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AND then there were 120. We have cut the 690 choices on our GAA Giants selections, comprised of the best teams in each county in football and hurling over the past 50 years, down to 120 in order to provide the nomination lists to take us to the next stage where we name the best 15s in both codes from the 1962-2012 period.

In football, we have gone strictly down the provincial route, selecting the best teams from Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The four choices in each position are the official nominations, from which the final selection will be made.

Tomorrow, we will carry official entry forms for both teams.

Because of the uneven standard across the country in hurling, we have chosen four in each position, rather than sticking to regional boundaries.

The outright national teams will be selected by our panel of experts but there's an interesting readers' dimension too, featuring 2013 All-Ireland hurling and football final tickets, plus an overnight stay, as the prizes for our special competition.

The readers' prizes will go to the two entries that come closest to matching our experts' teams. In the event of more than one correct entry for each code, the winner will be decided by a draw.

Selecting the provincial teams (football) and the final four nominations in each position (hurling) was extremely difficult, especially as we stuck rigidly to the positions in which the various players were chosen on the county teams last May. The star names on the provincial football teams and the hurling nomination lists now form the basis to select the all-Ireland team.


Don't miss the official entry forms for the readers' prize.


Tribesmen lead

the way out west

Galway, the only county from the province to win All-Ireland senior titles over the past 50 years, dominate the selection with eight on board. It's an even split between the 1964-65-66 three-in-a-row winners and the successful squad that won titles in 1998 and 2001. Mayo have four representatives, Roscommon two, while the team is completed by Mickey Kearins, arguably Sligo's greatest ever footballer.

Johnny Geraghty (Galway);

Enda Colleran (Galway);

Noel Tierney (Galway);

Dermot Flanagan (Mayo);

Sean Og de Paor (Galway);

John Morley (Mayo);

James Nallen (Mayo);

Dermot Earley (Roscommon);

Willie Joe Padden (Mayo);

Michael Donnellan (Galway);

Mattie McDonagh (Galway);

Mickey Kearins (Sligo);

Ja Fallon (Galway);

Padraic Joyce (Galway);

Tony McManus (Roscommon).


Meath and Dublin

take 11 positions

Dublin and Meath contribute 11 between them while Offaly have three and Kildare one. Mick Carolan is the sole Lilywhite, filling the No 6 position. Glenn Ryan will have many backers for that position but he was selected at No 5 on the Kildare team in our GAA Giants promotion in order to accommodate Carolan, who was centre-back on the county's Team of the Millennium.

John O'Leary (Dublin);

Bob O'Malley (Meath);

Jack Quinn (Meath);

Robbie Kelleher (Dublin);

Paul Curran (Dublin);

Mick Carolan (Kildare);

Martin O'Connell (Meath);

Brian Mullins (Dublin);

Willie Bryan (Offaly);

Trevor Giles (Meath);

Tony Hanahoe (Dublin);

Tony McTague (Offaly);

Colm O'Rourke (Meath);

Matt Connor (Offaly);

Bernard Flynn (Meath).


Morgan and Tompkins only Rebels among Kerry greats

It's a 13-2 split between Kerry and Cork, with none of the other four counties being represented. Billy Morgan and Larry Tompkins fly the Cork flag but otherwise it's Kerry all the way. That may look like a harsh call on Cork but such is the level of opposition from Kerry in every position (see county panels in yesterday's paper) that there can be no real surprise that the Kingdom monopolise the selection.

Billy Morgan (Cork);

Paidi O Se (Kerry);

John O'Keeffe (Kerry);

Marc O Se (Kerry);

Tomas O Se (Kerry);

Tim Kennelly (Kerry);

Seamus Moynihan (Kerry);

Jack O'Shea (Kerry);

Darragh O Se (Kerry);

Maurice Fitzgerald (Kerry);

Larry Tompkins (Cork);

Pat Spillane (Kerry);

Mikey Sheehy (Kerry);

Eoin Liston (Kerry);

Colm Cooper (Kerry).


Team includes seven

from last decade

Brian McAlinden, Brian McEniff and Ray Carolan never won All-Ireland medals but are listed because of their excellence over many years. McEniff was Donegal player-manager in the 1970s; McAlinden was an excellent goalkeeper for Armagh, while Carolan was a superb midfielder for Cavan and Ulster. Seven of the team, including current Player of the Year Karl Lacey, played over the last decade.

Brian McAlinden (Armagh);

Karl Lacey (Donegal);

Leo Murphy (Down);

Tom O'Hare (Down);

Brian McEniff (Donegal);

Kieran McGeeney (Armagh);

Philip Jordan (Tyrone);

Ray Carolan (Cavan);

Anthony Tohill (Derry);

Brian Dooher (Tyrone);

Greg Blaney (Down);

Paddy Doherty (Down);

Steven McDonnell (Armagh);

Sean O'Neill (Down);

Peter Canavan (Tyrone).

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