Colm O'Rourke in his playing days.

O'Rourke lined up to be the next Meath manager

Colm O'Rourke looks set to take over from Andy McEntee as the new manager of the Meath senior footballers.

News has emerged today that O'Rourke will be going forward for the position with two other former Royal County players Barry Callaghan and Stephen Bray as selectors.

O'Rourke has extensive experience as a manager with Simonstown Gaels leading the club to two SFC titles. He also managed the Meath u-21s. He also guided St Patrick's Classical School - where he has worked throughout his career as a teacher and later as principal - to Hogan Cup success.

As player with Skryne he suffered defeat in a number of Meath SFC finals but tasted success with the Taramen too.

On the inter-county front he won two All-Ireland SFC medals with Meath in 1987 and '88, three All-Stars, three NFL medals and was named 'Footballer of the Year' in 1991.

The tremendous run of success enjoyed by O'Rourke and Meath in the 1980s and '90s was a far cry from what it was like when he first started playing for Meath in the late 1970s.

O'Rourke has described the situation with Meath back then as "a joke" with often only a handful of players turning up for training. Defeats to Wexford and Longford underlined the dire, and hopeless, situation.

Then Sean Boylan arrived and all started to change although it did take some time and O'Rourke thought of retiring before persisting and eventually reaping a rich harvest.

Meath have found themselves in the doldrums in recent times and trail well behind the leading teams in the world of Gaelic football.

However O'Rourke knows about the bad times having started his career with Meath in the late 1970s when they were also well down the rankings.

He was a key figure as a player in helping the county get back up the ladder - now he has a chance to do the same again as manager.