It’s time for round four of our poll to select the greatest All-Star midfielder in Gaelic football and today we are asking you to choose between two of Kerry’s finest.
Elsewhere, we’ve got an Ulster man who was part of the greatest partnership of a generation, a Dub who was unlucky never to win the biggest prize in football and a dual-star from Cork who was pivotal to the 2010 All-Ireland win.
Here are our selections for round four
Mick O’Connell [Kerry]
Mick O’Connell just about qualifies for our list thanks to the All-Star award he picked up at midfield a year before his Kingdom retirement in 1973. A 12-time Munster champion and four-time All-Ireland winner, O’Connell is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever having been selected at midfield on both the GAA’s Team of the Century in 1984 and Team of the Millenium in 2000.
Brian McGilligan [Derry]
Brian McGilligan won two All-Star awards at midfield. One in 1987 and another in 1993, the year of Derry’s only All-Ireland win. A monstrous presence at midfield, McGilligan’s partnership with Anthony Tohill was seen as the best partnership in GAA for the guts of a decade. A dual-player, McGilligan was spotted by Dublin great Kevin Heffernan playing a hurling game for Derry in Parnell Park, such was the impression he left on the All-Ireland winning coach that he selected him for the 1986 International Rules squad.
Ciaran Whelan [Dublin]
One of the unluckiest men in history in that his Dublin career began after 1995 and ended just before 2011, however, during those intervening years Whelan was the driving force behind the sky blues and a colossal midfielder. Never got that elusive All-Ireland medal but Whelan won six Leinster medals and was twice named at midfield on the All-Star team in 1999 and 2007.
Darragh O’Se [Kerry]
Very much shoulder to shoulder with Mick O’Connell and Jack O’Shea in the pantheon of great Kerry midfielders. The eldest O’Se brother was an almost mythical figure during his playing days such was his ability to control games. Finished his Kerry career with six All-Ireland title wins and was named at midfield on the All-Star team four times including 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2007.
Aidan Walsh [Cork]
Perhaps better known to a certain demographic as the Cork hurler, however, Walsh made his name playing football and was a selected at midfield on the 2010 All-Star team, the year he also won Young Footballer of the Year. Walsh’s introduction to the Cork football team was key to finally getting them over the line on All-Ireland final day.
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