Why Shane McGuigan is on the cusp of becoming one of the country's best forwards
"Shane probably hasn't got the recognition he deserves just yet."
Shane McGuigan is undoubtedly Derry's main man up front, and one of the very best shooters in the game right now, but will he push into that elite bracket of players?
When you think of the very best forwards in the country, there's the obvious ones like David Clifford, Shane Walsh, Con O'Callaghan and Conor McManus - they are almost in a league of their own.
Then you have other talismanic players that wreck the brains of opposition managers in the weeks leading up to the game, such as Rian O'Neill, Darren McCurry, Sean O'Shea, Damien Comer, Ryan O'Donoghue and so forth.
Every one of the aforementioned players are being targeted by opposition defences, and earmarked as the danger men who can flip a game on its head.
McGuigan has being the focal point of Derry's attack for years, but it does appear that opposing teams are more concerned with players like Brendan Rodgers, Conor Glass, and Ethan Rafferty.
Speaking on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, SportsJOE's Niall McIntyre discusses what the Slaughtneil man needs to do, to reach that next level.
"He probably has to have that big breakthrough performance, whether it's in an Ulster final, or an All-Ireland semi-final, where he takes the game and scores 1-5 or something like that," said McIntyre.
"He probably hasn't done that in one of these huge games yet, but I would say the way he's going it's only a matter of time. He's playing with serious confidence.
"The goal he got, he just smashed it in, and he got a point where he was going for the top corner but it went over the bar - he's got serious confidence, great pace, a brilliant shooter, loves coming in off the loop, he has a great turn - he has it all really.
"It's only a matter of time before he has that massive day, and people will have the fear of God then."
"I've been lucky now to see Shane live in an awful lot of games from being at them, but maybe that breakthrough performance hasn't been there, but when you look at it from a Derry point of view, he's their main man.
"I know when Monaghan go back training on Tuesday night or whenever it is, and they start to do their focus on Derry - Shane McGuigan will be number one on the list.
"If they can stop him, they will go a long way to winning the game, and yes there will be other players along those lines - Paul Cassidy is in exceptional form, what an engine he has, Brendan Rodgers loves to break lines, Conor Glass from the middle of the pitch, he starts a lot of attacks - Shane probably hasn't got the recognition he deserves just yet.
"You would imagine in due course, if he keeps performing the way he's doing at the moment it will come. There's not a game that he goes out in where he hasn't kicked five points, or 1-4, he seems to be a really good goal-getter as well.
"He scored a number of them in last year's championship, he's had two in this year's championship as well, he could have had three, he went for the top corner and it just went over the bar.
"Definitely a lot of teams have potent forwards, and there's no doubt that Shane McGuigan is inside that top number of players. Maybe top eight, top 10 - he's definitely in that bracket.
"In any day when he's on song, he's really, really hard to stop."
You can listen to the full Shane McGuigan discussion and other key talking points on the latest episode of the GAA Hour with Kyle Coney.
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