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31st Jul 2023

The three unluckiest players to miss out on The Sunday Game Team of the year

Lee Costello

The Sunday Game

One omission in particular is hard to figure out.

The Sunday Game selected their Team of the Year after yesterday’s All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry, and three players in particular were very unlucky to miss out.

It’s almost an impossible job to squeeze in 15 names when so many talented layers have pushed their bodies to the list to help their county achieve something this year.

However, in typical Sunday Game fashion, not everyone was going to agree with the calls that were ultimately made.

Here is the team selected:

Stephen Cluxton 

Conor McCloskey 

Mick Fitzsimons

Tom O’Sullivan 

Conor McCarthy

James McCarthy 

Tadhg Morley

Brian Fenton 

Brendan Rogers

Paul Mannion 

Sean O’Shea 

Paudie Clifford 

Colm Basquel 

David Clifford 

Shane McGuigan

Mick Fitzsimons

Hardly a team that you would want to come up against, and all had very good seasons, but there are three players who must be feeling hard done by.

Karl O’Connell

The Monaghan star had the season of his life, and it’s all the more impressive when you consider that he’s one of the oldest players on the team.

His pace is still frightening and whether the team is playing poorly or well, O’Connell was always at the top of his game. You only have to look at the two matches against Derry.

In the Ulster championship Derry destroyed the Farney county, but the little success that Vinny Corey’s team did have came from the brave and direct running from their evergreen star.

Then in the second game, when Monaghan probably deserved to win but were a point down with seconds to go, he hist a wonder score to salvage a draw.

Shane Ryan

The Sunday Game

Shane Ryan didn’t really do anything wrong this season, he had the perfect blend of attacking, joining the play outfield, while being sensible with his positioning and goalkeeping responsibilities.

When it comes to picking the goalkeeper in the Team of the Year, it usually comes down to the final, and Ryan had a brilliant final, it was probably just the fact that Stephen Cluxton was on the winning team that ave him the nod.

In fairness to the Dublin number one, the goal that he conceded against Paul Geaney was the only goal he let in all season.

Cormac Costello

This one is just strange. Going into the final Costello was being tipped to win the Player of the Year award, and now suddenly he doesn’t even get in the team.

The sharp shooter didn’t have his best final, that is true, and while Paul Mannion was magnificent against Kerry, he hadn’t been his best all season before that.

If you’re supposed to pick the team on a season’s worth of performances, then Costello should have got in ahead of Mannion.

The GAA Hour: Marc Ó Sé chats Dublin vs. Kerry and shares some Páidí Ó Sé classics

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