Former Meath footballer Mickey Burke explains the change in Meath since Andy McEntee has taken over, their comeback win over Kildare, his disappointment at no longer being involved, and the Royals’ chances against Dublin in the Leinster SFC final.
BY SHANE STAPLETON
Mickey Burke explains that the training regime brought into Meath by Andy McEntee has created a culture where there is no hiding place.
The former Ballyboden St Enda’s boss — who led the Dublin side to an All-Ireland club title in 2016 — took over the Royals ahead of the 2017 season.
They have established themselves among the top ten in the country, appearing last year in the Super 8s and operating in Division One of the league in 2020.
They may have been relegated back down for 2021, but only Donegal beat them with much to spare during that campaign.
Sunday’s come-from-behind win in the Leinster SFC semi-final against Kildare was another step in the right direction, with the Royals winning 5-9 to 0-15 after being six points in arrears.
Burke, who explains his disappointment at being let go from the panel this season, believes that the improved athleticism of the team has helped them make ground on the better sides.
“For some reason, I don’t know why and maybe I’m thinking of 2015 or 2016, but by God when we were in training you felt like you were being put through your paces,” says Burke.
“But since Andy has come in, it has gone to a whole new level. Andy is very into body composition, very into stats — how many Ks (kilometres) you run, sprints you run, GPS.
“Your weights are constantly being analysed and critiqued — how much you’re benching or squatting. He’s looking to push you and that’s in training as well.
“So Andy has created a culture where there is hiding place with any of those things.
“John Coughlan came in, he was an Olympic sprint coach with China and was with Andy in Ballyboden, so you can see the conditioning of Meath that the team is in great condition.
“So that really helps as a starting point.”
Click play on the video at the top of the page to see the full Mickey Burke interview.
Connacht SFC final
Mayo 0-14 Galway 0-13
Leinster SFC semi-final
Meath 5-9 Kildare 0-15
Dublin 2-23 Laois 0-7
Ulster SFC semi-final
Cavan 1-14 Down 1-13
Donegal 1-22 Armagh 0-13
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