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30th Jul 2023

Three “harsh” calls as Dublin and Kerry dominate Sunday Game ‘Team of the Year’

Patrick McCarry

“The harshest call was against Bryan Howard,” argued Lee Keegan.

The 2023 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship is in the history books, with Dublin defeating Kerry at Croke Park to clinch Sam Maguire. On The Sunday Game, some individual accolades were handed out.

The Sunday Game panel was made up of Tyrone pair Sean Cavanagh and Enda McGinley, Mayo duo Lee Keegan and Cora Staunton, with respective Dublin and Kerry legends Paul Flynn and Tomás Ó Sé also weighing in.

During the course of the All-Ireland final discussions, and the 2023 championship, the Clifford brothers, David and Paudie, Cormac Costello, Stephen Cluxton and Monaghan talisman Conor McManus all coming in for extensive praise.

There are a few changes, in that Sunday Game 15, from The GAA JOE All-Star Football Team of the year 2023, which we confirmed after the final at Croke Park.

Before the panel got to thrash out the big calls in their selection, they first announced Dublin forward Paul Mannion as Man of the Match from the All-Ireland Final. “It was a tough couple of years for the team… it was probably more tough [for me] watching from the sidelines and not being in the head-space to contribute,” Mannion said, from the winners’ banquet.

Sunday Game

Sunday Game panel makes Team of the Year selection

It came down to the moment the Sunday Game panel had to reveal their Team of the Year selection.

This team was selected after taking feedback, and votes, from pundits on RTE Radio and TV. Tomás Ó Sé said he would have had Bryan Howard in there while Lee Keegan made sure Monaghan’s Karl O’Connell got a mention, while agreeing Howard omission was “harshest”.

Cora Staunton said Dublin forward Cormac Costello was the “unluckiest” to miss out while Paul Flynn agreed and said he would have had both Costello and Colm Basquel in his full forward line.

But, near misses aside, here are the 15 players selected for the annual footballing honour that tides us all over until the All Stars are announced.


Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)

Mick Fitzsimons (Dublin)
Conor McCloskey (Derry)
Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry)

James McCarthy (Dublin)
Tadhg Morley (Kerry)
Conor McCarthy (Monaghan)

Brian Fenton (Dublin)
Brendan Rogers (Derry)

Paul Mannion (Dublin)
Seán Ó Sé (Kerry)
Paudie Clifford (Kerry)

David Clifford (Kerry)
Shane McGuigan (Derry)
Colm Basquel (Dublin)

Related articles:

Rian O’Neill chats Dublin vs. Kerry and Armagh on The GAA Hour