Dream 15 of hurlers who haven't won Liam MacCarthy
They might be minus a medal but they still left a legacy and plenty of memories.
Like the majors in golf, having an All-Ireland to your name is often viewed as the be-all and end-all for GAA players.
Like the GAA's official acid test, the holy grail will always hold weight but still, the idea that one can't attain greatness without it isn't accurate either.
Better a near miss than a lifetime away.
As the more accurate saying goes, the destination is just as important as the journey and while these lads might not have made it to the promised land, they created plenty of colourful, iconic and heroic memories on their travels.
1 Stephen O'Keeffe (Waterford)
There's talk that Davy Fitz might convince him back into the fold and it would be a fair boost for Waterford. Shaun O'Brien did have a brilliant year last year in O'Keeffe's absence, but the Ballygunner man does have legitimate claims to be one of the best ever.
To beat him, there's no point in saying otherwise, you have to hit the perfect shot.
2 Darragh Ryan (Wexford)
A tall, physical and crafty presence on the edge of the square, the St Anne's club man was a colossus for Wexford hurling for many years.
A mean defender who strode out from the last line with pace and with purpose, he never made it past the last four but was deservedly honoured with an All-Star in 2001.
3 Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny)
Has now lost three finals, but still has loads of time on his side. Won the All-Star at full back last year and looks nailed onto retain it again next year.
4 Ollie Canning (Galway)
If any man verifies the prospects of greatness without having a Celtic Cross, then it's Ollie Canning.
The Portumna club man began his Galway career as a corner forward believe it or not, before retreating around the year 2000. He would become one of the most respected number fours in the game, winning four All-Stars and leaving many a corner forward broken and dumbfounded!
5 Ciaran Carey (Limerick)
Just like Canning, a tireless, fearless, warrior who became one of the finest hurlers of a generation.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 1, 2017
6 Ken McGrath (Waterford)
A cannon-ball released into the half back line who hurled with abandon and with emotion for his county. A free spirit on the field, McGrath was one of the finest centre backs the game has ever seen.
Laochra Gael - Ken McGrath Skilful, stylish and teak tough the Mount Sion clubman was adept at playing at CB, midfield or CF for the Déise, pic.twitter.com/ht9JlWFWCm
— Laochra Gael (@Laochra_Gael) March 7, 2017
7 Tony Browne (Waterford)
Longevity and enduring greatness. The perfect mix. Browne toed the Waterford line for years and he always brought cuteness and power to his hurling.
Up until his inter-county retirement at... 40.
8 Jamie Barron (Waterford)
One of the best engines in the game. Still has time, however, just like the man alongside him in the middle.
9 Austin Gleeson (Waterford)
Another Déise great yet to taste the game's top honour. Maybe his year out will rejuvenate him, and inspire him to bring Waterford to the promised land when he returns.
10 Damien Hayes (Galway)
A three-time All-Star, Hayes is a man often under-rated in these discussions. One of those hearty forwards who'd run through a wall to get on the ball.
He'd do it quickly too, leaving defenders behind reeling. Always a good man for two or three scores a game, goals included.
11 Dan Shanahan (Waterford)
Dan the man was a three-time All-Star and he was also the Hurler of the year in 2007. A passionate, colourful character with a lethal eye for goal.
Strong in the air, a powerful runner, he was very hard to stop at full throttle.
12 Lee Chin (Wexford)
A man-mountain who has led Wexford for the past decade. Incredible in the air and an all-round leader.
13 John Mullane (Waterford)
Had everything you wanted in a corner forward and he always led the fight for the Déise. Fast, skilful, accurate and he had that bit of cut in him too.
14 Paul Flynn (Waterford)
Like his partner up top O'Shaughnessy, Flynn could drive the ball miles with unerring accuracy and searing power. He may not have been the quickest but he made up for it with his ball-control and wizardry.
15 Patrick Horgan (Cork)
May get there yet, although his time is running out. A certified wizard who has wowed thousands for years.
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