The best combined Gaelic football team chosen ahead of the championship.
We have selected our best Gaelic football team in the country, choosing the strongest players in Ireland across every position.
We have used facts and statistics to determine these selections. Let us know what you think of our team.
Goalkeeper: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin).
Stephen Cluxton is the best goalkeeper in Ireland, however, serious question marks remain over his future. There are strong rumours that the eight-time All-Ireland winner is set to hang up his gloves.
It remains to be seen if the Parnell’s netminder will guard the goals for Dublin’s opening championship clash with the winners of Wicklow or Wexford.
Cluxton is certainly the best keeper in Ireland but we may have seen the last of him in a Dublin jersey.
Right corner-back: Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin).
Michael Fitzsimons is one of the best defenders of his generation. The Cuala player did a solid job marking David Clifford when Dublin and Kerry faced off in the league, even if Clifford still scored 0-5 from play.
Fitzsimons is likely to be tasked with keeping tabs on the same opponentt if both teams meet in the All-Ireland final.
Clifford won’t face a tougher marker all year and Fitzsimons won’t have to mark a better forward. The 32-year-old is a consistent defender who fully merits a place in the side.
Full-back: Jason Foley (Kerry).
Jason Foley really stepped up to the plate for Kerry in their last two league games. The Ballydonoghue defender has made the full-back position his own and was outstanding against Tyrone.
Kerry seem to have solved some of their recent defensive woes and Foley will hope to continue impressing against Clare on Saturday.
Left corner-back: Eoghan Ban Gallagher (Donegal).
Eoghan Ban Gallagher provides a scoring threat as well as being a great defender. The Na Cealla Beaga footballer was a key component of the Donegal team which won the 2018 and 2019 Ulster championships.
Donegal have started to play a very attacking brand of football and many punters saw them as serious threats to Dublin’s throne last season.
Declan Bonner’s side were shocked in dramatic fashion by Cavan in the 2020 Ulster final and have a chance to bounce back from that reversal against Down on Sunday.
Right half-back: Patrick Durcan (Mayo).
Patrick Durcan went off with an injury at half-time in last year’s All-Ireland final. It’s not unfair to suggest that Mayo could have won the game had he stayed on.
Durcan is solid in possession and is an excellent defender who also provides a scoring threat.
The Castlebar Mitchells player will have to step up for Mayo in the Connacht championship as it looks like Cillian O’Connor will be unavailable.
Centre half-back: James McCarthy (Dublin).
James McCarthy has a chance to become the outfield player with the most All-Ireland medals this year. The 31-year-old is aiming for his ninth medal and has featured in every final.
The Ballymun Kickhams defender is a brilliant footballer and has all the attributes needed to star at the top.
McCarthy is strong, reads the game very well, can play a perfect pass and has great pace. He is definitely a huge asset to Dessie Farrell and Dublin.
Left half-back: Lee Keegan (Mayo).
Lee Keegan could retire as one of the best players never to win an All-Ireland medal. The Mayo great is a strong man-marker but also supports the attacking play very well.
The 31-year-old was named footballer of the year in 2016 and like Patrick Durcan, he will be needed to step up in the absence of Cillian O’Connor.
Midfield: Brian Fenton (Dublin).
Fenton is arguably the greatest Gaelic football player of all time, and he has never lost a championship match.
The Raheny ace dominates midfield and can score as well, while his distribution and composure on the ball are flawless.
Fenton is one of Dublin’s most important players and has been named footballer of the year twice.
His father is from Kerry and the Kingdom would have been sure to have won more All-Irelands if they had Fenton available for selection.
Midfield: Michael Murphy (Donegal).
Michael Murphy is another player who deserves legendary status. The Donegal ace starred in his county’s 2012 All-Ireland victory.
Murphy is incredibly versatile as a footballer and is capable of operating in multiple positions. He is as effective in midfield as he is in the forward line.
The Glenswilly player has also won three county championships with his club and a Sigerson Cup medal with DCU.
Right half-forward: Sean O’Shea (Kerry).
Sean O’Shea was destined for greatness at a young age. Both he and David Clifford excelled for Kerry minors in 2016.
O’Shea is an excellent place-kicker and is very comfortable while in possession.
The Kenmare Shamrocks footballer could play a huge part for Kerry this season, as Peter Keane’s charges aim to end their seven-year All-Ireland drought.
Centre half-forward: Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin).
Ciaran Kilkenny is the playmaker in the Dublin team. He links up play superbly and rarely gives away possession.
The Castleknock player also has a strong right foot and is able to put the ball over the bar at ease.
Kilkenny is one of Dublin’s best footballers and the year he was injured was the last season that Dublin did not lift the Sam Maguire Cup.
Left half-forward: Brian Howard (Dublin).
Brian Howard is a very reliable, consistent performer who rarely has a bad game. The Raheny star does his job very well.
Howard has won two All-stars and has won four All-Ireland. He has secured a starting birth for Dublin and looks likely to be a key player in the championship.
Howard definitely deserves to be on the best Gaelic football team.
Right corner-forward: Cillian O’Connor (Mayo).
Cillian O’Connor is the all-time top scorer in championship football. He has recently suffered an Achilles tendon injury which could potentially rule him out for the season.
That is a devastating blow to Mayo and to the player himself. O’Connor rarely misses a free and his shots normally split the posts.
The Ballintubber footballer would be one of the first names on any teamsheet in Ireland and Mayo fans will pray that O’Connor may be available for selection in the latter stages of the championship.
Full-forward: Con O’Callaghan (Dublin).
Con O’Callaghan is an exceptional talent. The 25-year-old has won eight All-Ireland medals between Senior, u-21 and club hurling.
O’Callaghan has scored goals in the 2017 and 2020 All-Ireland finals.
The Cuala ace could be the greatest hurler never to play for his county. O’Callaghan and David Clifford may yet develop a rivalry that could dominate the sport for the foreseeable future.
Left corner-forward: David Clifford (Kerry).
David Clifford is an unbelievable talent. Since featuring for Kerry minors in 2016, Clifford has been phenomenal.
The Fossa sharpshooter tore Derry apart in the 2017 All-Ireland minor decider and quickly became an integral part of the Kerry senior team, bypassing the Under-20 grade.
Clifford is certain to win multiple All-Ireland titles before he retires and could end up as the greatest footballer of all time.
Combined best Gaelic football team in Ireland.
Stephen Cluxton; Michael Fitzsimons, Jason Foley, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Patrick Durcan, James McCarthy, Lee Keegan; Brian Fenton, Michael Murphy; Sean O’Shea, Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Howard; Cillian O’Connor, Con O’Callaghan, David Clifford.
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