Meath take on Monaghan in Clones in their opening encounter of the Allianz Football League Division III tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.
Both Malachy O’Rourke and Mick O’Dowd make their debuts in the National League as managers of Monaghan and Meath respectively in this local contest.
After suffering relegation to the third tier last season, the Farney County find themselves in a competitive group of neighbouring counties for promotion this season.
The Royals also suffered surprise relegation losing their five remaining matches last season. A promotion is definitely on the agenda for O’Dowd ‘s men this campaign.
The Ulster men started January in phenomenal form, playing attractive football and enjoying wins over Donegal, Fermanagh and Down. However, they came undone last Saturday evening against a defiant Tyrone side in the Dr. McKenna Cup Final. But their competitive pre-season may stand to them in the early matches of the league campaign.
Meath remained unbeaten throughout their January campaign yet didn’t reach the semi-finals of the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup. Victories over UCD and Longford and a draw against Louth without many first-team players because of injures, is a strong start to any campaign.
Monaghan: M Keogh C Walshe, F Kelly, K Duffy, M McElroy, D Hughes, D Mone O Lennon, D Clerkin O Duffy, P Finlay, S McQuillan, K Hughes, C McManus, D Malone.
Meath (probable) – David Gallagher, Gary O’Brien, Bryan Menton, Mickey Burke, Cormac McGuinness, Shane McAnarney, Chris O’Connor, Mark Ward, Conor Gillespie, Seamus Kenny, Graham Reilly, Brian Meade, Paddy Gilsenan, Cian Ward, Stephen Bray.
Players to Watch
Meath- Paddy Gilenson
The young corner-forward from Oldcastle has performed well in Meath’s early matches this year. The Royal County have high expectations for this young man and a good start to the league may take the pressure off his shoulders.
Monaghan- Kieran Hughes
Hughes was a star performer in this year’s Dr. McKenna Cup campaign. The Farney County can hope more of the same as he works on developing his partnership with full-forwards McManus and Malone.