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Irish Independent Top 20 Players of the Past 50 years

  • 29-05-2020 11:36am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    People been following this at all.Been interesting to read through it this week.


    Cluxton named as the best Leinster footballer of the period which I have no problem with but I'd have put Matt Connor ahead of him myself as he was a complete genius and he was top scorer in the country between league and championship each year from 1980-84 (inclusive) which is incredible level of consistency.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,697 ✭✭✭ highgiant1985
    Registered User


    Yeah it’s been an interesting read.

    Any one able to confirm what the Kilkenny top 20 list of hurlers was? I had the paper but it went into the recycling bin on wed so can’t find it now! Ieinsters was either Monday’s or Tuesdays paper.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Yeah it’s been an interesting read.

    Any one able to confirm what the Kilkenny top 20 list of hurlers was? I had the paper but it went into the recycling bin on wed so can’t find it now! Ieinsters was either Monday’s or Tuesdays paper.




    1.Henry Shefflin, 2. DJ Carey, 3. Eddie Keher, 4. Tommy Walsh, 5. JJ Delaney, 6. Noel Skehan, 7. TJ Reid, 8. Ger Henderson, 9. Frank Cummins, 10. Richie Hogan, 11. Jackie Tyrrell, 12. Liam O’Brien, 13. Liam Fennelly, 14. Eddie Brennan, 15. Joe Hennessy, 16. Michael Fennelly, 17. Noel Hickey, 18. Eoin Larkin, 19. Michael Kavanagh, 20. Paul Murphy


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,765 ✭✭✭ castletownman
    Registered User


    Shoot out between Cluxton, Canavan, Jack O'Shea and (least likely) Padraig Joyce for the football gong, with Shefflin, Canning and Corcoran battling out for the hurling (with Sambo McNaughton)

    I know Cluxton's standing in the game is legendary, but it would be rather farcical if he wins it ahead of four-time Footballer of the Year Jack O'Shea and one of the greatest forwards to grace the game in Canavan, in my opinion of course. We all have been spoon-fed the narrative that he revolutionised kick-outs, but he had almost robotic movement in front of him from the best drilled side in history. They more than likely would have found a way to win anyway without his restarts.

    Like Noel Skehan won nine All-Ireland's (three as a sub) for Kilkenny, was the Hurler of the Year in 1982 and saved Kilkenny's bacon more times in his career than Cluxton has. Yet if he was ranked as number one ahead of Shefflin or Canning it would be rightly regarded as ridiculous. Lev Yashin is seen as a revolutionary goalie in soccer (in a far more competitive and widely played game)- doesn't mean he is a greater player than Pele, Maradona, Messi or whoever else.

    Hair's width between Jacko and Canavan for me, but would maybe plump for Canavan as he almost single-handedly guided Tyrone to the AI in 1995 and soldiered on with a county with no prior tradition of winning All-Irelands to eventually lead them to the promised land.

    Shefflin, like Cluxton, had incredible talent around him, but he was the star of the greatest hurling team of all-time, so just edges it ahead of Canning, who had more natural ability and is still capable of the outrageous.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    I'd say Jack O'Shea will get the nod.


    Joyce hasn't a hope he was a great player at his best but I seem to remember him having some poor years in the middle part of his career before having a nice finish to his career.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Football
    1. Jack O'Shea (Kerry)
    2. Pat Spillane (Kerry)
    3. Peter Canavan (Tyrone)
    4. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
    5. Mikey Sheehy (Kerry)
    6. Matt Connor (Offaly)
    7. Brian Mullins (Dublin)
    8. Larry Tompkins (Kildare/Cork)
    9. Colm Cooper (Kerry)
    10 John O'Keefe (Kerry)
    11. Michael Murphy (Donegal)
    12. Maurice Fitzgerald (Kerry)
    13. Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)
    14. Colm O'Rourke (Meath)
    15. Seamus Moynihan (Kerry)
    16. Padraic Joyce (Galway)
    17. Trevor Giles (Meath)
    18. James McCarthy (Dublin)
    19. Brian Fenton (Dublin)
    20. Tomas O'Sé (Kerry)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Hurling
    1.Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
    2. DJ Carey (Kilkenny)
    3. Brian Whelahan (Offaly)
    4. Eddie Keher (Kilkenny)
    5. Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)
    6. Brian Corcoran (Cork)
    7. Nicky English (Tipperary)
    8. Joe Canning (Galway)
    9. Seanie McMahon (Clare)
    10. Ken McGrath (Waterford)
    11. Joe Cooney (Galway)
    12. Pat Hartigan (Limerick)
    13. JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)
    14. Brian Lohan (Clare)
    15. Noel Skehan (Kilkenny)
    16. Eamonn Cregan (Limerick)
    17. Eoin Kelly (Tipperary)
    18. TJ Reid (Kilkenny)
    19. Tony Doran (Wexford)
    20. Ray Cummins (Cork)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭ Rasputin11
    Registered User


    Hurling
    1.Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
    2. DJ Carey (Kilkenny)
    3. Brian Whelahan (Offaly)
    4. Eddie Keher (Kilkenny)
    5. Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)
    6. Brian Corcoran (Cork)
    7. Nicky English (Tipperary)
    8. Joe Canning (Galway)
    9. Seanie McMahon (Clare)
    10. Ken McGrath (Waterford)
    11. Joe Cooney (Galway)
    12. Pat Hartigan (Limerick)
    13. JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)
    14. Brian Lohan (Clare)
    15. Noel Skehan (Kilkenny)
    16. Eamonn Cregan (Limerick)
    17. Eoin Kelly (Tipperary)
    18. TJ Reid (Kilkenny)
    19. Tony Doran (Wexford)
    20. Ray Cummins (Cork)

    The modern hurlers don't get much of a look in, TJ at 17, laughable, top 5 player.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Rasputin11 wrote: »
    The modern hurlers don't get much of a look in, TJ at 17, laughable, top 5 player.

    Not really laughable, for him to be at 17 it's a top 20 so you could make arguments for every player to be higher on the list if you wanted, there's a decent spread of players from all across the past 5 decades on the list and players who haven't completed their careers yet are going to be at a disadvantage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,765 ✭✭✭ castletownman
    Registered User


    Rasputin11 wrote: »
    The modern hurlers don't get much of a look in, TJ at 17, laughable, top 5 player.

    Whats more laughable is Tony Doran and Ray Cummins lower than TJ.

    Those two are rightly considered two of the best full-fowards of all-time, along with Nickey Rackard. TJ finished 7th in the initial Kilkenny list.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭ tastyt
    Registered User


    Brian Lohan and seanie McMahon ahead of Eoin Kelly and tj Reid is bonkers


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,130 ✭✭✭ Lundstram


    DJ Carey was a much more skillful hurler than Shefflin. Best I've ever seen.

    Ciaran McDonald in the football.

    Best players should not be defined by the number of All Irelands they have.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    tastyt wrote: »
    Brian Lohan and seanie McMahon ahead of Eoin Kelly and tj Reid is bonkers

    Really? Lohan and McMahon are arguably the best players of all time in their respective positions.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Lundstram wrote: »
    DJ Carey was a much more skillful hurler than Shefflin. Best I've ever seen.

    Ciaran McDonald in the football.

    Best players should not be defined by the number of All Irelands they have.


    I always favoured DJ to Shefflin, you could argue Shefflin was more effective than DJ but DJ was miles better to watch he was such an exciting player and he faced tougher competition as the team he had around him wasn't as good as the team Shefflin was on and the game was much more competitive in the 90's than it was during Shefflins career.

    Both all time greats though so there's no wrong answer when picking between the two them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭ PCeeeee
    Registered User


    I'd say Jack O'Shea will get the nod.


    Joyce hasn't a hope he was a great player at his best but I seem to remember him having some poor years in the middle part of his career before having a nice finish to his career.

    More that Joyce hadn't really same quality of players round him in the latter years rather than his own standards dropping. Galway were on a steep downward slope.

    I was at plenty of games where he was the only thing going for us, at times that made even worse for him as he was the focus of our entire attack. Left us very easy to read/defend.

    One of my all time favourites.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,899 ✭✭✭✭ niallo27
    Registered User


    tastyt wrote: »
    Brian Lohan and seanie McMahon ahead of Eoin Kelly and tj Reid is bonkers

    You obviously never watched hurling in the 90s


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,579 ✭✭✭ I says
    Registered User


    Looking at these polls it’s all for ****e as the standard of hurling/football has changed so much down through the eras.
    Modern era, shorter hurls, no ground hurling and you’d be send off for trying to double on a puck out or pulling on the ball.
    Fitness levels to 25yrs ago are no comparison. All of a panel can hurl now, how many passengers played and won AIs back then.
    Watching the 80 hurling final it was all timber. And looking at Offalys 82 win players would be shot for the amount of hit and hope clearances without picking out a man compared to today’s possession based defensive football.
    The game is amateur in name only, in the last fifteen years it’s gone professional since the Cork boys were trying to drown themselves with lucozade sport doing interviews after a game. Look at the money that’s spent preparing teams now for championship.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    I says wrote: »
    Looking at these polls it’s all for ****e as the standard of hurling/football has changed so much down through the eras.
    Modern era, shorter hurls, no ground hurling and you’d be send off for trying to double on a puck out or pulling on the ball.
    Fitness levels to 25yrs ago are no comparison. All of a panel can hurl now, how many passengers played and won AIs back then.
    Watching the 80 hurling final it was all timber. And looking at Offalys 82 win players would be shot for the amount of hit and hope clearances without picking out a man compared to today’s possession based defensive football.
    The game is amateur in name only, in the last fifteen years it’s gone professional since the Cork boys were trying to drown themselves with lucozade sport doing interviews after a game. Look at the money that’s spent preparing teams now for championship.


    You have to judge players on how good they were relative to the standards of the time they played in.Average teams from today would almost certainly hammer all ireland winning teams from the past due to how much more seriously the preparation of teams and players is these days than in the past.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,002 ✭✭✭ Hulk Hands
    Registered User


    Lundstram wrote: »
    DJ Carey was a much more skillful hurler than Shefflin. Best I've ever seen.

    Ciaran McDonald in the football.

    Best players should not be defined by the number of All Irelands they have.

    But why should being skillful be the defining metric either? DJ had nowhere near the consistency or effectiveness of Shefflin. McDonald could kick a few highlight reel shots/passes but was deemed good enough at the time to win a single All Star and was no.15 on the Connacht list


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,579 ✭✭✭ I says
    Registered User


    You have to judge players on how good they were relative to the standards of the time they played in.Average teams from today would almost certainly hammer all ireland winning teams from the past due to how much more seriously the preparation of teams and players is these days than in the past.

    That’s why you can’t compare. Reference every decade to keep playing standards similar but not over 50 years. That four in a row Kerry team wouldn’t keep it kicked out to a modern average inter county team these days. Fitness and ball skills way better and trained. That is not to insult a great team of their time but you can’t say they could compete these days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭ Nozebleed
    Registered User


    no john mullane? shocking. one of the finest hurlers to play the game


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,835 ✭✭✭✭ Hello 2D Person Below
    Registered User


    DJ was funner to watch but Shefflin was the overall better hurler, for me.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    But why should being skillful be the defining metric either? DJ had nowhere near the consistency or effectiveness of Shefflin. McDonald could kick a few highlight reel shots/passes but was deemed good enough at the time to win a single All Star and was no.15 on the Connacht list

    Skill and excitement are a large part of the reason people are drawn to a sport it's as much what people remember as effective play is.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭ LuasSimon


    The independent is a paper that I always thought had very lazy and negative GAA coverage but these teams for each county and so on have been fairly bang on and have been great reads . Must have had a wide net of contributors to coverage top 20 football players in clare , sligo etc .


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,002 ✭✭✭ Hulk Hands
    Registered User


    Football
    1. Jack O'Shea (Kerry)
    2. Pat Spillane (Kerry)
    3. Peter Canavan (Tyrone)
    4. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
    5. Mikey Sheehy (Kerry)
    6. Matt Connor (Offaly)
    7. Brian Mullins (Dublin)
    8. Larry Tompkins (Kildare/Cork)
    9. Colm Cooper (Kerry)
    10 John O'Keefe (Kerry)
    11. Michael Murphy (Donegal)
    12. Maurice Fitzgerald (Kerry)
    13. Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)
    14. Colm O'Rourke (Meath)
    15. Seamus Moynihan (Kerry)
    16. Padraic Joyce (Galway)
    17. Trevor Giles (Meath)
    18. James McCarthy (Dublin)
    19. Brian Fenton (Dublin)
    20. Tomas O'Sé (Kerry)

    Mullins, Tompkins and O'Rourke are all a bit high. If they must pick players from that era then Mickey Linden was ahead of them. There's a bit of token representation from teams that won a couple of AI's. Football was on a down period from that great Kerry early 80s team to the late 90s. Brogan, Stephen McDonald and McCaffrey could all get a mention. Not a terrible list though all in all


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    Mullins, Tompkins and O'Rourke are all a bit high. If they must pick players from that era then Mickey Linden was ahead of them. There's a bit of token representation from teams that won a couple of AI's. Football was on a down period from that great Kerry early 80s team to the late 90s. Brogan, Stephen McDonald and McCaffrey could all get a mention. Not a terrible list though all in all


    Mickey Linden was a class act one of my favourite footballers of all time , Anthony Tohill is another who was unlucky to miss out on the top 20 .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,148 mountgomery burns


    Anyone have the Waterford top 20 list?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,239 ✭✭✭ physioman
    Registered User


    Football
    1. Jack O'Shea (Kerry)
    2. Pat Spillane (Kerry)
    3. Peter Canavan (Tyrone)
    4. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
    5. Mikey Sheehy (Kerry)
    6. Matt Connor (Offaly)
    7. Brian Mullins (Dublin)
    8. Larry Tompkins (Kildare/Cork)
    9. Colm Cooper (Kerry)
    10 John O'Keefe (Kerry)
    11. Michael Murphy (Donegal)
    12. Maurice Fitzgerald (Kerry)
    13. Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)
    14. Colm O'Rourke (Meath)
    15. Seamus Moynihan (Kerry)
    16. Padraic Joyce (Galway)
    17. Trevor Giles (Meath)
    18. James McCarthy (Dublin)
    19. Brian Fenton (Dublin)
    20. Tomas O'Sé (Kerry)

    Tomas o se in the top 20? Thought darragh was a better footballer. I would have had Tony scullion as a better defender in my opinion. .


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭ tastyt
    Registered User


    Not old enough to have seen JBM but know he’s an absolute GAA and Cork legend .

    Was he just good in both codes and not good enough to be an all time great ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,330 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves
    Registered User


    I says wrote: »
    That’s why you can’t compare. Reference every decade to keep playing standards similar but not over 50 years. That four in a row Kerry team wouldn’t keep it kicked out to a modern average inter county team these days. Fitness and ball skills way better and trained. That is not to insult a great team of their time but you can’t say they could compete these days.

    TBH I think you can. You have to look at the players and see if he could adapt to he modern game and visa versa you have to look at the modern players and wonder if he could adapt to playing 20-30 years ago. It not all just about tarining, 40 years ago players held down the type of full time jobs that some players then did. Jack O'Shea was a tradesman AFAIK. You have to look at how these players were considered by there contemperies.


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    Mullins, Tompkins and O'Rourke are all a bit high. If they must pick players from that era then Mickey Linden was ahead of them. There's a bit of token representation from teams that won a couple of AI's. Football was on a down period from that great Kerry early 80s team to the late 90s. Brogan, Stephen McDonald and McCaffrey could all get a mention. Not a terrible list though all in all

    Tompkins along with Matt O'Connor were the two greatest CF that I have ever seen. He won two All Irelands with a middling Cork team but they were in Five All Ireland Finals. Tompkins was a box to box player and i think a good backetball players as well. Great free taker but would be on any team for his general football ability and brain as well. mentally very tough. Mullins was an animal and I mean that in the best sense, won an All Ireland at 19 years of age at midfield. Fairly mobile for he size of him. O'Rourke was one of the four great Rourke scorers of the 70-90's period. Both as a freetaker and from open play. Maybe rated a little bit high but still deseves to be there.

    You have to judge players on how good they were relative to the standards of the time they played in.Average teams from today would almost certainly hammer all Ireland winning teams from the past due to how much more seriously the preparation of teams and players is these days than in the past.

    TBH good senior Club teams like Corafin would beat a lot of teams from back then. But when you compare you have to compare if players would be able to look after them selves without the refs and linemens protection.

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,330 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves
    Registered User


    tastyt wrote: »
    Brian Lohan and seanie McMahon ahead of Eoin Kelly and tj Reid is bonkers

    That Clare team had only very middling forwards it had brillant backs and midfielders. There are only 5 backs in the top twenty.

    Slava Ukrainii



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