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Sunday 19 November 2017

Burke putting Meath team before himself

Meath’s Mickey Burke
Meath’s Mickey Burke

On a night of almost total destruction for Meath, Mickey Burke was one of the very few to leave Tullamore with more good things than bad to his name.

Burke, an old-school, man-marking defender, was given the task of watching Kildare's attacking pivot, Niall Kelly.

As it went, Kelly didn't score while Burke got one himself. Yet despite winning such a vital battle, Meath left with a nine-point trimming and a different, less flattering view of themselves in the context of their recent mini-revival.

"I think I'm gone by the days of looking out for myself," Burke explains now, just three days before Andy McEntee's team attempt to rebuild their season with a home qualifier tie against Sligo on Saturday.

"I did have a duty to snuff him out, wherever he went. Just try and annoy him, irritate him or do whatever I had to do.

"If I played bad and Meath won, that'd mean more. It would.

"He's a good footballer and it was nice to do well on him. But you'd rather be winning the games."

Praise isn't easily come by for corner-backs these days. Particularly when the corner-back's team falls only marginally shy of losing by double figures.

Roasted

Burke has made his peace with the fact tha t his best work will go unnoticed by most.

"I know that I'm never going to get much praise anyway," he confirms.

"You're a corner-back. You're in there to be roasted.

"You're man-marking lads. I always remember looking at Enda McNulty and it was weird. I used to love Enda McNulty because he just used to go out and hound lads for an hour.

"The best players in every game and he never got an praise for it because you're in there to be cleaned really.

"But yeah, I'd rather be winning the games to be honest with you."

On the face of it, a first home Championship match in six years against a team not exactly fancied to emerge from the thicket of competitive teams on the 'A' side of the qualifier draw is precisely the place to get back into the habit.

Burke concedes that he would "have been worried if we had the six day turnaround," but notes the extra brooding time has "given us a chance to look at the game, do a couple of hard trainings, talk about the game and move on to Sligo now."

"I think you have to mourn or whatever way you put it, for a day or so, and then you've just got to get over it. "

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