Category: Gaelic Football News

All the latest GAA news from Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Mayo and other counties.

List of the best GAA teams of all time

In terms of Gaelic Football, the GAA has been home to some of the greatest teams to ever grace a football pitch with many teams showcasing their era of success and others who have been a great team but could not manage to go that one step beyond.

Many fans, like myself, tend to have their own opinions on what teams or players are better, comparing era’s, tactics, and overall success, if you ask a fan ‘’what team is the greatest of all time?’’ you will likely get different answers. Ultimately, many lists are not set in stone, and the likelihood of everyone agreeing with another’s subjective opinion are slim to none.

With the start of the 2021 All-Ireland Championship looming, I have decided I would rank in the top 10 greatest Gaelic football teams of all time. For a team to be considered for this list, the criterion for this ranking goes:

Criteria

1) A team must have a level of dominance in the All-Ireland and the provincial picture.

2) Teams should have relatively the same panel for most of their dominance.

3) How many honours a team had.

4) Level of quality with the opposition they faced.

5) High volume of consistency.

6) Legacy left behind

From the ranking, some teams might not have got close to others overall success, with many teams having fewer to no All-Ireland titles to their name compared to others. However, some teams listed have shown their golden generation that holds a relevant greater weight. Quality is the main instigator for this list, but quantity also holds some significance in giving a team there just do’s along with a lasting legacy left behind after all said is done.

I can only assume some teams listed will give make some heads turn, but opinions are opinions and that is the beauty of it. So, sit back, relax, and disagree and your own leisure.

  1. Mayo (2011-2017)

Starting off the list I have gone for a controversial pick. As a Mayo man, there is a certain bias to including this team on a list of All-Ireland winners with more than one medal to their name, but this Mayo team was special, irrespective of not winning the pinnacle of Gaelic football.

At the start of the decade, Mayo was in a problematic position as a team, John O’Mahony was still in charge and oversaw one of the most embarrassing seasons in recent memory. Losing to Cork in the National League final, getting knocked out in the first round of the Connacht Championship by Sligo and getting embarrassed by Longford in round one of the All-Ireland qualifiers. Mayo football was in a dark place and John O’Mahony resigned as a result.

Come 2011, James Horan took the reigns and completely changed the fortunes for the years to come. Winning a historic Connacht 5-in-row from 2011-2015 and reaching 4 All-Ireland finals and 7 semi-finals. Easily Mayo’s golden generation of players, they have fallen short in terms of All-Ireland success. Showing great consistency and a hunger to come back stronger each season to right the wrongs of the previous campaign. Their main problem is out of their control, battling in the same era as the present Dublin team. 

Facing the Dubs in 4 finals and arguably should have won all of them It is the case of the right team, wrong time and with the stigma of ‘’always the bridesmaid, never the bride’’, this Mayo team is the most popular team to never win an All-Ireland, but it should not negate the quality and consistency that have shown.

Honours

5 Connacht Titles (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

4 All-Ireland appearances (2012, 2013, 2016, 2017)

7 All-Ireland semi-finals (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Noteworthy players:

Cillian O’Connor

Keith Higgins

Colm Boyle

Lee Keegan

Andy Moran

Aidan O’Shea

David Clarke

 

  1. Donegal (2011-2014)

At the time of writing this, the present Donegal side is the complete opposite of the successful Donegal team of the early 2010s. With an emphasis on fluid and vibrant football, some fans appreciate the turn of pace from the side that brought them eternal happiness.

Who brought this happiness? The one and only Jim McGuinness catapulted a very much staggered and uninspiring group of players who could barely make an Ulster semi-final into a tough, extremely fit, and effective side who played the dark arts to perfection. While not the first team to introduce a pragmatic approach, they are one of the most revered teams to set up like this.

Starting in 2011, after winning their first Ulster title in 19 years they set their sights on the All-Ireland, being beaten by another young and inexperienced side in Dublin in one of the most heated and tough games to watch in modern football. It was the game that Pat Spillane compared Donegal’s football to ‘’Shiite football’’. 

Come 2012, this Donegal team perfected the art of defending while being efficient in the final third, not beating teams by much but neutralising the oppositions game plan for success. They finally won their first All-Ireland in over 20 years after defeating Kerry, Cork, and Mayo to lift Sam and what followed was another All-Ireland appearance (being the last team to beat Dublin) and numerous provincial successes to finish off their golden era.

The modern-day Donegal may play a different style of football, but the foundations and legacy left behind by that All-Ireland winning team will forever be listed in the minds of Donegal supporters across the country.

Honours

1 All-Ireland Title (2012)

All-Ireland Runner-up (2014)

3 Ulster Titles (2011, 2012, 2014) 

Noteworthy players:

Michael Murphy

Colm McFadden

Neil McGee

Eamon McGee

Karl Lacey

Frank McGlynn

Paddy McBrearty

  1. Cork (1989-1990)

While not showcasing high levels of the consistent quality of a level of dominance from the likes of past Kerry and Dublin sides, the Cork double-winning team showcased brilliance, if not for only a mere two years. Munster football of the 1970s and 1980s were dominated by Kerry, outshining, and overpowering good Cork teams that one would assume if any other Kerry side from past decades were playing against the Cork team mentioned, Cork would have seen a higher level of success against their provincial rivals.

Being managed by Billy Morgan, Cork came into the game with some scrutiny. Being the first team in over fifty years to lose three successive All-Ireland finals is something every team does not want to match, so the pressure coming into the Mayo game was high. No one thought they would manage back-to-back success’s, and along with winning two All-Irelands consecutively, they also managed 2 successive Munster wins and one League title to boast an Impressive era of success, even if their success were short-lived.

Honours 

2 All-Ireland Titles (1989, 1990)

2 Munster Titles (1989, 1990)

1 League Title (1988-1989)

Noteworthy players:

Niall Cahalane

Shea Fahy

Larry Tompkins

 

7. Dublin (1974-1979)

The 1970s was a decade that saw two teams come to prominence, Mick O’Dwyer’s attacking and dominant Kerry side and Kevin Heffernan’s battle-hardened Dublin.

The latter was seen as Kerry’s equal, even superior during the early years of the sport, with the Dubs just edging the Kingdom in overall All-Ireland titles, come the 1960s Kerry were catching up and close to edging their rivals past successes. By 1973, former Dublin corner-forward Kevin Heffernan was appointed manager and from there, the success was evident to see.

From 1974 to 1977, ‘’Heffo’s Army’’ won 2 All-Irelands, and by the end of the decade, Dublin had reached six finals from 1974 to 1979. Facing O’Dwyer’s Kerry conquerors 4 times, only managing to defeat the Kingdom once in that time span.

Although losing the rivalry to Kerry, this Dublin side was very successful, always playing at the highest of levels, and creating historical moments along the way. Ironically, ‘Heffo’s Army’ played in the same era as another great team, and were deemed unlucky despite winning multiple honours that, while being outshone by that Kerry team, their significance in the history of the GAA can only be remembered fondly.

With playing in 6 consecutive finals, Kevin Heffernan’s side should be considered as one of the greats, although they can not compare with a future side from the capital.

Honours

3 All-Ireland Titles (1974, 1976, 1977)

All-Ireland Runners up (1975, 1978, 1979)

6 Leinster Titles (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)

2 League Titles (1975-1976, 1977-1978)

Noteworthy players:

Bernard Brogan Snr

Paddy Cullen

 

 

  1. Galway (1964-1966) 

One of the most popular teams to come out of Connacht, the Galway team of the early to mid-1960s is by far Galway’s most ambitious and prosperous teams ever assembled at that time. After losing to Galway in the 1963 All-Ireland, the same team went on to complete a historic three-in-a-row (the first county in over two decades to achieve a three-peat) from 1964 to 1966 beating the likes of Meath and Kerry two years in a row.

While some would assume that future Galway teams like the 2001 winning side were more impressive and were overall, a better team. The three pat Galway side were more consistent, effective and in the end, a winning team.

They were a defensive unit that was hard to break down during this period of time. Players such as Noel Tierney, Enda Colleran (who captained the panel in 65 and 66) were hallmarks of their structured defence. Their standout, however, was captain and leader John Donnellan in 1964 final who was the heart of the defence in this period. Only yielding 26 points and not conceding a single goal at Croke Park.

While they went on to win Connacht and League titles, the impact of winning a historical three-peat in the wake of losing to Dublin in 1963, many Galway fans gawk at anyone who does not have this team as their greatest team in Galway’s history, and with good reason.

Honours

3 All-Ireland Titles (1964, 1965, 1966)

3 Connacht Titles (1964, 1965, 1966)

1 League Title (1963-1964)

Noteworthy Players:

John Donnellan

Enda Colleran

Noel Tierney

Matti McDonagh

 

 

  1. Meath (1987-1996)

While the Meath teams of the 1940s and 1950s were semi-successful in their own right, the level of competition was much to be desired, by the start of the 1970s they were competing with Dublin enough of the time to be respected. Come the 1980s football in Meath had changed drastically, all down to the masterful approach of former manager Seán Boylan.

Having not won an All-Ireland since 1967, Boylan introduced a winning mentality not seen previously, with three consecutive Leinster titles from 1986 to 1988. They went onto become double winners after defeating Cork on both occasions in Croke Park edging out the rebels by small margins.

This Meath team is most known for the epic four-game series against provincial rivals Dublin in 1991. Merely a preliminary round, both teams went onto draw the opening three games, two of which ended level after extra time, before Meath edged out the Dubs by a single point. In the same year, they went onto reach another All-Ireland Final losing out to Down by 2 points.

By 1996, Boylan’s first Meath side was getting older and more weathered, showing a lot of wear and tear. Although they did manage to capture another All-Ireland title defeating Mayo in a heated replay, this Meath team had their time in the sun and Boylan knew this. Easily the most famous Meath team in their history, it’s hard not to fault the talent and perseverance that led the 5 finals in 9 years, winning 3.

Honours

3 All-Ireland Titles (1987, 1988, 1996)

All-Ireland Runners-up (1990, 1991)

5 Munster Titles (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996)

3 League Titles (1987-1988, 1989-1990, 1993-1994) 

Noteworthy Players

Colm O’Rourke

Brian Stafford

Mick Lyons

 

  1. Tyrone (2003-2008)

While not seen as perineal losers in the sense of other teams, the Tyrone teams of the 1980s and 1990s were ultimate failures in terms of honours. The closest of these failures is the 1-point losing margin to Dublin in 1995 was seen as a success for Tyrone at the time. At the start of the new millennium, the arrival of Mickey Harte turned the fortunes of Tyrone for the better.

After managing the Tyrone minor team from 1991 to 1998 winning the All-Ireland title along the way, Harte subsequently managed Tyrone to back-to-back U21 All-Ireland successes in 2000 and 2001, he was appointed senior manager in 2003 and from there on, a monster was born.

While the Donegal team managed by Jim McGuinness were revered for their strong defensive capabilities, it was Mickey Harte’s Tyrone team of the early to mid-2000s that refined it. Known for perfecting the so-called ‘’blanket defence’’, the style was both criticized and commended for the rough nature and physicality that came with the tactic. Famously, Pat Spillane referred to it as ‘’puke football’’. The likes of Joe Brolly were quick to defend the style of play that was implemented by Harte and deemed Spillane’s comments as sour grapes, as the comments were made against Kerry, firmly knocking the Kingdom off their perch.

While they never went back-to-back, Tyrone at the time was always in and around the latter stages of the championship. Beating Kerry in 2003, 2005 and 2008 All-Ireland finals, they dominated the era along with Kerry, being the antagonist to the already established fluid, attacking style of play that Kerry produced on many occasions in Croke Park.

While Kerry won their All-Ireland titles playing so-called respectable football, they were unable to dethrone Tyrone when they faced them, showing that with a proper tactic based on the opponents, anyone can beat anyone, even the greats. Strong, vicious tackling and running in packs, the Tyrone team of the 2000s achieved so much in a time were one team dominated.

Honours

3 All-Ireland Titles (2003, 2005, 2008)

2 Ulster Titles (2003, 2007)

1 League Title (2003)

Noteworthy Players:

Seán Cavanagh

Peter Canavan

Stephen O’Neill

Eoin Mulligan

Brian Dooher

Brian McGuigan

 

  1. Kerry (1975-1986)

Making this list was not easy, placing every team was a hard task to complete and would pluck a few feathers but I have ultimately decided to place the Kerry team managed by the great Mick O’ Dwyer of the 1970s and 1980s. Controversial to place them below a certain team from the 2000s but an argument can be made, and I would assume many Kerry people from the time would try to convince me otherwise.

When you talk about this Kerry side, three words come to mind, dominant, successful, and endearing. At the time it was regarded as the greatest team of all time, and one can see why. Sticking to the routes of Kerry’s DNA, Mick O’ Dwyer captivated a stunning attacking and energetic side that blew teams out of the water. Pressing in droves and playing to the phrase of attack is the best form of defence, they revolutionized how players modernised their game.

They beat out other great sides of their era, having a competitive rivalry with the Dublin team of the 1970s, they embarked on some great games and came out on top with many All-Ireland titles, an absurd 8 All-Ireland titles in 11 years, achieving an incredible three-in-a-row from 1984 to 1986, they were the benchmark for future Kerry teams to emulate.

Like all great teams, they need an ending, and this Kerry team were so good, that the teams of the 1990s fell short, not reaching an All-Ireland final until 1997, just shows the greatness of the side that eluded them 20 years prior.

Honours

8 All-Ireland Titles (1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986)

All-Ireland Runners-ups (1976, 1982)

11 Munster Titles (1975, 1976, 1977,1978,1979,1980,1981,1982,1983,1984,1985,1986)

3 League Titles (1976-1977, 1981-1982, 1983-1984)

Noteworthy Players:

Paídí Ó Sé

Jack O’Shea

Mikey Sheehy

 Pat Spillane

 

  1. Kerry (2000-2011)

Personally, speaking this Kerry team was the team I grew up with. A tear in Mayo’s side during the 2000s, I can only appreciate this side’s pure skill and efficiency. Winning 5 All-Ireland titles in 9 years is an amazing achievement, coming from the Kerry side of the 1990s, no one would have thought the level of dominance this side had over the rest of the already established big boys of the time.

Some would say, they fail to live up to the Mick O’ Dwyer Kerry side that encapsulated the GAA of the 1970s, due to the fact they never had back-to-back successes and they never really changed their system depending on the opposition. Seeing Tyrone neutralise them in 3 All-Ireland finals from 2003 to 2008. Regardless of these factors, the well-oiled machine that was this Kerry side was awe to behold.

Not only did they feature in every All-Ireland final from 2004 to 2009, hammering decent Mayo sides and always managing to outclass Cork on the big stage, playing six finals in a row is massive, boasting something that O’ Dwyer’s team could not.

What puts them ahead for me though, is the level of competition they faced, encountering teams like Cork, Mayo, Armagh, Dublin and of course Tyrone. Playing in a much harder era puts them ahead for me. The level of dominance they had while beating most of these teams yearly with a mixture of young talents such as the Gooch and Kieran Donaghy and established more experienced players like the Ó Sé brothers, this Kerry team had everything a manager could want and from their constant performances and the winning mentality they were a pleasure to watch.

They were the side of the 2000s and managed to stay atop the ladder, the skill and class were the main reasons as to why teams like Cork, Mayo and especially Dublin did not win any All-Ireland titles during the time.

Honours

5 All-Ireland Titles (2000,2004,2006,2007,2009)

All Ireland Runners-up (2002, 2005, 2008, 2011)

8 Munster Titles (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011)

3 League Titles (2004, 2006, 2009)

Noteworthy Players:

Colm Cooper

Kieran Donaghy 

Darragh Ó’ Sé

Marc Ó ‘ Sé

Tomás Ó’ Sé

Declan O’ Sullivan

 

 

 

 

  1. Dublin (2011-Present)

Was there any doubt about who would take the crown of the greatest team in the 137-year history of the association? Not only has this Dublin side broke through the ceiling, but they also smashed it into little, tiny pieces. I, like many fears this Dublin side for many reasons, how did they get so good in such little time? And how can one team keep coming back for more and more success? This Dublin team is impenetrable, having very few weaknesses if any for that matter.

What is so scary about this squad of players is that what was said to be the norm in the GAA landscape is now gone. Sides like Kerry and Tyrone beat teams before they reached the pitch, Dublin gives off the same vibes but multiplied by 100. Another scary prospect is that this Dublin side is not even close to slowing down, like a speeding train without brakes, not much can be done to stop a GAA juggernaut such as this Dublin side.

It all started in 2011, Dublin had just beaten a great, but old Kerry team, the passing of the torch in some respects, a new era was predicted. Come 2012, any talk of dominance was hampered by a rejuvenated Mayo side in the All-Ireland Semi-Final. Although the Dubs did get their revenge the year later in an entertaining one-point win over the same much improved Mayo side was said to be the start of another era of dominance. Wrong, the unbeatable Dublin team lauded by the pundits were played off the park by Donegal in the 2014 All-Ireland Semi-Final. 

By 2015, the era of dominance that was predicted finally came to fruition, winning the unimaginable six, yes, six-in-a-row. Maintaining guile and a will to win, the main reasons why they ousted the Mayo sides that brought them their true rival of the era, beating Mayo in three finals (2013, 2016, 2017) by one-point margins and a close 2015 All-Ireland Semi-Final. 

While many fans of the GAA are worried about where the sport goes with only one team dominating the sport and leaving many counties behind in terms of quality. The Dublin players are simply faster, stronger, more skilful, and most importantly have a taste for winning. It will take an almighty surge of know-how to dethrone the giants of Gaelic football.

Honours

8 All-Ireland Titles (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

9 Leinster Titles (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

8 league titles (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Noteworthy Players:

Alan Brogan

Bernard Brogan 

Stephen Cluxton

Jack McCaffrey

Diarmuid Connolly

Dean Rock

Brian Fenton

New Gaelic Football & Hurling Rules explained and defined

A full explanation of the new Gaelic Football and Hurling rules for the 2021 League, it looks like there will be a lot of sin-binning in Hurling.

Hurling | Denying a Goalscoring Opportunity
If any of the following infractions are committed, on an attacking player with a goal-scoring opportunity, either inside the 20-metre line or the semi-circular arc (a) To pull down an opponent or
(b) To trip an opponent with hands, arm, leg, foot, or hurley or
• Not all yellow cards come under this cynical behaviour rule – only those listed are
(c) To use the hurley in a careless manner (5.6)
the following penalties shall apply –
(i) A Penalty Puck shall be awarded to the team affected.
(ii) Additional to being issued a Caution (Yellow Card), the offender shall be sent to the Sin Bin for 10 minutes.
the offender shall be ordered off for the remainder of the game, including Extra-Time when played. 3
Hurling | Denying a Goalscoring Opportunity
to be considered under this rule.
• All other infractions remain unchanged.
• It is the decision of the Referee as to whether it is a goal-scoring opportunity or not, but it must be inside the 20m line or the semi-circular arc. Key factors the referee should consider.
• Where the foul occurred?
• How many defenders are between the attaching player and the goals? • Could another defender make a tackle before reaching the goals? • How many players are in the area in front of the goals?
• If it is not a goal scoring opportunity a yellow card and a free will be awarded. • This rule applies to Senior Inter-County League & Championship only in 2021.
• If a Category II Infraction – Cynical Behaviour is committed, on an attacking
05/05/2021

Football | Denying a Goalscoring Opportunity
player with a goal-scoring opportunity, either inside the 20-metre line or the semi-circular arc, a Penalty Kick shall be awarded to the team affected.”
• If a player commits a Cynical Behaviour infraction within the 20-metre line or the semi circular arc and outside the large rectangle, and it is not a goal-scoring opportunity, the referee will deal with foul as per rule i.e. issue the card and award a free-kick.
• There is no change to the cynical behaviour fouls. The rule change allows a Referee to award a penalty kick if the infraction is committed inside the 20m line or the semi-circle and the Referee deems it to be a goal-scoring opportunity. • All other black cards and consequences continue as before.
• It is the decision of the Referee as to whether it is a goal-scoring opportunity or not. However, it must be inside the 20m line or the semi-circular arc. Things the referee should consider:
• Where the foul occurred
• How many defenders are between the attaching player and the goals • Could another defender make a tackle before reaching the goals? • How many players are in the area in front of the goals?
• This is only for Senior Inter-County League & Championship 2021.

 

Sin Bin
• The player shall be sent to Sin Bin for 10minutes.
• Exception, a player who had earlier been issued a yellow, shall be shown a red card, and sent off for the remainder of the game, including extra time.
• If a player is in the Sin Bin with an unexpired period and the game goes to extra time, the team shall start extra time with 14 players.
• If a player has been sent off during normal time with a Red card (either a straight red or a double yellow), he can be replaced for the start of extra time as per rule.
• The 10 minutes begin when the Referee restarts the game. • The player shall return to play at the next break in play after the 10 minutes has elapsed.
• The player shall return to play at the next break in play after the 10 minutes has elapsed.
• If the player returns to play without the permission of the Referee at a break in play, he will be penalised with a yellow card (Rule 6.1 Challenging the Authority of the Referee) and then given a red card.
• If a goalkeeper is sent to the sin-bin, it is at the discretion of the relevant team management as to how to address this matter (e.g. they may choose to use a substitute & bring on their reserve goalkeeper or use a player already on the pitch as a goalkeeper, who will need a distinctive top to have the goalkeeper privileges).
• If the player while in the Sin Bin commits another aggressive infraction, he shall be issued with an appropriate card and cannot return to the game.

Advantage Rule | Change
• When an Aggressive Foul is committed, the Referee may allow the play to continue if he considers that this presents the potential of a goal-scoring opportunity or another advantage to the team offended by creating or capitalising on time and space.
• He shall signal the advantage by raising an arm upright and shall allow the advantage to run by maintaining his arm in the upright position for up to five seconds after the foul or for less time if it becomes clear that no advantage has accrued.
• If he deems no advantage to have accrued, he may subsequently award a free for the foul from where it occurred, except as provided under Exceptions (v) and (vi) of Rule 2.2. He shall also apply any relevant disciplinary action.
• This is a major change to the wording of the rule.
• Advantage can only be played in two circumstances:
• Goal scoring opportunity
• By creating or capitalising on time and space.
• A goalscoring opportunity is for the Referee to decide but should be a clear opportunity.
• Creating or capitalising on time and space, effectively means that advantage should only be played when the player that is fouled is clear and has time and space. If a player is surrounded and being tackled the Referee must penalise any foul play by awarding the free.
• Once the referee has decided to give advantage, they shall signal the advantage by raising an arm upright and shall allow the advantage to run by maintaining his arm in the upright position for up to five seconds after the foul or for less time if it becomes clear that no advantage has accrued.
• If he deems no advantage to have accrued, the referee may subsequently award a free for the foul from where it occurred.
• Within the five seconds, if the player who received the advantage is fouled again, and as per rule, the referee can play advantage again, and if no advantage has accrued, the referee may subsequently award a free for the foul from where the second foul occurred.
• Furthermore, if the player who received the advantage committees a foul within five seconds, the referee shall award a free against that player from where the foul occurred.

Temporary substitution | Suspected Head Injury
• (ii) A player who sustains a suspected head injury, if instructed by the Referee, shall temporarily leave the Field of Play for further assessment before the player’s fitness to return is determined. • In the circumstance of either (i) or (ii) above, a Temporary Substitute may be used, and shall not count as a substitutions under Rule 2.4 (i) and (ii), Rules of Specification. • The following acts shall not count as substitutions under Rule 2.4 (i) and (ii), Rules of Specification.
• (1) The use of the Temporary Substitute for a player instructed to leave the field under the Rule. • (2) The return to the field of play of the injured (blood or suspected head injury) player as a direct replacement for the Temporary Substitute. • (3) The return to the field of play of the injured (blood or suspected head injury) player as a replacement for any other player if the Temporary Substitute has previously been sent off or substituted.

Could David Clifford be the Best GAA Player of All Time?

We are all aware that the Gaelic Athletic Association has produced some stellar players over the years. Common examples include Maurice Fitzgerald and Colm Cooper. However, a new star is emerging. Some individuals claim that David Clifford could be the best that we have ever seen. Clifford brings much to the table in terms of a flexile sense of athleticism. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Clifford could very well rise to the top in the coming years. 

Following in the Footsteps of Excellent Role Models

We need to keep in mind that Dave Clifford is still relatively young. Just as Spin online casino offers numerous games and playing options which have set it apart from other virtual providers, This is one of the reasons why he is said to have been influenced by legends such as Cooper and Fitzgerald. In fact, some analysts have claimed that he possesses the best traits of both players. Clifford is said to boast the languid speed associated with Fitzgerald as well as the mental prowess of Fitzgerald while on the pitch. This is certainly a formidable combination if he is able to leverage such traits to their fullest.

The Past as an Example of Things to Come?

Age means very little on the pitch. Previous players such as Messi and Ronaldo have firmly proven this point. The same seems to hold true when referring to Dave Clifford. This striker already has two All-Star titles under his belt. When we consider that he has only played two seasons, this leads us to wonder what the future may have in store. The other pertinent (and logical) question involves whether or not he can avoid any injuries in the months and years to come. There is no doubt that a severe injury could certainly affect his momentum at the moment.

A Mature Mentality

Talent involves much more than simply being able to score goals or to pose a formidable defence. On the contrary, some of the best players have possessed the keen ability to appreciate the mental side of the game. It seems as if Dave Clifford has already harnessed this instinct. Not only is he a true team player, but he is notable in the fact that he is not afraid to share the responsibility when things do not go as planned. This can rarely be said about such a young player and it clearly illustrates that he has the makings of a captain in the future.

It is now clear to see why many analysts are already confident that David Clifford will become one of the best GAA players of all time. However, nothing is certain and only time will tell if he is able to maintain this sense of momentum. Could Clifford represent the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? We will have to wait and see. Until then, there is no doubt that fans will be in for a treat whenever he emerges onto the pitch.

Could Sligo’s concession of Connacht semi-final be a sign of things to come?

Sligo were this week forced to concede their Connacht SFC match with Galway due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad. This left Sligo with only 18-20 available players for this encounter leaving them unable to fulfil the fixture.

Many GAA folk have questioned the decision to call off this game, with Tomás O’ Sé being the most vocal on this matter. Sligo’s determination to play the game has been questioned, however, the Sligo county board has claimed these reports to be untrue. Stating that “all who could feasibly make themselves available wanted to play the game”.

Sligo have struggled in the last couple of seasons and this fixture would likely have resulted in a win for the Tribesmen. But that is no reason to believe Sligo did not want to play this game. Instead we should look at the GAA with some scrutiny following this decision not to re-fixture the game.

The Connacht final is due to be played the following weekend on November 15th, so any re-fixture would have a knock-on effect here. However, three weeks separate the Connacht final and the All-Ireland semi-final. Plenty of time to allow for a re-fixture. If both games were pushed back an extra week it would not upset any Connacht counties too much, as they would still have 2 weeks to prepare for the semi-final.

The GAA has since claimed that if Sligo were accommodated in this manner, where would they draw the line? And this approach could result in far more postponements over the coming weeks. 

The GAA is clearly trying to avoid a fixtures pile-up but Sligo were dismissed and effectively thrown out of the championship without the GAA batting an eyelid. Being one of the weaker counties, this decision has probably not affected how the Championship will play out. One must question what if an elite county finds themselves in the same situation? Would they be eliminated too?

Of course, nobody wants to see Covid outbreaks anywhere, but, what if Dublin or Kerry (or any elite county) were to be in this situation before their respective games this weekend? Would last year’s All-Ireland finalists have been eliminated without kicking a ball and blow the Championship wide open? I highly doubt it. In this case the GAA would have probably accommodated its prized possessions and provided a re-fixture. Even if it were Galway who were in this situation, I doubt that they would have been thrown out, allowing Sligo to progress instead.

From Galway’s perspective they will feel disappointed that this fixture was cancelled as they could really have done with a warm-up for a Connacht final. I’m sure if there was an option to push these games back a week both counties would have obliged.

In a few weeks I hope we will look back at a successful championship in which no further Covid-19 outbreaks occurred in squads and resulting in no more cancellations. But that seems unlikely, and it will be very interesting to see how the GAA will handle this matter going forward.

All-Ireland Football preview – Dark Horses, Top Scorer & Player of the year

After a year of uncertainty, and ‘what if’s’ here we are finally, the senior inter-county championships are upon us. We saw two fluid, high-scoring games of hurling this past weekend in Leinster and Munster. This has paved the way for what can be an exciting and unique championship in both codes. With the commencement of the Football championship to come this weekend, we take a preview of what is to come.

 

1) Top scorer 

Top scorer could go anywhere at this stage, so much depends how far each county progresses. With big teams set to meet early, there will be some big names taken out of the equation. However, keep an eye out for these players to shine.

  • Dave Clifford (Kerry) – This man needs no introduction at this stage. He has been scoring for fun over the last couple of years.
  • Sean O’ Shea (Kerry) – A very reliable free-taker and dangerous from open play, Sean O’ Shea is equally as crucial to Kerry’s scoring success as Clifford.
  • Dean Rock (Dublin) – Dublin’s newly crowned all-time top scorer has shown no signs of slowing down yet. With Dublin likely to put up some big scores in Leinster, expect Rock to lead the way for the Dubs.
  • Shane Walsh (Galway) – The top scorer in the National League. Simply put, Galway are a better team with Walsh on the field.
  • Darren McCurry (Tyrone) – Darren McCurry has been Tyrone’s top scorer in Cathal McShane’s absence.
  • Conor McManus (Monaghan) – Conor McManus has proven time-and-time again to be a handful for any defender.
  • Michael Murphy (Donegal) – Donegal’s top scorer in the league with 2-18. Much will depend on their opener with Tyrone.
  • Cillian O’ Connor (Mayo) – Mayo will be glad to have their free-taker back. He has been the top scorer in four previous championships and should contribute a lot of Mayo’s scores should they progress through a tricky Connacht championship.

 

2) Player of the year

Much depends on who wins the All-Ireland here, we could see many names added to this list depending on how things plan out. But here’s five to watch out for.

– Dave Clifford (Kerry)

– Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

– Brian Fenton (Dublin)

– Shane Walsh (Galway)

– Michael Murphy (Donegal)

 

3) Dark horse?

In what is often a predictable championship, this year may present an opportunity for a dark horse to make a run.

  • Roscommon – The Connacht champions have a tough ask ahead of them to retain their title with the prospect of Mayo and Galway in the semi-final and final respectively. However, they have been in excellent form in division 2 and should they progress to an All-Ireland semi-final anything could happen.


  • Armagh – Armagh have found form in Division 2 which has eluded them for the past decade. This could be the year they challenge for the Ulster crown once again.


  • Cork – Quietly went about their business in Division 3 securing maximum points on their way to promotion. Cork seem to have turned a corner in the past 18 months and look to be on the up again. Hard to see them beating Kerry this year but don’t write off the rebels too quickly.

 

4) Provincial Championships betting

 

Connacht 

Galway 8/11 

Mayo 7/4

Roscommon 11/2

Sligo 80/1

Leitrim 150/1

Galway will avoid Mayo or Roscommon until the final which is probably why they are favourites. Connacht is a three-horse race but there may be money to be made on Roscommon. 

 

Leinster

Dublin 1/12

Meath 11/1

Kildare 14/1

Laois 66/1

Westmeath 80/1

Longford 150/1

Offaly 200/1

Wexford 250/1

Carlow, Wicklow, Louth 500/1

Please God can we have a competitive Leinster Championship for the first time in a decade?

 

Munster

Kerry 1/4

Cork 9/2

Tipperary 12/1

Clare 25/1

Limerick 50/1

Waterford 250/1

Cork may be worth a punt here, but much like Leinster, this is Kerry’s Championship to lose.

 

Ulster

Donegal 6/4

Monaghan 3/1

Tyrone 10/3

Armagh 15/2 

Down 16/1

Cavan 20/1

Derry 20/1

Fermanagh 50/1

Antrim 200/1

Donegal are big favourites in the bookie’s eyes. Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh represent good value for money and have a very realistic chance at winning Ulster.

New Gaelic Football Rules for 2020

It’s a new season of Gaelic Football and the GAA has passed new playing rules for 2020 at their special congress meeting in October. These rules will be implemented across all level of Gaelic Football for the new year. We will take you through each rule and explain so you know what to expect to see in the coming days. The four new rules are explained in detail below:

Advance Mark

The main reason on why this rule was brought in was to encourage long kicking. The ball has to be kicked from on or inside the 45m line. It must also be kicked a distance of 20m for an advance mark to be rewarded. A mark is rewarded to the player after a player puts his hand up in the air. The player has 15 seconds to kick the ball.

An advance mark can also be got in the large rectangle. However, according to GAA.ie the player would have to got back to the 13m line to take the kick. The player has the option to play on but the opposition can then tackle.

Mark from kick-out 

The reason this rule has been implemented is to encourage players/goalkeepers to kick the ball further for a kick-out. Short kick outs have become a thing but this rule is hoping to stop this. The mark from a kick out encourages players to make a clean catch where a mark can then be claimed. This however has to be past the 45m line. A mark is awarded by putting hand up in the air.

Sin Bin 

The main reason why the sin bin rule will be implemented in the 2020 season is to stop cynical fouling and cynical play. Where a black card is now issued, the player will be sin binned for 10 minutes. According to the GAA website the 10 minute period will start when the game restarts. A player can only return when granted permission by the referee.

Kick-out 

The kick out has to be taken from the 20m line. This can’t be kicked backwards. Gaa.ie states that all players have to be outside the 20m line and 13m away from the ball until its kicked.

These four rules can only improve the game in my opinion. It is up to players to buy into it now in the national league. I personally think the sin bin rule is a fantastic idea. It will stop cynical fouling for sure. Let’s hope the new playing rules for 2020 work for the good of the game !

 

Jim McGuinness Returns to GAA

Jim McGuinness is a legendary figure in his home county of Donegal. He led the Senior Football team to their first All-Ireland Championship in 20 years back in 2012. They reached the final again in 2014 before losing out to Kerry. This was to be his last year in charge of the team. Fast forward to 2020 and McGuinness is back involved in the sport, this time with the Galway footballers.

But where has he been until now? 

After a successful period up north, it was time for a new challenge in the eyes of McGuinness. Soccer was next on the agenda. His commitment to starting from the bottom and eventually achieving his UEFA B coaching license was a clear indicator that this was a serious career move for the Donegal man.

McGuinness’s first job in soccer came back in 2012 when he was still involved with Donegal, having just won the All-Ireland. Through his connections, he landed himself a gig with Scottish giants Celtic as a performance consultant. He would continue to work with Donegal, juggling both jobs. His tenure in Glasgow would last five years, coming to an end in 2017 when McGuinness vacated his role of assistant manager with the U-20 squad. China was calling next. Soccer, as professional sport, was on the rise in China. But unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of McGuinness’s management career as he had to call a halt to his time after six months for personal reasons.

After China came an unsuccessful stint in America as head coach of Charlotte Independence which ended with both parties going their separate ways last June.

Return to the GAA

Jim McGuinness will be disappointed with his experience in soccer management to date. There is a certain sense of unfulfillment lingering over the soccer section of his C.V. It may be a case of unfinished business but for now he has turned his attention to GAA and Galway. He has been brought in alongside manager Padraig Joyce to help with preparations for the upcoming All-Ireland Championship. Both men are familiar with one another having played together for IT Tralee back in 1999. McGuinness has not “formally” joined Joyce’s backroom team, instead taking up a temporary role.

Although well-respected within the realms of the GAA, it may come as a surprise that McGuinness has returned to the sport. Irish golfer Paul McGinley, who turned to McGuinness for advice when he became the European Ryder Cup captain back in 2013, declared that the former Donegal boss “would not be coming back to the GAA” when interviewed two years ago. However since then things haven’t gone as planned and maybe it is time to go back to the drawing board.

Galway kick off their 2020 All-Ireland campaign against Sligo on Saturday 7th November.

 

Anthony’s weekly live score gaa preview

Hello again and welcome to my second post of previews ahead of the weekend’s games across the country. Unfortunately level 5 obviously no supporters will be at the games. But don’t worry you can get the scores on vrscores.com all weekend. Let’s take you through the games below. 

 

Division 1 Football

 

Kerry v Donegal, Saturday, 2pm, Tralee

 

A win for the Kingdom here will secure the Division 1 crown. They won’t get it easy as they come up against Declan Bonner’s Donegal. Kerry had the narrowest of wins over Monaghan last weekend 0-17 to 0-14 in a game which the impressive David Clifford led them to victory. Kerry will look to Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Tony Brosnan once more in attack, while players like Paul Murphy and Gavin White will be key in defence. Donegal come into this with having recorded a 2-17 to 2-13 win over Tyrone. Key for Declan Bonners will be once again Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan and Ryan McHugh. Kerry are 1/5 with Donegal 9/2. Kerry to win this for me by 3 or 4 points. 

 

Galway v Dublin, Sunday, 2pm, Pearse Stadium 

 

A win here for either side and a Kerry loss would crown them league champions. Galway manager Padraic Joyce will be looking for an improved performance after they suffered a heavy 3-23 to 0-17 defeat to Mayo. A repeat performance and they be blown away by Dublin that’s for sure. Joyce will look to players like Paul Conroy, Liam Silke and Robert Finnerty all whom put in decent performances against Mayo. Dublin come into this game having beaten neighbours Meath at Parnell Park last weekend, A goal from Dean Rock meant the Dubs won by 4 points. Players like Mick Fitzsimons, Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny will be key if the Dubs are to succeed. Dublin are 1/2 with Galway 9/4. Dublin to win by 4 points. 

 

Monaghan v Meath, Sunday, 2pm, Clones

 

This is a massive game for Monaghan a loss here would mean relegation to Division 2 for 2021. Meath are already to the Division 2 for 2020 having won no games. If Monaghan beat or draw with Meath then Tyrone would be relegated if they lose to Mayo, while Mayo could also be relegated if they lose to Tyrone. Monaghan last weekend lost narrowly to Kerry but put up a brave performance. Conor McManus was super when he came off the bench, Fintan Kelly and Karl O’Connell will also need to have big games here. Meath put in a superb performance against Dublin last weekend losing narrowly 1-20 to 0-19. They are relegated but that won’t stop them from trying to cause an upset here. Thomas O’Reilly, Shane Walsh and Donal Keogan will be key for the Royals. Monaghan are the favourites at 4/9 and Meath are 5/2. Monaghan to win by 4. 

 

Mayo v Tyrone, Sunday, 2pm, Castlebar 

 

Both sides are in the mix to be relegated to Division 2 for 2021. A win for Mayo will mean they will remain in the top division, however if they draw and Monaghan draw with Meath then they will be relegated. In Tyrone’s case, if they lose the game they will be relegated if Monaghan defeat Meath. Mayo had a massive win over Galway last weekend 3-23 to 0-17. Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor and Mark Moran all staring for James Horan’s side. Mickey Harte’s Tyrone had a narrow defeat to Donegal last weekend so a win here is vital going into the championship for them also against Donegal. Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Padraig Hampsey will be key here. Mayo are 8/15, Tyrone are 2/1. A one point win for Mayo here. 

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17th/18th October

So welcome to my new column where I will be giving my thoughts on the weekend’s gaa action. We all have been missing inter-county action since March but it’s finally back and it’s back with a bang, with games in all four divisions as well as two All-Ireland U-20 semi-finals. Let’s take a look at the games below.

 

Division 1

 

The first game I am going to look at it is Monaghan v Kerry.

The games takes place at 2pm at Clones on Saturday. Monaghan currently sit in 6th in the division so a win will be key here going forward for them. Kerry are second just behind Galway. There are no injury reports in the Monaghan camp so players like Conor McManus will once again be key for the Farney. Looking at Kerry, Peter Keane has said that players like Jack Barry, James O’Donoghue and Peter Crowley could feature.

Current odds have Kerry as 8/15 favourites with Monaghan 15/8. I fancy Kerry to win this by 2 points.

Dublin v Meath also takes place on Saturday with throw in at 7pm in Croke Park.

Dublin currently are in 4th place in the division and manager Dessie Farrell will want to get a win here against their old foes. Dublin will be minus Diarmuid Connolly who announced his retirement just under two weeks ago. However, he will still be able to call on the services of Dean Rock, Con O’Callaghan and Brian Fenton. Meath are rock bottom of Division 1 having failed to win a game so far. However, they will be able to call on players like Bryan McMahon, Bryan Menton and Donal Keoghan.

Dublin are favourites here at 1/12, Meath are 15/2. I fancy Dublin to win 7 or 8 points.

 

Galway v Mayo takes place on Sunday in Tuam at 2pm.

The game is live on TG4. Galway top the table having won 4 of their 5 previous games. Galway boss Padraic Joyce has been dealt a massive blow with news of a Covid outbreak which will rule out Gareth Bradshaw, Sean Kelly and Dessie Conneelly. Shane Walsh and Damien Comer will be also missing. However players like Paul Conroy, Rob Finnerty and Liam Silke will all feature. Mayo come into the game with a mixture of results 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses. James Horan will likely look to players like Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Aidan O’Shea once again.

Mayo are 8/11 favoruites obviously owing to the Galway absentees. Galaxy are 11/8. I think Mayo will win this going purely based on the quality of player they are missing. Mayo by 4 points.

Donegal v Tyrone will also be played on Sunday at 4pm in Ballybofey.

Donegal and Tyrone both sit in mid table in the division. Donegal have 2 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws. They will look to players like Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy for leadership once again. Mickey Harte and Tyrone were having a super league campaign before Covid 19 put a halt to it. They have 3 wins from 5 games, one of those coming against All-Ireland Champions Dublin. Tyrone will be without Colm Cavanagh who has since retired, while Cathal McShane will miss the rest of the season. Darren McCurry, Peter Harte and Niall Morgan will be key.

Donegal are odds of 4/5 with Tyrone 5/4. I think a draw could be on the cards here.

 

 

Division 2

 

Westmeath v Laois takes place on Saturday at 2pm in Mullingar.

Westmeath sit in fourth place in the table at present having won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1. Westmeath will look to John Heslin, Denis Coroon and Sam Duncan. Laois are in joint 4th position with Westmeath in table having also had 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 win. John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis and Mark Timmons will be key.

Westmeath are 8/11, Laois are priced at 6/4. For me it’s a 2 or 3 point win for Westmeath.

 

Armagh v Roscommon takes place at the Athletic Grounds Saturday at 5.30pm.

It’s a battle between the top two in the division and it’s likely it won’t dissapoint. Armagh have 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Jamie Clarke, Niall Grimley and Stefan Campbell will be key to their chances of winning. Roscommon will look to players like Conor Cox, Enda Smith and Tadgh O’Rourke.

Armagh are 8/11 with Roscommon 11/8. I fancy Armagh to come out on top by 2 points.

 

Clare v Fermanagh takes place at 1pm on Sunday at Ennis.

However, the game is looking increasingly likely not to go ahead with 10 players from the squad reported to have Covid 19. Fermanagh are bottom of the table in Division 3 with Clare just hovering above them. Clare will look to players like Keelan Sexton, David Tubridy and Eoin Cleary.

Clare for me for the win. Update: The game will go ahead.

 

 

Kildare v Cavan also takes place on Sunday in Newbridge at 2pm.

Kildare are second from bottom in the division but Jack O’Connor has some good players at his disposal. Daniel Flynn, Tommy Moolick and Adam Tyrrell will be key. Cavan are third in division 3. Players like Oisin Pierson and Ciaran Brady will be key players for them.

Kildare are 8/13, with Cavan 13/8. Kildare to win this one narrowly by 2 points.

 

Weekend GAA betting Advice

We will have GAA betting advice for live matches on this page every weekend, we will look at team news, weather, and form to help with our selections. 

Sunday  16th August 

Kilruane McDonaghs v LoughmoreLive on TG4 2:30pm

Advice 

Back Loughmore (-1) at 11/8 with PaddyPower

Reasoning

Both clubs are sitting on two points in Group 3, a win secures a place in the quarter-finals, but from talking to some people in Tipperary they think Loughmore are the better placed to gain the win in Semple Stadium today. This should be a real shootout so expect a very entertaining match.

RESULT

Loughmore win by 2pts