Meath’s Menton believes Dublin’s sponsorship millions won’t kill off rivalry with Royals
‘Sponsorship is sponsorship, it’s for that club or that county. That’s the way it works’
An All-Ireland senior hurling medal winner with Clare and formerly coach of Offaly, Ollie Baker will take over the Kilmacud Crokes hurling team for next season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
With some counties still making an issue of Dublin’s recent sponsorship deal with US insurance giant AIG – worth an estimated €4 million over the next four years – Meath defender Bryan Menton is adamant money doesn’t buy success.
Indeed Meath were one of the few counties to fully test Dublin this summer – running them relatively close in the Leinster final – and Menton believes that rivalry will continue to be close, despite some fears that Dublin’s strong financial position can only strengthen their position on the field of play.
“No, I don’t think Dublin are that far ahead,” he says. “You hear about this money situation, and the set-up that they have. But realistically, between Meath and Dublin, there’s always going to be that rivalry.
Little bit of fear
“I think everyone in Meath believes that they can always beat Dublin. I think people in Dublin have a little bit of fear at the same time. So I think it’s really on the day between Meath and Dublin, every time. So I don’t think they’re that far ahead of everyone.”
Calls that Dublin’s sponsorship windfall should somehow be spread out among the weather counties made no sense to Menton, either; he also reckoned Meath enjoy every possible assistance from their current sponsors, Tayto Park.
“Dublin are the capital. They’re All-Ireland holders at the moment. They’re going to get that limelight, and that sponsorship.
“Realistically, I don’t think it’s needed that much. You play football. Money shouldn’t be that much of an issue. We’ve been looked after perfectly and Tayto Park are good to us. We’re happy with all the sponsorships we’ve got. And anything that’s asked we’re given. So we’re happy.
“Dublin have their sponsorship and they’re not going to give their money around. But if you’re training hard you’re going to do well. I don’t think money should come into it too much. I don’t think either it should be spread around. Sponsorship is sponsorship, it’s for that club or that county. That’s the way it works.”
Targeting Division One
Meath, says Menton, have better things to be worried about, such as targeting Division One status in the upcoming Allianz Football League.
“That’s the goal. Most teams want to be in Division One. Our goal is to be in the top eight in Ireland, which is getting into Division One and getting to a quarter-final, semi-final of the All-Ireland.
“That’s our aim and Division One is our goal this year.”
Manager Mick O’Dowd has already made some sweeping changes to his panel, bringing in an abundance of youth: “Changes like that need to be made at times.”
Meanwhile, former Offaly manager Ollie Baker has agreed to take charge of Dublin club side Kilmacud Crokes for next year.
The former All-Ireland winner with Clare will bring considerable experience to the Dublin quest to win back the county title.