The best club football 15 in recent history
They say you don't choose your club, it chooses you.
The same could be said for greatness. It isn't a choice. It's a calling.
No field in Irish culture houses as many heroes and as many role models as the football fields of this country do.
Kids all over this place grow up inspired by what their elders can do with a round piece of leather and the real beauty of it all is that, for most of them, their idols are in their very club. They're their fathers and uncles, they're their coaches and, more often than not, they'll soon be their team mates.
Nothing has ever and nothing will ever capture the roots of this island like club GAA will. For over a century, some of the greatest men have been hero-worshipped in Ireland and it's all because they can perform miracles with a ball.
Below are the best of the best club footballers.
1. Paul Hearty (Crossmaglen)
- 19 Armagh club titles
- 11 Ulster club titles
- 6 All-Ireland club titles
2. Niall McCusker (Ballinderry)
Could put Owen Mulligan in his back pocket and could even stifle Kieran Donaghy whilst conceding the guts of a foot too.
Tough, smart, a ferocious tackler and a damn fine ball-player when he decided to charge out from the back. Won an All-Ireland with Ballinderry in 2002.
3. Francie Bellew (Crossmaglen)
He did alright with his six All-Irelands and he did it all by emptying lads with a smile on his face.
4. Kieran Fitzgerald (Corofin)
Athletic, tireless, cute. Still going.
5. Declan Meehan (Caltra)
One of the finest wing backs of this generation, Declan Meehan was ahead of his time when it came to number fives who put forwards on the back foot.
Ate up yards like nothing normal, split posts with ease. Instrumental in Caltra's rise to the top in 2003/04.
6. James Nallen (Crossmolina)
Six Mayo titles, three Connacht gongs and the All-Ireland that the legend deserved. A centre back who really did have it all.
7. Aaron Kernan (Crossmaglen)
Only fitting that there's a Cross' man on every single line of the pitch.
8. Enda Muldoon (Ballinderry)
One of the most pristine footballers Ireland has ever produced, Enda Muldoon really was the whole package.
No-one could field ball as well as his octopus tentacles could suck the thing in. No-one could thread passes as well as his magical right foot could command the size five to go wherever and however he wanted it to. No-one could play midfield, half forward, full forward and - in later days - roaming around the half back line with as much distinction as Enda Muldoon could. The Big Easy, they call him. Everything was just so easy for him.
After 23 years of playing senior football for @BallinderryGAC. The time has arrived for me to hang up the boots. The pleasure was all mine.
— Enda Muldoon (@MuldoonEnda) November 13, 2017
9. Tony McEntee (Crossmaglen)
A work horse with as much class as he had running power.
10. John McEntee (Crossmaglen)
A work horse with as much running power as he had class.
11. Ciaran McDonald (Crossmolina)
The best left foot of all time, bar none.
Decent brain, decent runner, decent shoulders too.
12. Diarmuid Connolly (St. Vincent's)
He's won two All-Irelands with the Dublin outfit and he's done it all with pure gracefulness and pure, raw explosiveness.
Connolly is a dream to watch at inter-county level anyway but, at club football, it's like he's playing over the bar every time. Always has so much time and space to himself and picks passes and splits posts with consummate ease.
13. Colm Cooper (Dr. Crokes)
The most beautiful footballer ever got his just rewards for toiling with the club for so long when he inspired them to St. Patrick's Day success in 2017.
14. Colin Corkery (Nemo Rangers)
They don't make them like they used to.
15. Oisin McConville (Crossmaglen)
His scoring record for the greatest club side ever is a joke.