Author Topic: Antrim Football Thread  (Read 902817 times)

milltown row

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3435 on: December 08, 2008, 10:03:31 PM »
if there are other players on it that dont play for Cargin and Naomh Gall, i'll be surprised ;)

imtommygunn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3436 on: December 08, 2008, 11:21:41 PM »
Paddy Cunningham must be a shoe in... Rasharkin got to the semi too - maybe Jonny McAleese or someone like that.

I can't even remember the antrim c'ship... Who put Cargin out?

imtommygunn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3437 on: December 09, 2008, 09:57:33 AM »
Any word on what the team is??

saffron sam2

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3438 on: December 09, 2008, 10:02:09 AM »
Having read the thread on the best Gaelic footballers from the weaker counties and listened to bannside’s exhortations, I have tried my hand at naming the best Antrim team over the last 25 years. In doing so I will admit that their youth has precluded the McCanns, Andy McClean, Justin Crozier and Conor John Pius; I would fully expect that if I was to revisit this exercise in three or four years time, then some or that entire quintet would be selected. Likewise Kevin McGourty’s proclivity to the controversial has seen him excluded from selection. I am also aware that few, if any, of you will agree with my team, but such is the nature of these teams and I hope to stimulate debate with this selection.

Sean McGreevy (St. Paul’s) – Almost an automatic choice, have we had another keeper in the last 25 years? There is a strong argument that Red Dog would make the best Ulster team of the last generation.

Donal Laverty (Cargin) – Would have preferred to pick him in his more natural half back slot, but couldn’t leave either wing half out. Nor could I leave Laverty out, hence I have fired him in at number 2.

Ciaran Hamill (Glenavy) – Excellent footballer, but one who suffered because his prime was during the darkest days of Antrim football.

Martin Mulholland (Glenravel) – Could have been chosen in any position on the full back line, but by selecting him at left corner back, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Martin would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Sean Kelly (St. Gall’s) – Youngest member of my selection. Would be a household name and an All-Star had he been born in Tyrone, Armagh or Derry. There is something seriously wrong with football in Antrim when someone with Kelly’s attitude and ability feels unable to commit to inter-county football. What would that be Dr. McSparran?

Charlie McStravick (St. Paul’s) – Rock solid centre-half to cover for the flamboyance of his two wing men. Although having said that, Charlie could play a bit too.

Alex McQuillan (Glenravel) – The only automatic choice – a rich man’s Aaron Kernan. Twenty years ago he was doing what Kernan currently has commentators drooling over. Except he was doing it better. The fact that his cousin Dr McSparran name drops Alex McQuillan when the good doctor is trying to feign interest in football should not detract from the footballer that was Alex McQuillan.

John McKiernan (St. Teresa’s) – More or less done by ’83, but his exploits over the preceding decade meant I couldn’t leave him out.

JP O’Kane (Lamh Dhearg) – Better known for his time with Louth and it is a pity that Antrim didn’t get more time with him. Allegedly played on a Railway Cup alongside fourteen Dubs. Only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Kevin Gough (St. John’s) – Again the only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Timmy Connolly (Ballymena) – Excellent chf, hard as nails and a very skilful footballer to boot. Saw him destroy Henry Downey in an All-Ireland club quarter-final during his time with Tir Conaill Gaels. Another who, unfortunately, we didn’t get enough out of in the saffron jersey.

Ciaran O’Neill (Cargin) – Centre half back on the Ulster under-21 winning team of 1989, but was better at midfield or half forward. By selecting him at left half forward, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Butcher would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Kevin Madden (Portglenone) – Probably the best known Antrim forward on the last ten years. Good with free and from play, but lacking any real challengers for this spot.

PJ O’Hare (St. Gall’s) – A unique blend of the finest talents of Kerry’s two finest poachers; the physical strength of the Bomber and the basketball ability of the Star. Sullied his reputation somewhat with his forays into management.

John McManus (St. Paul’s) – Vastly underrated footballer. Better at the frees than Madden and also better from play. Once kicked four points from play off Kieran McKeever and even bested Seamus ‘The Pony’ Moynihan on the one occasion their paths crossed.

So there you have it folks, seven country boys, seven city men and one (JP) from the part of the county that is neither city nor country. I could have been a politician.

Honourable mentions it has to be said for men like Joe Quinn, Paul McErlean, Yash Armstrong, Frank Hasson, Dermot Graham, Mickey Darragh, Speedy McAllister, Barney McCann and Joe Kennedy.

This is good fun. I might do a tour of all the counties now.
the breathing of the vanished lies in acres round my feet

imtommygunn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3439 on: December 09, 2008, 11:25:56 AM »
Interesting post Sam.

A few of those boys would be a bit before my time. How good was Paul McErlain - he's the only one I can think of that might merit inclusion? I only really saw him in his latter years. I'd also share that opinion of John McManus. I've unfortunately seen him destroy many a defender in the club scene.

Given the increase in Derry people hijacking this thread a few selections should provoke discussion.

ONeill

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3440 on: December 09, 2008, 11:53:46 AM »

Sean McGreevy (St. Paul’s) – Almost an automatic choice, have we had another keeper in the last 25 years? There is a strong argument that Red Dog would make the best Ulster team of the last generation.

Donal Laverty (Cargin) – Would have preferred to pick him in his more natural half back slot, but couldn’t leave either wing half out. Nor could I leave Laverty out, hence I have fired him in at number 2.

Ciaran Hamill (Glenavy) – Excellent footballer, but one who suffered because his prime was during the darkest days of Antrim football.

Martin Mulholland (Glenravel) – Could have been chosen in any position on the full back line, but by selecting him at left corner back, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Martin would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Sean Kelly (St. Gall’s) – Youngest member of my selection. Would be a household name and an All-Star had he been born in Tyrone, Armagh or Derry. There is something seriously wrong with football in Antrim when someone with Kelly’s attitude and ability feels unable to commit to inter-county football. What would that be Dr. McSparran?

Charlie McStravick (St. Paul’s) – Rock solid centre-half to cover for the flamboyance of his two wing men. Although having said that, Charlie could play a bit too.

Alex McQuillan (Glenravel) – The only automatic choice – a rich man’s Aaron Kernan. Twenty years ago he was doing what Kernan currently has commentators drooling over. Except he was doing it better. The fact that his cousin Dr McSparran name drops Alex McQuillan when the good doctor is trying to feign interest in football should not detract from the footballer that was Alex McQuillan.

John McKiernan (St. Teresa’s) – More or less done by ’83, but his exploits over the preceding decade meant I couldn’t leave him out.

JP O’Kane (Lamh Dhearg) – Better known for his time with Louth and it is a pity that Antrim didn’t get more time with him. Allegedly played on a Railway Cup alongside fourteen Dubs. Only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Kevin Gough (St. John’s) – Again the only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Timmy Connolly (Ballymena) – Excellent chf, hard as nails and a very skilful footballer to boot. Saw him destroy Henry Downey in an All-Ireland club quarter-final during his time with Tir Conaill Gaels. Another who, unfortunately, we didn’t get enough out of in the saffron jersey.

Ciaran O’Neill (Cargin) – Centre half back on the Ulster under-21 winning team of 1989, but was better at midfield or half forward. By selecting him at left half forward, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Butcher would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Kevin Madden (Portglenone) – Probably the best known Antrim forward on the last ten years. Good with free and from play, but lacking any real challengers for this spot.

PJ O’Hare (St. Gall’s) – A unique blend of the finest talents of Kerry’s two finest poachers; the physical strength of the Bomber and the basketball ability of the Star. Sullied his reputation somewhat with his forays into management.

John McManus (St. Paul’s) – Vastly underrated footballer. Better at the frees than Madden and also better from play. Once kicked four points from play off Kieran McKeever and even bested Seamus ‘The Pony’ Moynihan on the one occasion their paths crossed.


You seriously have to question the validity of this side. The premise states that the players chosen played the best football for the county over the last 25 years. To chose McKiernan is like including Chris Lawn in the best Tyrone side 2005-2008 whereas he might have featured 1998-2008, or Steve Davis in the best snooker players of the last decade. Added to that might be the likes of PJ O'Hare and Gough. Did McKiernan contribute more to the Antrim cause from 1983-2008 than Kevin McGourty, Brady...even the younger lads like McLean or the McCanns?

I remember reading a quote from a St Paul's manager in the late 90s comparing McManus to Maurice Fitzgerald. Must check the Irish News archives.
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rashCharacter

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3441 on: December 09, 2008, 01:11:03 PM »
CLUB STARS: ANTRIM
By Jim Smyth
09/12/08

1. JOHN FINNUCANE (LAMH DHEARG)

In the bid for league survival and the senior championship crown, he made few mistakes. Was a safe pair of hands all season. Has been a Godsend for the club since joining from St Enda’s.

2. COLIN BRADY (ST GALL’S)

As corner backs go, there are none better. The 25-year-old has come through the ranks and has seven senior championship medals to date. His tight marking and blocking have made him the scourge of corner forwards. When not engaged with his club he works as an engineer.

ANTRIM CHAMPIONSHIP STAR MAN: ANDREW McCLEAN (ST GALL’S)

McClean has been rock solid in the full-back berth both for club and county, his high fielding, sure hands and intelligent delivery making him a class apart. An added bonus is his ability to come forward and his insurance point against Cargin, in the senior championship semi-final, may well have been the most important point of the entire season.

At just 22, he has been there and done it all. Although only a few years out of the minor ranks, where he won a championship gong, he has also secured four U21 medals and a similar number at senior level. Obviously the sky’s the limit for such a talented player.

A former pupil at De La Salle, where he honed his game, he has the unique distinction of having represented Ireland in Australian Rules Football at U17 level. St Gall’s and Antrim should be thanking their lucky stars that he returned safely from Down Under.

Andy is currently a sports scientist at Jordanstown.

4. KEVIN O’BOYLE (ERIN’S OWN)

ONEof the outstanding Cargin performers. Consistency personified, the 21-year-old university student has gone from strength-to-strength in his three years in senior football.

He was the club’s Player of the Year in 2006. Although not the tallest defender, his speed off the mark, precision passing and excellent reading of the game certainly outweigh his lack of inches.

5. JOSEPH CAREY (ST ERGNAT’S)

There are few better defenders. The 21-year-old builder, with just three years’ senior experience, has been one of his side’s inspirational figures. Not the tallest defender, his dynamism has seen him help his club to league success and an intermediate championship final. When in possession he is seldom robbed despite having only one eye on the ball and the other on its intended destination.

6. JUSTIN CROZIER (ERIN’S OWN)

Solid as a rock in this position, the 20-year-old QUB medical student has proved his versatility by popping up all over the place. Seldom does he not manage to get his name on the score sheet.

A well-balanced and unselfish player with a strong work ethic, his mobility is his strongest asset.

7. SEAN KELLY (ST GALL’S)

What more can be said about a player who has captained his county on a couple of occasions?

The 26-year-old St Mary’s Grammar School teacher is one of the best half-backs in the business.

A stylish playmaker and excellent reader of the game, he has been known to show his forward colleagues how it should be done.

His dashing runs forward have caused consternation in many a defence.

8. PADDY LOGAN (ALL SAINTS)

Since his move to All Saints two years ago he has reinvented himself and changed their fortunes completely with his sensational performances at midfield.

His high-fielding and accurate place-kicking saw his club bridge a 22-year gap in winning the intermediate championship against all the odds.

Can be relied on for a handful of points in every game.

9. MICHAEL McCANN (ERIN’S OWN)

Chosen as the county senior Footballer of the Year, the 22-year-old quantity surveyor certainly got all of his levels correct.

Part of the Cargin engine room, he has been the driving force behind his club for years.

Both at club and county level, McCann (left) can be relied on to contribute his fair share of scores, as he did when winning McRory and Hogan Cup medals when a student at St Patrick’s, Maghera.

Always certain to make and contribute to the scoresheet.

10. PHILIP MAGUIRE (ST TERESA’S)

son of former county player Danny, Phil has certainly made a name for himself.

Although carrying an injury in the junior championship final, the former De la Salle McLarnon cup captain was as inspirational as ever. A strong and skilful playmaker.

11. MICHAEL MAGILL (TIR NA NOG)

A former St Louis Grammar School and Quee’ns University player the

25-year-old computer analyist, now working in London, was the rock on which Tir na nOg’s passage to the semi-final of the intermediate football championship and promotion to Division Two were based.

His outstanding performance against All Saints in the intermediate semi-final was certainly one to remember.

12. PADDY CUNNINGHAM

(LAMH DHEARG)

When it comes to scoring there is no-one better. The 22-year-old has pulled his side out of many tight corners.

A teacher in Corpus Christie College, he has won every honour possible when a student at UUJ including the Sigerson Cup. A university Allstar, he was twice top scorer in the competition. Without his half-a-dozen points per game average, his club would not have figured this season.

13. KARL STEWART (ST GALL’S)

The 25-year-old joiner has come up through the club ranks with six senior medals and three at U21 level. As a student at De La Salle he figured prominently in the McLarnon Cup team. Skilful and deadly when within shooting range, he is also strong and robust.

14. BRENDAN HASSON (ST MARY’S)

AT home at midfield or full-forward, the 20-year-old was chosen as this year’s U21 Player of the Year.

He is one of four Hassons on the Rasharkin side which were narrowly beaten in this season’s senior championship semi-final. Thrives on making dashing solo runs which inevitably end in spectacular goals.

15. GERARD NUGENT (SEAN McDERMOTT’S)

One of the main figures in driving McDermott’s to junior championship success, the ace corner forward figured in all four championship games, including the surprise defeat of St Teresa’s in the final. A strong, forceful and accurate finisher who always brings his team-mates into the game.


lynchbhoy

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3442 on: December 09, 2008, 01:35:50 PM »
Ciaran O’Neill (Cargin) – Centre half back on the Ulster under-21 winning team of 1989, but was better at midfield or half forward. By selecting him at left half forward, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Butcher would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.
while you are right in pointing out what was the only other weak spot in the '93 Derry team (first problematic position was Full back) as no 12 - LHF , I doubt that Butcher O'Neill would have been selected - even though imo he would have augmented the position and thus the team.
1. His father was from N.Derry and Banagher so would have a massive degree of difficulty in getting into the team given Mr Colemans (RIP) dislike of the club and a lot of its people (this seemed tomellow with time however and thankfully SML was just too damn good to leave out).
2. Mr Coleman (RIP) was bestest friends with the incumbent LHF.

..........

reddog

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3443 on: December 09, 2008, 06:21:04 PM »
Having read the thread on the best Gaelic footballers from the weaker counties and listened to bannside’s exhortations, I have tried my hand at naming the best Antrim team over the last 25 years. In doing so I will admit that their youth has precluded the McCanns, Andy McClean, Justin Crozier and Conor John Pius; I would fully expect that if I was to revisit this exercise in three or four years time, then some or that entire quintet would be selected. Likewise Kevin McGourty’s proclivity to the controversial has seen him excluded from selection. I am also aware that few, if any, of you will agree with my team, but such is the nature of these teams and I hope to stimulate debate with this selection.

Sean McGreevy (St. Paul’s) – Almost an automatic choice, have we had another keeper in the last 25 years? There is a strong argument that Red Dog would make the best Ulster team of the last generation.

Donal Laverty (Cargin) – Would have preferred to pick him in his more natural half back slot, but couldn’t leave either wing half out. Nor could I leave Laverty out, hence I have fired him in at number 2.

Ciaran Hamill (Glenavy) – Excellent footballer, but one who suffered because his prime was during the darkest days of Antrim football.

Martin Mulholland (Glenravel) – Could have been chosen in any position on the full back line, but by selecting him at left corner back, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Martin would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Sean Kelly (St. Gall’s) – Youngest member of my selection. Would be a household name and an All-Star had he been born in Tyrone, Armagh or Derry. There is something seriously wrong with football in Antrim when someone with Kelly’s attitude and ability feels unable to commit to inter-county football. What would that be Dr. McSparran?

Charlie McStravick (St. Paul’s) – Rock solid centre-half to cover for the flamboyance of his two wing men. Although having said that, Charlie could play a bit too.

Alex McQuillan (Glenravel) – The only automatic choice – a rich man’s Aaron Kernan. Twenty years ago he was doing what Kernan currently has commentators drooling over. Except he was doing it better. The fact that his cousin Dr McSparran name drops Alex McQuillan when the good doctor is trying to feign interest in football should not detract from the footballer that was Alex McQuillan.

John McKiernan (St. Teresa’s) – More or less done by ’83, but his exploits over the preceding decade meant I couldn’t leave him out.

JP O’Kane (Lamh Dhearg) – Better known for his time with Louth and it is a pity that Antrim didn’t get more time with him. Allegedly played on a Railway Cup alongside fourteen Dubs. Only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Kevin Gough (St. John’s) – Again the only representative of a once proud but ailing club.

Timmy Connolly (Ballymena) – Excellent chf, hard as nails and a very skilful footballer to boot. Saw him destroy Henry Downey in an All-Ireland club quarter-final during his time with Tir Conaill Gaels. Another who, unfortunately, we didn’t get enough out of in the saffron jersey.

Ciaran O’Neill (Cargin) – Centre half back on the Ulster under-21 winning team of 1989, but was better at midfield or half forward. By selecting him at left half forward, I can justifiably state that had his father remained in his native county Derry, Butcher would have worn this number in the All-Ireland final in ’93.

Kevin Madden (Portglenone) – Probably the best known Antrim forward on the last ten years. Good with free and from play, but lacking any real challengers for this spot.

PJ O’Hare (St. Gall’s) – A unique blend of the finest talents of Kerry’s two finest poachers; the physical strength of the Bomber and the basketball ability of the Star. Sullied his reputation somewhat with his forays into management.

John McManus (St. Paul’s) – Vastly underrated footballer. Better at the frees than Madden and also better from play. Once kicked four points from play off Kieran McKeever and even bested Seamus ‘The Pony’ Moynihan on the one occasion their paths crossed.

So there you have it folks, seven country boys, seven city men and one (JP) from the part of the county that is neither city nor country. I could have been a politician.

Honourable mentions it has to be said for men like Joe Quinn, Paul McErlean, Yash Armstrong, Frank Hasson, Dermot Graham, Mickey Darragh, Speedy McAllister, Barney McCann and Joe Kennedy.

This is good fun. I might do a tour of all the counties now.
 
 
    Surely terry mccrudden has been the best centre half back this county has had over the past 25 years? Does anyone remember him marking martin mchugh and keeping him scoreless in the championship. cavan also springs to mind 1995 when he had to go onto peter reilly and do mcstravicks job for him. My team would be:
1.Sean Mcgreevey - St. Pauls
2.Aidan Hamill - Glenavy
3.Bap Armstrong - Rossa
4. Martin Mulholland - Glenravel
5. Alex McQuillan - Glenravel
6. Terry McCrudden - Lamh Dhearg
7. Sean Kelly - St Galls
8. John P O'Kane - Lamh Dhearg
9. John McKiernan - St. Theresas / Lamh Dhearg
10. Timmy Connolly - Ballymena
11. Jim Herron - Lamh Dhearg
12. Gerry McCann - St Johns
13. Micky Darragh - St Johns
14. not too sure
15. Kevin Gough - St Johns



 

Bomber

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3444 on: December 09, 2008, 06:30:16 PM »
Is Paddy Cunningham fit for the McKenna Cup? Didn't he hurt the ankle lately or something?

reddog

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3445 on: December 09, 2008, 06:31:33 PM »
sorry i meant ciaran hamill. strong cases for pat magorrian, paddy cunningham senior, michael johnstone, aidan donnelly, donal armstrong, peter murray, ciaran o'neill, lennie harbinson and was it stphen lynn?? from cargin

milltown row

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3446 on: December 09, 2008, 06:49:45 PM »
John McManus, while a gifted footballer i found that he lacked something, now can anyone fill me in on what that was?

ONeill

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3447 on: December 09, 2008, 07:12:05 PM »
John McManus, while a gifted footballer i found that he lacked something, now can anyone fill me in on what that was?

Good looks?
I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.

bannside

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3448 on: December 09, 2008, 07:22:41 PM »
Good side there Saff 2. Would have seen all of your team in action, and you`re definitely not far away. Raymond Mc Guckin prob the best club player I saw, but not rated enough by the co manager of the time.

Each generation throws up half a dozen good players, good enough for any team - but we need to get this figure up to 15 or 20 at the same time.

Plenty of talent out there at the minute, esp at under age level. That St Johns u-14 side is unreal. Sean Stinsons u -15`s about 3rd in Ulster og sport, and the Lamh Dearg u-16`s full of classy players.

Antrim minors last year not a mile off a good Cavan team, who in turn ran Tyrone to a point. St Marys CBS making decent progress too. Creggan minors also going well in the St Pauls comp.

The challenge is to get at least 20 top class talents all together at the one time, and no one will tell me that there isnt more than that out there in the fourteen to eighteen year olds across the county.

But it is the responsibility of the "doctor" to see this and action a plan to develop this.

To date this whole area of underage development has been a disaster, and dont get me going into specifics. There are far too many.

milltown row

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #3449 on: December 09, 2008, 07:44:07 PM »
John McManus, while a gifted footballer i found that he lacked something, now can anyone fill me in on what that was?

Good looks?

whatever tickles your fancy