Wednesday 16 October 2019

Eight Dubs make Alan Brogan's football All Stars team

Brian Howard, Colm Cavanagh and David Clifford
Brian Howard, Colm Cavanagh and David Clifford

Alan Brogan

Alan Brogan picks his football All Star team.

STEPHEN CLUXTON (Dublin)

Leadership and nerveless execution make Cluxton the most important player of the modern era. Amazingly without an All Star since 2013, when Dublin were four points down in the final against Tyrone and under pressure for the first time this year, he once again produced the kick-outs to steady the ship.

EOGHAN BÁN GALLAGHER (Donegal)

A modern-day corner back with a keen eye for attack, Gallagher scored a great goal in the Ulster final against Fermanagh. He was consistently a real driving force from the Donegal full-back line. A strong, tenacious tackler, Gallagher will pick up his first All Star.

PADRAIG HAMPSEY (Tyrone)

Versatile and strong on the ball, he did great man-marking jobs on Michael Murphy and Conor McManus prior to the final and Mickey Harte may have missed a trick by not detailing him to pick up Ciaran Kilkenny that day. Will be a pivotal member of the Tyrone team for years to come.

JONNY COOPER (Dublin)

Dublin's Sergio Ramos, as he has become known in some circles —, Cooper should take this as a compliment. A fierce competitor who epitomises everything that is good about the current Dublin team, he is unwavering in both defence and attack.

JACK McCAFFREY (Dublin)

Man of the match in an All-Ireland final just a year after tearing his cruciate ligament is quite an achievement, even for somebody with the pedigree of Jack McCaffrey. Questions about his defensive ability from a few years back have been well and truly answered now.

JAMES McCARTHY (Dublin)

Uncompromising and relentless, McCarthy is one of the real driving forces behind Dublin's success of the last few years. His game management and positional sense have come on a lot, to the extent that he is now one of the most consistent performers in the country.

KARL O'CONNELL (Monaghan)

Along with Jack McCaffrey, probably the most dangerous attacking defender in the game. His link play has become a critical component of Monaghan's game plan and his three points from play against Kildare in the All-Ireland quarter-final was probably his highlight.

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BRIAN FENTON (Dublin)

It's difficult to find something to say about Fenton that hasn't been said already. He is the engine of Jim Gavin's side and it's hard to pick out a negative as he has yet to appear on a losing Dublin team in the championship. A wonderful footballer.

COLM CAVANAGH (Tyrone)

He probably won't be happy with his performance in the final, but up to that Cavanagh was the real leader in this Tyrone team. Outstanding against Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-final, Colm has perfected the sweeper role.

BRIAN HOWARD (Dublin)

What a first season for the young Raheny man. Tasked with filling the boots of Diarmuid Connolly, Howard produced eye-catching display after display. His fetch in the dying moments of the All-Ireland final summed up a season of excellence.

CIARAN KILKENNY (Dublin)

The ultimate playmaker with composure and patience beyond his years, he was the championship's top scorer from play with 2-24. Consistently a threat to the opposition goal, he has developed into the pivotal cog in the Dublin forward line. My footballer of the year.

SHANE WALSH (Galway)

One of the country's most exciting prospects, Walsh came of age this year. Galway limped out of the championship in the end, but Walsh kicked a goal in that loss to Dublin and was also central in the win against Kerry. A positive season for Galway and Walsh has plenty more to come.

DAVID CLIFFORD (Kerry)

We all knew Clifford was going to be top class, but nobody could have envisaged how quickly he became Kerry's main man. Shouldered that burden with a string of remarkable scoring performances and will probably win young footballer of the year. We will be talking about this man for many years to come.

CONOR McMANUS (Monaghan)

McManus' score against Tyrone in May was the score of the championship, his 1-9 against Kerry one of the performances of the championship. His leadership and bravery to lead the line for Monaghan, even when things aren't going his way, is unrivalled. One of the true modern greats.

PAUL MANNION (Dublin)

From early on, Mannion's natural ability was evident. Since his return from a sabbatical in China so much has improved — physique, team play, scoring and work rate were all huge this year. His interception against Tyrone in the Super 8 and penalty in the final were pivotal moments in the championship.

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