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“Colm has had some lonely dark evenings” — Bernard Flynn on Meath

Meath legend Bernard Flynn gives his thoughts on how former teammate Colm O’Rourke is going as Meath manager

Meath legend Bernard Flynn gives his thoughts on how former teammate Colm O’Rourke is going as Meath manager.

Bernard Flynn believes that former teammate Colm O’Rourke will has had some “lonely dark evenings” since taking over as Meath manager.

There was a wave of positivity at the start of the league after a great win over Cork, but their form collapsed and they ended up in the Tailteann Cup.

O’Rourke has come in for plenty of criticism in the meantime, but they have steadied the ship to get into the final four of the second-tier championship.

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They will face Antrim this coming weekend, with many expecting them to progress to the final against Laois or Down.

“The league didn’t finish well and losing to Offaly (in Leinster) was a huge blow, and the manner of it,” says Flynn.

“The lack of heart, guts, whatever you want to call it, commitment, endeavour.

“That shocked everyone in the first 40 or 50 minutes but in saying that — I know we beat Tipperary, Waterford, and the Down the last day — that was a real injection. Kicked 16 or 17 ideas and they probably should have beaten us.

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“He’s brought a lot of new players in, young Conor Gray was in again at the weekend, a lot of young lads in there now. There’s a freshness, a bit of a bounce in their step.

“I know it was only Wexford (last weekend), but winning matches does give an air…

“To answer your question, there’s a little bit more of an upbeat feeling in the county.

“Going to Croke Park next weekend, albeit in the Tailteann Cup, it is where we are, and we have a really good chance of winning it.

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“I know Down might not think that, or Andy McEntee in Antrim, but I think Meath are capable of beating whoever is left.

“That would ensure top-tier football next year, and if you look at Westmeath, they prepared well in all three games (coming in as Tailteann champions).

“It wasn’t easy, little steps. Colm O’Rourke is a proud man, a brilliant Meath player, a great teammate of mine, and he’s had some lonely, dark evenings on his own.

“He did not want to be where he is, but what do you do?

“Dust yourself down and with a new group of players… I’d say all the deadwood, with no disrespect to players, he is going to move them all on.

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“He’s doing it pretty quickly and you’ll probably see an entirely new bunch — bar three or four — next year.”

Phil Lanigan of the Daily Mail spoke of how there may be added spice to the clash of Meath and Antrim due to the acrimonious departure of Andy McEntee from the Royals at the end of last season.

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