This week we’re changing it up slightly.
Rather than picking a select GAA XV, we’ve opted for a select XI of GAA players who have also shown talent on the soccer field.
We could have gone on all day trawling through ex-players, plenty of whom played soccer at home and abroad. In the end, we’ve made it hard for ourselves by picking 11 players who were involved at inter-county level as recently as 2019.
We’re going for an all-out attack with this team, hence the 3-5-2 formation.
GAA soccer XI
Goalkeeper – Shaun Patton (Donegal)
One of the most reliable goalkeepers in the game. Pinpoint kick-outs and lightning speed reactions. Patton was with Derry City, Finn Harps and Sligo Rovers before committing to Donegal.
Defender – Lee Chin (Wexford)
The Wexford star is an all-rounder. A known soccer talent, had he not chosen Wexford GAA, it’s likely he’d be playing League of Ireland. We’ve got Chin manning the right side of a back three here.
Defender – Kevin Feely (Kildare)
The Kildare vice-captain is a former Newport County player. Strong in the air and ever-reliable. We fancy Feely to hold the centre of defence in this team.
Defender – Martin Reilly (Cavan)
The Cavan forward and former Burnley man probably should be further up the field. We’ve kept the experience of Reilly further back. Not only will we need his experience but operating from deep allows him to spray the ball around with that cultured left foot.
Midfield – Paul Cahillane (Laois)
Paul Cahillane spent three years at Celtic. An energetic presence, we’re expecting him to mix experience, talent and the ability to unlock a defence at the base of our midfield.
Midfield – Ryan McHugh (Donegal)
Our running man. McHugh once had trials with Reading. While he himself admits he’s a Gaelic footballer playing soccer, his never-ending engine will prove critical here.
Midfield – Stefan Campbell (Armagh)
Campbell will play slightly further up the field. Has a keen eye for goal but enough guile to shine as a playmaker. ‘Soupy’ has notable soccer experience having played in the Irish League and the Milk Cup. Had the Orchard county not come calling he would be playing in the Northern Ireland Football League.
Midfield – Paddy Andrews (Dublin)
The Dublin veteran is clearly a dab hand at the soccer. In 2011, he was signed to play for Monaghan United by famed coach Roddy Collins. We’re trusting his big-game experience here to play a huge role in this team.
Forward – John Heslin (Westmeath)
Heslin was capped at U15 level with the Republic of Ireland. He also spent time at Derby County. Big, strong athletic. A shoo-in here.
Forward – Paddy McBrearty (Donegal)
McBrearty is one of many Donegal men to experience trials across the water. McBrearty has a reputation for being a deadly striker on the soccer field. So plenty of goals coming from him.
Forward – Andy Murnin (Armagh)
As someone who has watched Murnin play soccer at length, Armagh’s gain is soccer’s loss in Lurgan. An unorthodox forward with an eye for goal. Much like his GAA-game.
Check out some of our other GAA select-XV by following the link below.
Gaelic Football’s Hardman XV Of The 21st Century
Pundit Arena’s Select XV Of Gaelic Footballers Fit To Beat The Dubs On All-Ireland Day
Gaelic Football’s Greatest XV To Retire Without An All-Ireland Medal
Pundit Arena’s Gaelic Football XV Of The 1990s
Gaelic Football’s Select XV Containing One Player Per County
Pundit Arena’s Gaelic Football XV Of The 2000s
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