Five More Gaelic Footballers Who Could Have Walked Onto Any County Team

A few weeks back we drew up a list of five former inter-county footballers who could have walked onto any county team in their prime. 

There was a huge reaction to the five players we chose and while most of you agreed with our selection, there was considerable talk surrounding a few notable exceptions and that the list could be extended.

So, we did just that!

Here are five other inter-county footballers who could have walked onto any team in Ireland as chosen by you!


Mattie Forde

Top scorer in the 2004 All-Ireland championship, Mattie Forde was an inspirational figure for Wexford throughout his 12-year inter-county career.

Big, strong and deadly accurate, Forde must surely go down as one of the greatest players to ever play in the full-forward line. Forde was named at left corner-forward on the 2004 Gaelic football All-Star team and how he didn’t get one in 2008 as Wexford qualified for an All-Ireland semi-final is quite simply beyond us.

Forde twice represented the Ireland international rules team before retiring from inter-county football in 2011. Despite repeated pleas to rejoin the panel, Forde opted against it, however, in 2016 he donned the Wexford jersey once more as he helped guide the county to a Leinster junior championship title.


John Galvin

A powerhouse midfielder, John Galvin would most certainly have played on any county team throughout the noughties.

The Limerick man had a stellar 15-year inter-county career and captained the Treaty to Munster U21 success in 2000 before going on to appear in four Munster finals in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010. Despite losing all four of those provincial finals, Galvin’s influence was there for all to see as he was named man of the match in the 2010 final.

Galvin won a Railway Cup with Munster in 2008 and in 2010 was named on the GPA Team of the Year. He is regarded by many as Limerick’s greatest ever footballer.


Paddy Keenan

Louth’s infamous 2010 Leinster championship has become the stuff of legend for the most heartbreaking of reasons after Meath’s Joe Sheridan scored a ‘try’ in the dying minutes to stop the Wee County collecting a first provincial title since 1957.

However, what often gets lost in the tale of Louth’s 2010 championship campaign is the heroic performances of Paddy Keenan who was named at midfield on that season’s All-Star team. He was also pivotal to the county’s division three success in 2011.

Keenan was influential for Louth in their 2006 Tommy Murphy Cup and Allianz League success while he also represented Ireland in 2010 International Rules tour.

He retired in 2014 at the age of just 29, however, Keenan’s legacy as Louth’s first and currently only All-Star is forever cemented.


Johnny Doyle

One of the game’s greatest. Doyle twice finished top of the GAA scoring charts in 2008 and 2010. Doyle was named an All-Star in 2010 as Kildare came agonisingly close to qualifying for the All-Ireland final.

Doyle won the 2000 Leinster championship with the Lilywhites and captained the county to division two league success 12 years later. Doyle announced his retirement from inter-county football on April 6, 2014, at the age of 36. On his retirement, Doyle had appeared 154 times for his county over a 15-year span.

In 2019 at the age of 41, he made a surprise return to the inter-county game when he joined the Kildare Junior team.


Ciaran McManus

How Ciaran McManus never won an All-Star, we’ll never know!

One of the most dominant midfielders in the game from the late nineties and through to the noughties. After winning a Leinster U21 title in 1995, McManus played a key role in the county’s last senior provincial title in 1997 before guiding the county to a league title in 2008.

McManus represented the Irish International Rules team on three occasions and won four Railway Cups with Leinster. He is also one of the best penalty takers Gaelic football has ever seen.


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