Seamus Kenny, the injured Meath captain has admitted it will be hard to watch the Royals face Dublin in Sunday’s Leinster final from the sidelines.
The Simonstown Gaels clubman suffered a season ending cruciate ligament injury only seven minutes into the opening round victory over Wicklow. Kenny was in his first season in 2001, the last time Meath beat Dublin in the Leinster final.
Kenny told The Irish Daily Star, “I was a sub in 2001. It was my first season and I was surrounded by lads with All-Ireland medals and players of the year and All-Stars.”
“But I just remember the atmosphere at the Meath-Dublin game – it is totally unique. It is just the rivalry and the fact that every neutral in the country wants to see it as well. It is hard to describe. It is unlike anything I have ever played in. I have played a few games against Dublin since, but never another Leinster final. In a way, I’m looking forward to it and in another it’s bitter-sweet because I won’t be involved.”
Speaking of his teammates, Kenny is confident that young stars like Donal Keoghan, Conor Gillespie, Donncha Tobin, Alan Forde and Damien Carroll who impressed against Kildare, will be able to rise to the occasionas they take on the All Ireland Champions.
“I suppose the young lads against Kildare weren’t carrying that baggage that the older lads had and that is probably what got us over the line. They were playing with no fear and as a result the older lads kind of said, ‘We are well able to do this’.
“It was definitely one of those times when you come out of Croke Park and think, ‘That was a really sweet victory’. That’s no disrespect to Kildare but, having suffered at their hands for six games in-a-row, it was mentally very tough.”