Seamus Kenny: Royals need promotion to take next step
GIVEN four teams have achieveable chances of promotion from Division 2 this Sunday and thus far, all have endured spells during which such ambitions seemed frivolous, the push to get into football's spring topflight has occasionally taken on the appearance of a slow bicycle race.
Indeed, many have openly whether some of those contenders might be better served staying just where they are.
"There is a school of thought that people might be saying you're better off in Division 2 because of what might happen to them next year but if they don't experience it, they're not going to learn and they're not going to develop," says former Meath captain, Seamus Kenny (pictured, left).
"If you get up, you've no choice but to acquit yourself better against those teams. But that can only bring out the best in lads."
To recap, the Royals must beat Cavan in Navan on Sunday and then require either Roscommon (who play Westmeath away) or Down (Laois at home) not to win. Meath manager Mick O'Dowd has been absolutely consistent in his assertion that his team's prospects of operating well amongst summer gentry are entwined in their ability to crack into the spring elite.
"It would be a long-term goal," Kenny confirms.
"I'm sure he's not drilling it into them every time they go out to play. But he is right. For Meath to be competitive come the summer months, they do need to be operating off that higher level.
"We've been operating out of Division 2 for too long. It has gone against us.
"For the team to take the next step, they need the experience of playing against the Dublins and Kerrys and Cork on a more regular basis."