Paul Bealin will experience his first competitive game as Westmeath senior football manager when his side take on Meath in the Fitzimmons tournament in Kells this Sunday. Bealin has been busy since his appointment in laying the foundations for what will hopefully be a success tenure with him at the helm.
Bealin is working with an extended panel of 40 at the moment but this will be cut before the league so Sunday’s game is sure to feature an experimental outfit. A similarly experimental side already accounted for Longford in a recent challenge.
There is no such thing as a friendly against Meath and with positions up for grabs one would expect lads to be chafing at the bit. Meath will represent a big step in class from the Longford side that fielded be but it will more individual performances than the result that will concern Bealin.
The squad have been busy in recent weeks under the watchful eye of fitness coach Barry Whelan in the gym in Columb Barracks in Mullingar and also managed a bit of outdoor running in Rochfortbridge. With a fitness test scheduled for the end of December there won’t be much room for over-indulging over the Christmas period. February won’t be long coming around and we need to hit the ground running if we are to stay in the top flight.
The good news is that Dessie Dolan is keen to continue and recently underwent a scan on his hamstring to see whether it will withstand the rigours of county football. The feedback seems to be positive and his presence and experience would be a major boost to Bealin’s young and relatively inexperienced squad.