Sport Gaelic Football

Thursday 28 August 2014

Select your top team to be Fantasy Gaelic winner

Marie Crowe

Published 04/05/2014 | 02:30

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26 June 2010; Dermot Earley, Kildare, makes his way onto the pitch for the start of the game against Antrim. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Qualifier Round 1, Kildare v Antrim, St Conleth's Park, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Competitor Dermot Earley

Last year's Fantasy Gaelic wasn't for the faint-hearted. It offered a small glimpse into the tough world of inter-county management and exposed many who believed they were experts when it came to team selection.

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And along with providing a challenge and plenty of entertainment, it also helped fill a void for those whose county made a swift exit from the championship.

Now Fantasy Gaelic is back, and once again it will give people a chance to test themselves against some of the big names in Gaelic football like Dermot Earley and Eamonn O'Hara.

The Sunday Independent is on board again this year, running our own League and keeping our readers up to date on who is hot and who is not. Each week we will publish the Fantasy Gaelic Team of the Week as well as league tables and details of the top performers.

And if you can take on and beat our team there are some fabulous prizes on offer for the winner of the Sunday Independent League, including tickets to the GAA All Stars, an overnight stay in a Dublin hotel, a weekend break at the Croke Park Hotel and a club training session with a top inter-county GAA player. When you enter the Sunday Independent League you are also automatically entered into the overall Fantasy Gaelic League.

All you need to do to join our League and challenge our team is register on fantasygaelic.ie, select Dublin on the county menu and Sunday Independent in the club section. Over 20,000 players are expected to play in this free game from both Irish and overseas clubs.

Fantasy Gaelic is a simple concept loosely based on the popular Premier League Fantasy Football model. To start, each player picks 15 footballers, a maximum of two from each county. Although it is tempting to pick all forwards, the players can only be selected in their designated positions, one goalkeeper, six backs, two midfielders and six forwards. For those struggling with their decision-making, there is an auto-select button that picks from last year's top 100 players.

This year there are four transfer windows after the initial selection, opening before the provincial finals, the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the semi- finals and the final, giving players a greater chance of going for the top prizes which include a limited edition All Star jersey, a weekend break at the Croke Park Hotel and tickets to the All Stars.

Each transfer week will allow for five substitutions, with the final week allowing for eight changes to be made.

Predicting the All-Ireland finalists would be a savvy move as appearing in Croke Park on the fourth Sunday in September yields 20 points. As with the Premier League version, picking the right captain is vital as they are awarded double points. All scoring information can be found on fantasygaelic.ie.

The All-Ireland qualifiers don't count so unless teams are seen as a sure thing then they are best avoided.

Each week there will be a Newstalk/OfftheBall man of the match picked by the OTB team and that player will be worth an additional 20 points.

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