Andy McEntee's position as Meath manager has been strengthened by an effective vote of confidence from his county chairman.
Royal County chief John Kavanagh presided over Tuesday night's county board meeting where clubs voted to retain McEntee for 2022.
The 46-27 backing followed last weekend’s recommendation by the executive committee that McEntee should be sacked after five seasons.
Kavanagh implored delegates at Tuesday’s meeting to move on as a “united county” following the debacle, and has now added his personal endorsement of McEntee.
“I don’t think people realise the amount of work he puts in for the county, and the backroom team, and the players as well,” said Kavanagh.
“Andy McEntee is at it 24/7 and I wouldn’t have fancied trying to find a new manager that would have had the same commitment and the same energy as Andy has for Meath, not just this year but for many years, including when he was in charge of the minors. From a personal point of view I’m also delighted that he’s getting his third year.”
The executive committee voted eight to seven last week to dispense with McEntee’s services, but clubs came to his rescue on Tuesday night. Asked if there will be distrust now between McEntee and board officials going forward into 2022, Kavanagh shook his head.
“If you know Andy you’ll know that Andy is all about Meath football,” said Kavanagh. “He will get the support of the Meath management (committee) and whatever he wants, he will get. I made that clear at the county board meeting, that no matter what happens we’re all rowing in behind him. People are entitled to their opinions and time will tell whether we’re right or wrong, but I’m very positive.
“The structures that we’ve put in place at underage level over the last number of years are beginning to come to fruition. We’re after winning three of the last four Leinster U-17s, and the All-Ireland this year. We have a plan in place. Andy would have been part of that.
“I think it’s very important that he’s there again next year, and that we continue on the upward trend that we have there at the minute.”
On the hurling front, Kavanagh described it as a significant "coup" to have secured the services of highly rated coach Seoirse Bulfin.
Bulfin has been a close ally of Davy Fitzgerald for over a decade, and was involved in successful backroom teams in Clare and Wexford. He will link up with Meath manager Nick Weir, who will also be assisted by selectors David Reilly and Kilmessan great Steven Clynch.
“It’s a big coup for us,” said Kavanagh. “Meath is probably looked on as being more or less a football county. But we have 22 hurling teams in the county, and it’s important that we take the next step there, and that we invest in our hurling.”
“Seoirse is a big character, a big name who has all the credentials to put behind his name. I met him last week, and he’s very enthusiastic and a likeable character. It’s a great boost for us to have him.”