Meath manager Mick O’Dowd: “Players going to Croke Park on big days need to know who they’re doing it for and who is following them. When they get the Meath jersey, it represents a lot. That matters.” Photo: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Ballinacree is a bend in the road between Oldcastle and Lough Sheelin in North Meath. Tucked away tight by the Cavan border, you’d need to drive for t(...)

Trevor Giles enjoyed massive success with Meath after returning from his cruciate ligament injury: “Because it’s so common, surgeons are doing a lot of operations and have become very practised at it. I think recovery rates are 97 or 98 per cent, or even closer to 100,” he says. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Trevor Giles is the exemplar of how to overcome the trauma of a cruciate injury. Footballer of the Year, twice All-Ireland medallist (...)

Meath manager Mick O’Dowd: “I’m sure there are a lot of positives from that display but it is hard to go through them now because we are pretty hurt by that.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Mick O’Dowd starts talking and you are instantly reminded of Meath men from another era. Positives after being lacerated by Dublin in a Leinster final(...)