Meath's Matthew Costello hopes to build on Tailteann Cup win

Meath's Matthew Costello Hopes To Build On Tailteann Cup Win
Matthew Costello is confident the team can show they can put it up to the best in the country.
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Michael Bolton

Meath forward Matthew Costello is confident Meath can build on progress made in the championship last season as they won the Tailteann Cup.

After defeating Longford last weekend, All-Ireland champions and rivals Dublin await the Royals in Croke Park this Sunday in the quarter-finals of the Leinster championship.


While Meath will be big underdogs, Costello is confident the team can show they can put it up to the best in the country.

With this young Meath team now having silverware under their belts, Costello is confident they can build on their success this season.

“Once we ended up in the Tailteann Cup, obviously it wasn't somewhere we planned on being at the start of the year, but once we came there, everybody in the group wanted to win it.

“They wanted to have a long summer and the games were very, very difficult. It wasn't an easy championship to win, so we got to learn a lot about ourselves.


“We learned how to win big games on high pressure days. That can only be a positive thing coming into this season. We know when push comes to shove in Croke Park, that we can get a performance. We can take a lot of confidence from that.”

Due to the dominance of Dublin, the Leinster football championship has been criticised for the uncompetitive history of the competition.

Since Meath's 2010 victory, Dublin have won every Leinster football championship. With the league campaign having greater importance due to the new structure, the importance of the provincial championship has been played down.

However, with Meath motivated to end their rivals reign, Costello claims the competition still means as much to him.


“We have a lot of bodies that were there last year, who are coming back fit now for the championship. We got to see what it was like on big days in Croke Park, getting used to the surroundings of Croke Park. We know that we can play well there and that it suits us.

"We are in the Leinster championship to try and win it. It is still a championship that every player would love to win.

"When you retire, if you are able to win a provincial championship medal, it would be something you hold very close to your heart.

“So, when you're coming into the Leinster Championship like this, when you know there will be big games at Croke Park, it is definitely a confidence booster.


"Whatever position we are in, and whatever position they are in, it always feels like there is a bit more to the game, especially leading up to it and there is always a lot of fans there to see how you get on."

After their Taliteann Cup triumph last season, Meath's place in the All-Ireland series is secured, with Costello admitting the team valued having the extra security during the league campaign.

In Colm O'Rourke's second season in charge, Meath had the freedom in the league to experiment different players and tactics.

While Costello admits Meath are still not the finished product, O'Rourke's experience with a decorated backroom has made an impact on the squad.


“You can see Trevor (Giles) and Barry (Callaghan), more towards the 90s winning All-Irelands, then Stephen Bray, Meath's last All-Star, winning a Leinster Championship in 2010, a big part of it. They've brought a gameplan that they've been able to communicate to us quite easily.

“It suits us, we are quite direct, but also what happened last year showed we were quite open at the back. So, this year with that experience, we were able to smarten and tighten up, to take control of our defensive structure.

“It seems to be working for the most part, it still is a work in progress, but we are getting better. That is what they've brought, along with their wealth of knowledge.”

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