The 10 best footballers in the country who chose hurling instead 5 months ago

The 10 best footballers in the country who chose hurling instead

These lads are living proof that the dual dream is dead.

Fine footballers in their day, the lure of the small ball eventually won them over. Though they still play with their clubs, their presence is certainly missed on the football inter-county scene.

Most of them tried the balancing act at certain stages in their careers, but it's obviously just not feasible anymore.

Here's 10 of the best footballing talents the country is being deprived of by hurling.

10. Shane Dooley (Tullamore, Offaly)

You'd have to feel sorry for Shane Dooley. He's one of the most skillful players of a generation in both hurling and football in Offaly. He's been the Faithful County's best hurler for the last ten years. Unfortunately for him, those ten years have coincided with some of their darkest days.

He's kept the flag flying, though. He's tried his hand at the dual-game at various stages, too.

He's had some brilliant days playing football. He's won county football titles with Tullamore. He's scored some crucial goals for the town side.

For now, he's just committing to the hurlers.

9. Conor Gleeson (The Nire, Waterford)

One of the hurling's tightest half backs is one of Waterford's most pristine footballing forwards. Showcased his talents at the highest stage last November, when his club, the Nire claimed the scalp of Cork champions Carbery Rangers.

That day Gleeson was unplayable. That day Gleeson scored five from play.

The Déise footballers are missing out.

8. Seamus Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials, Tipperary)

Kennedy played a starring role in the biggest shock in minor GAA in recent times. Massive underdogs Tipperary defeated red-hot favourites Dublin to win the 2011 All-Ireland minor final.

The Clonmel man, playing at right half back, was a colossus. He was marked out as a star of Premier county football for years to come.

Made his football debut for the county in 2015 against Waterford and immediately became a part of the furniture in Tipperary. Extremely athletic, skill to burn and tough as nails, he's the quintessential half-back.

Departed for the hurlers in 2016. It wasn't a bad decision, because that year, he won an All-Ireland.

A wristy hurler, a classy footballer.

It's all hurling for him at the moment.

7. Daithí Burke (Corofin, Galway)

6 Galway senior football Championships.

3 Connacht senior football Championships.

1 All-Ireland senior football Championship.

Enough said.

Kevin Walsh wouldn't say no.

6. John McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney, Tipperary)

He's won three Tipperary senior football Championships with the mid-Tipperary club.

He won an All-Ireland minor football Championship in 2011.

A skilled forward, McGrath is just as elusive a footballer as he is a hurler. His dainty, relaxed demeanour in possession of the ball marks him out as a perfect modern day player.

Like his brother Noel, he has near 20/20 vision, and has the right foot to execute perfection.

In Tipperary, hurling usually wins out, and the younger of the McGrath brothers is no exception to this.

5. Michael 'Brick' Walsh (Stradbally, Waterford)

He's won seven county Championship medals in football with Stradbally.

He normally plays at midfield for the Waterford club side. His strength and aerial ability make him lethal for his side's kick-outs.

4. Lee Chin (Sarsfields, Wexford)

Made the summer sing in the sunny-south-east in 2017. His hurl was the microphone, though, unfortunately for the county's football following. The Wexford hurlers defeated Kilkenny for the first time in Championship hurling since 2004. Chin was a behemoth.

In his day, he was a purple and gold beast with a football, too.

For now, it's all about the yellow belly hurlers.

3. Podge Collins (Cratloe, Clare)

He fought the dual-cause. He figured it couldn't be done.

If you cut him open, he'd bleed yellow and blue. We know it kills him not to be able to line out for the Banner footballers, who are managed by his father, Colm.

Podge has Clare coursing through his veins. Even he couldn't balance the two, though he did his best in 2016.

With that cute footballing brain, his playmaking abilities were a key component of Clare teams and still are for Cratloe.

We miss seeing his graceful caressing of the O'Neill's size five.

2. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)

Noel McGrath is the same hurler as he is a footballer. That makes him one of the most graceful in the land.

Treats the ball with the care and respect it deserves. Just like John, he's won a lot in Tipperary. That Munster breakthrough will soon arrive.

What they're doing in Loughmore-Castleiney is nothing short of beautiful.

Liam Kearns would kill for him.

1. Alan Cadogan (Douglas, Cork)

What the Cork footballers would do to have him.

He's made the opposite decision to his brother Eoin. It's the small ball over the big one for Alan.

He burst onto the Rebel scene as one of the most exciting underage football forwards in a long time.

Skinny as a whippet - his dashing pace, endless skill set and feisty determination meant his weight deficit didn't matter. When he soloed with the ball he absolutely drove forward.

Was a man-of-the-match in the 2014 Munster under-21 football final against Tipperary. That year he scored five from play against Kerry in the semi-final.