Grimley: Meath needs less talk, more action

Former Meath selector, Paul Grimley, fully expects Seamus McEnaney to be axed as manager tomorrow night but insists he would act just as defiantly as Banty.

Monaghan native McEnaney informed his 2011 right-hand man Grimley last week he had refused a county board request to step down from the position after the team were relegated to Division 3 last Sunday week.

Despite the threat of a no confidence motion hanging over his head, McEnaney has carried on his duties, attending club games and took in Meath’s Leinster first-round opponents Wicklow’s league fixture with Clare on Sunday.

Grimley has given him his full backing but admits with Seán Boylan standing by as a readymade replacement, things look bleak for McEnaney.

“Banty and myself are very good friends. Banty is a tough nut. He’ll stick by something until he gets it right. We survived in Division 2 by the skin of our teeth last year and now this year results have suddenly gone pear-shaped.

“The biggest problem hanging over him now is that Seán is sitting ready to go in. Seán is obviously a man with credentials and high integrity and the fact he is a Meath man means Seamus is second favourite. It’s not in Banty’s grain to step down. I’d do the same myself if I felt I could the job and turn things around. There’s no doubt he can improve this team, given the time.

“Meath have had a lot of managers (four) since Seán Boylan quit. When you change things around so much, players get confused. It’s become like soccer and this need to do something within two years or you’re out. Supporters can have different agendas but managers have to stick to the plans they make.

“There’s been a lot of venom shown to him in the county too, whether it’s because he’s an outsider or other candidates were overlooked, I’m not sure.”

Grimley feels Boylan’s intentions are honourable and he has only put forward his name because “he sees Meath slipping and wants to help”. The current Armagh coach believes the Meath players have been affected by the incessant questioning of McEnaney.

“Although Meath are down to Division 3, he’s comes in for a lot of pressure from past players and people in the press which has been unfair and unwarranted. They were saying he wasn’t the right man from the job and then shouting from behind couches ‘get rid of him’.

“Banty is very analytical. Hisattention to detail is fantastic. He works at everything he can to make the team right. But his role really stops once they run out past that white line. When players go off form, you can’t do an awful lot about it. They’re a great bunch of boys, talented players but the whole media circus that surrounded Banty’s appointment has heaped a lot of pressure on them.”

Grimley excludes Trevor Giles and Colm O’Rourke from his attack but points a finger at Bernard Flynn as one ex-Meath player-turned-pundit who should be doing more to aid his county.

“A lot of these guys, like Bernard Flynn, I don’t see him stepping in to help. Surely the county board need experienced people to come in? A lot of these past players have opinions but are not prepared to put their shoulder to the wheel. They say what should be done but are they going to do their bit or stand with a megaphone or a pen in their hand?

“If you dare criticise them they’re up in arms. They feel because they have a pocketful of All-Ireland medals means they shouldn’t be criticised. They feel those medals are a passport to criticise everyone else. They’re saying ‘this is how Meath should play’ but if they’ve got these ideas why aren’t they saying to (county chairman) Barney Allen ‘I want to help here?’

“Some of the things that were said about Seamus were an attempt to make a joke out of us. That’s one of the problems with management now. You have these people who have a platform to talk complete rubbish about you.

“Kieran McGeeney no longer lives on his playing career. He lives on his management career. Kevin Walsh in Sligo is the same. Jim McGuinness in Donegal is the same. Medals might get you a managerial job buy you’ve got to show you can do it afterwards.”

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