GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Sky Live: Donegal vs Meath in the Super 8s
Watch live on Sky Sports Arena from 1pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 14/07/19 9:31am
Meath get their Super 8s campaign underway with a trip to Donegal on Sunday, live and exclusive on Sky Sports.
When Meath boss Andy McEntee sat down with Sky Sports in January, he laid out clear goals for the year:
"For me, a successful season for Meath football would be achieving Division 1 status over the course of the next few months and to reach the Super 8s."
With both objectives already achieved, how can they fare at the top table? If they're happy just to be there, things could turn ugly over the coming weeks.
"That's where you want to be," said selector Finian Murtagh after their win over Clare last Sunday. "You want your team playing against the best teams and to see how they go against the best.
"That'll be a huge learning curve for us and please God, we'll rise to it."
The management certainly feel their squad has the appetite for the fight ahead. However, they acknowledged what separates the Royals from the likes of Dublin and Tyrone right now is not ability, but mentality.
"This current Meath team, physically and technically, are as good as any team around," said Colm Nally. "It's the bit upstairs, that's the difference. And you only get that through experience. That's why we're delighted to get to the Super 8s. Because we're going to get loads of experience now over the next four weeks, whether we like it or not."
First up is the trip to Ballybofey, where they take on an in-form Donegal side. However, the Royals have faced the Ulster champions twice this year to date, and they'll have no fear of Michael Murphy and Co.
"Everybody is putting them up as challengers to Dublin at the minute," continued Nally. "Everything that they've shown to date is that they're progressing towards that.
"It's going to be the ultimate test up there, we're looking forward to it. It's where you want to be."
What are the experts saying?
Peter Canavan feels necessity will ensure Donegal are up for the clash, and will get the job done:
"It's imperative for Donegal to win their home game. If they continue their run of form that saw them storm to another Ulster title, that should be good enough."
Meath were guilty of coughing up possession against Clare, and that will play into Donegal's hands. Meath have a tough assignment to get anything out of Ballybofey.
Canavan fears for the Royals in MacCumhaill Park
How can I watch it?
Coverage begins at 1pm on Sunday live on Sky Sports Arena.