Royal strife helped us perform, says Reilly

Meath full-back Kevin Reilly has revealed the players made a pact to put the county’s troubles behind them by producing on the field.

He also intimated former Tipperary manager John Evans was brought in by Seamus McEnaney as coach at the request of the panel for a new approach in training. Back to full fitness, Reilly kept Seanie Furlong quiet in their win over Wicklow on Sunday and said the players swore to move on from their Division 2 woes and the county executive’s failed attempt to axe McEnaney.

“We kind of made a promise or pact to ourselves that we were going to pull together and take one game at a time and see where it goes from there,” he said.

“A couple of weeks ago, the players met and regardless of what happened then we all agreed it was just about us and our performances. That’s what we’re building on now regardless of what else has gone on. It’s all about the players now and our performances and we’re playing for each other now.

“After all that has happened, which is firmly behind us at this stage, the players really rallied for each other. We’re going to make a summer of it — one game at a time.

“Carlow in the next game, we’re only looking that far. We’re looking at getting our own performances right and go from there.”

Reilly conceded there was plenty of frustration in the panel following the five straight defeats that consigned them to Division 3. They spoke to McEnaney about changing things in training and Evans was drafted in last month.

“The lads [management], as we all know, are trying to do the right thing. We, as a group of players, are training hard. It wasn’t a case of us taking our foot off the pedal at all — it wasn’t. Things weren’t going right for various reasons. In fairness to Seamus, he saw this and made a change with the appointment of John and he’s a breath of fresh air. He brought in a few new things to us which has helped us in our game.”

Having overcome a back injury this year, the Navan O’Mahonys man hopes to have put a litany of problems behind him.

“Any day you can take to the pitch fully-fit is fantastic. There’s nothing better than Championship football and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s fantastic.

“I didn’t have a good run over the last couple of years but I’m taking each game as it comes. I’m doing well at the minute so that’s all that matters.”


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