

At that same meeting, Boylan was confirmed as the part-time director of football.

However, he recently stepped down from the role in the county, citing that he and the board didn’t sit down to talk about matters he saw as relevant to the job in hand.

There is growing belief though, that Boylan could be convinced to return to the helm until the end of the season.

Former Meath manager Colm Coyle has also been touted for the job should McEnaney vacate the role.

McEnaney’s record of 12 defeats in 18 games hasn’t made for pretty reading in Meath while it hasn’t been forgotten they narrowly avoided relegation to Division 3 last year.

Along with Graham Geraghty’s return to the panel last year and the resignations of Harnan and Callaghan, early Leinster and All-Ireland exits to Kildare made 2011 a year to forget for the Corduff man.

Despite losing Paul Grimley as coach to Armagh, this season started promisingly with two opening league victories before a defeat to Kildare triggered a run of five consecutive defeats which consigned Meath to the drop.

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