Trevor Giles unconcerned by possible end of provincial championships

‘They don’t excite me. They haven’t excited me for a lot of years’

Trevor Giles hasn't been so transported by Meath's recent successes in winning the women's and minor All-Ireland football titles that he sees a future in the Leinster championship and says that any impending disposal of provincial competitions is fine by him.

"Yeah, they don't excite me. They haven't excited me for a lot of years. I know Dublin maybe have a come back a little bit, but I expect a big bounce from them next year having been beaten by Mayo so you couldn't say with confidence that next year's Leinster championship is going to be very competitive.

“So if they got rid of the provincial championships it wouldn’t cost me a thought whatsoever,” said Giles despite speaking at the Leinster GAA and Beko launch the 2021 club champion promotion.

It is a live discussion though with the GAA due to discuss new formats at special congress in a few weeks and the twice former Footballer of the Year, is open-minded on reform, noting that he’s “not seen a really competitive Leinster championship” since the heyday of 20 years ago when five different counties won successive titles.

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He is though optimistic for the future of his county in light of recent successes.

"Things are a little bit on the up in Meath, hopefully, at the moment. The thing I liked . . . was that they were both up against really strong teams.

“They were the underdogs in both finals. They really gave it a go, they didn’t sit back and defend and hope to keep the score down. It was like what Seán Boylan would have instilled in us years ago – no matter who you are playing, go out and have a go, give it your best shot and see if you are good enough.”

Those victories represent encouragement for the future in Giles’s view after a couple of barren decades. As someone deeply involved in development work in the county, he understands the need for kids to experience big, successful days out.

“It has to provide a bounce in a few years’ time, in that 14- and 15-year-olds dream of playing for Meath in Croke Park and winning All-Irelands, so absolutely. I suppose with Meath we’ve just been inconsistent. We had a big game there during the year with Kildare to get promotion to Division One for next year and we didn’t perform that day.

“It was a great performance in the second half of the Leinster semi-final and we really competed with Dublin, so we need to be consistent.”

Asked about Meath’s missing out on the jubilee team presentation at the All-Ireland final he points out that as luck would have it the teams they beat in controversial All-Ireland semi-final and final matches in 1996, Tyrone and Mayo, were contesting this year’s final.

“I was nearly glad we did not have it on the pitch at the All-Ireland final because I don’t think we would have got a great reception from them. Maybe it was just as well!”