#TheToughest Issue: This football All-Star team selected by our readers is seriously strong
This team would take beating.
Earlier this week as part of #TheToughest Issue, we asked readers of JOE and SportsJOE to select the Gaelic Football All-Star team if it was being picked now, before the meeting of Dublin and Kerry in the All-Ireland Final next weekend.
The nominations for each line of the pitch were made up of the players we believe have stood out the most in the Championship to date; not surprisingly, the majority of those came from the four teams who contested two gripping All-Ireland semi-finals in the last few weeks.
Readers of both websites responded in their droves and you can see for yourself below just how tough it was to choose between the respective nominees in all lines of the pitch.
It’s some team you’ve come up with in the end though; like we said, it would take some beating.
Goalkeeper: Brendan Kealy (Kerry)
The Kerry netminder was a clear winner with 45% of the vote, a reflection of a solid season between the sticks so far. It hasn’t been a vintage year for prolific All-Star collector Stephen Cluxton, although he did redeem himself with a very good display in the replay against Mayo last weekend.
Full-back line: Keith Higgins (Mayo), Philly McMahon (Dublin), Marc Ó’Sé (Kerry)
It is a testament to Keith Higgins’ ability that although he has enjoyed better seasons, readers of JOE and SportsJOE voted him ahead of the chasing pack in the full-back line.
After a stormer against Mayo last time out Philly McMahon wasn’t far behind, while a black card against Tyrone obviously hasn’t put too much of a blot on Marc Ó’Sé’s campaign.
Half-back line: Lee Keegan (Mayo), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Peter Harte (Tyrone)
We expected this line to be the most competitive of the lot, but in the end only Cian O’Sullivan posed a threat to the three players who made the cut.
Mayo’s Lee Keegan was the most popular choice with nearly a third of the vote, with Jack McCaffrey and a roaming Peter Harte taking their place alongside him in a very strong line indeed.
Midfield: David Moran (Kerry), Anthony Maher (Kerry)
No real surprise to see the Green and Gold dominate the centre of the pitch, nor was it a shock to see David Moran grab one in every three votes.
Tom Parsons and Seamie O’Shea came close to dislodging Maher, but the Kerryman just about held firm to claim his spot.
Half-forward line: Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin), Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin), Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo)
The line where the votes were most evenly spread throughout the whole side and perhaps it’s no wonder when you examine those pushing for a jersey.
There was less than a percent between the final tallies of the three who did make the cut, with young Diarmuid O’Connor earning deserved recognition for his breakthrough campaign with Mayo.
Full-forward line: Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Bernard Brogan (Dublin), Conor McManus (Monaghan)
A full-forward line that would have every full-back line in the country sh*tting their pants; if only the fantasy of seeing them play together could actually come true.
Cillian O’Connor ran McManus close for the final spot and there will be more to come from the Kerry contingent in the final, but it’s hard to argue with a full-forward line of that quality.