Qualification for this year's 'Super 8s' is the next necessary step in Meath's evolution, according to Trevor Giles.
"There's probably six or seven of those places locked up but in terms of the last two places Meath have to be in the conversation along with four or five other teams," says Giles, an All-Ireland winner with the Royals in 1996 and 1999.
The two-time Footballer of the Year also identified Andy McEntee's decision to bring former Louth footballer, Colm Nally in as coach as one of the reasons behind Meath's successful League campaign this year following promotion to Division 1 for the first time since 2004.
"I think that has been an improvement this year.
"Maybe Andy has been able to step back a little bit. But I think 'Super 8's has to be the goal this year."
Giles was part of Mick O'Dowd's management that preceded the current regime and suggested the alarming slip in fortunes of the county came from a neglect of the underage structures.
"I think there was just a good crop of players that came through in those teams, maybe gave people the wrong impression".
Meath haven't won an All-Ireland minor Championship since 1992 and an All-Ireland Under-21 title since 1993, when Giles played in both.
"I suppose to a certain extent there was not moving with the times as well," he added.
"Meath would have been very much kick it in long and the players should be there to win it.
"The game had changed and Meath were slow to adapt to that.
"A little bit even now if you see the lads passing it around in defence the patience among the supporters is wearing thin and they're shouting, 'Will ya kick it!'
"Other counties embraced change and modernised more than Meath."