THE raging debate over the weekend about Meath not having 'their house in order' with regards underage development is interesting against the background of tonight's opponents, Kildare.
Meath v Kildare
(Navan, Tonight, 7.30)
Meath were in a minor All-Ireland last year and won two Leinster minor titles within the last seven years whereas Kildare, meanwhile, haven't actually won a Leinster minor title since 1991, but by wide acceptance, have one of the strongest U21 panels of any county in the country this year.
They number, for instance, Daniel Flynn, Paddy Brophy and Niall Kelly (pictured right) – all of whom have made good-to-very-good impacts for the seniors this year.
Then there is Tommy Moolick, Fionn Dowling and 'Podge' Fogarty, a trio who made similar impacts on Kieran McGeeney's squad last season, with former Aussie Rules players Paul Cribbin and Seán Hurley – one of those who attended Tadhg Kennelly's recent combine – are also included in the squad named this week. Neither have made the starting team for tonight.
For Meath, Alan Forde made his comeback off the bench against Louth and with the benefit of home advantage and a match under their belt, Seán Barry's team should certainly be competitive.
If Kildare click, though, given their physical size and senior experience, they will be highly difficult to stop at any stage in the competition.
KILDARE (U21F v Meath): M Donnellan; M Konstantin, J Byrne, B Egan; D Hyland, F Conway, S Higgins; M Moolick, D Grehan; L McGovern, N Kelly, D Flynn; P Brophy, F Dowling, P Fogarty.
MEATH (SF v Kildare): C McHugh; S Carthy, C McGill, D McQuillan; B Dillon, B Moore, N Shortall; C Sheridan, C O'Brien; D Queeney, C Downey, S Barry; E Wallace, B O'Brien, B McMahon.