Earlier this month, we undertook the task of selecting a Gaelic Football XV comprised of just one player per county and now we have done the same in hurling.
It was not a straight-forward task but we eventually settled on an intriguing team that features players from every county that took part in the 2019 provincial championships and the Joe McDonagh Cup.
Are there any glaring omissions? Let us know in the Facebook comments.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Waterford)
Stephen O’Keeffe has been Waterford’s number one selection in goals since making his debut in 2011. In his nine-year career, he has played a pivotal role both for Waterford and Ballygunner and has faced down some of the deadliest forwards in the game.
2. Sean Finn (Limerick)
It’s tough to know where to place Limerick’s representative given the talent they have throughout the field but their full-back line is arguably one of the strongest in the country and Sean Finn is key to that. He is one of the best man-markers in the business and when fit, he is one of the best players on the pitch.
3. David McInerney (Clare)
A very versatile player who pops up all over the field but David McInerney predominantly lines out at full-back for the Banner County and has been a very stabilising presence in their defence. A great ball winner who has been an exceptional leader for Clare in recent years.
4. Richard Coady (Carlow)
We’re moving Richard Coady slightly out of position for this team but given his dogged defensive approach, we’re sure he can adapt. His abrasive man-marking style can often land him in trouble but that level of physicality is one of his best defensive attributes.
5. Paudie Foley (Wexford)
One of the most prolific defenders in the country at the moment given his ability to go forward, to score from distance and his man-marking skills. Again, it was tough choosing just one Wexford player for this hurling XV but given that Paudie Foley is essential to their half back line, he is given the nod.
6. Seán Moran (Dublin)
Dublin’s Seán Moran is one of the most consistent centre-backs in the game currently. He has shown his best form in recent seasons and is a regular scorer for the Dubs, even netting a crucial goal from a free during last year’s Leinster Championship. Very effective when used in the sweeper role.
7. Cillian Kiely (Offaly)
2019 may have been a dark year for Offaly but the Faithful County still have a host of talented players including former Poc Fada champion Cillian Kiely. A versatile defender, he can appear in any half-back position while it’ll come as no surprise that he is also able to score from distance.
8. Noel McGrath (Tipperary)
Tipperary could have a player in any line of this hurling XV but we have chosen Noel McGrath to represent the Premier County given his credentials. The 29-year-old showed his best form in years at midfield throughout the 2019 championship. His cool head, outrageous skill and scoring ability were key components in Tipperary’s All-Ireland win and, arguably, he should have been nominated for Hurler of the Year.
9. Paddy Purcell (Laois)
Paddy Purcell has been an instrumental figure for Laois since making his debut seven years ago. He had a phenomenal 2019 season, leading Laois to glory in the Joe McDonagh Cup before securing their first All-Ireland quarter-final spot since the 70s. His individual performances earned him the award of the Joe McDonagh Player of the Year.
10. Killian Doyle (Westmeath)
Killian Doyle is one of the most exciting forwards in the county at the minute and has established himself as Westmeath’s main scoring threat since making his debut in 2016. During their 2019 run to the Joe McDonagh final, he notched up 2-50 before registering another 1-11 during the decider in Croke Park, making him the competition’s highest scorer last year.
11. Joe Canning (Galway)
Galway’s talisman and saviour. Though Galway have bundles of talent in every position, there is no way you can leave Joe Canning out of this hurling XV. The Tribesmen often struggle when he is not in their team and had it not been for his injury, Galway’s 2019 campaign may have ended much differently.
12. TJ Reid (Kilkenny)
Arguably the best and most consistent forward in hurling, TJ Reid continues to shine time and again at both club and inter-county level. Always dangerous with ball in hand and is one of the best free takers in the country.
13. Neil McManus (Antrim)
Neil McManus is consistently among the top scorers in the National League and despite being 32, continues to lead the way in the Joe McDonagh Cup, topping the scoring charts in 2018 before racking up 1-40 during last year’s competition.
14. Shane Conway (Kerry)
One of the most talented young forwards in the game, Shane Conway has delivered time and again for Kerry and UCC since his arrival on the scene. A skillful and accurate sharpshooter, he scored 35 points during Kerry’s 2018 Joe McDonagh campaign and followed that up with 0-44 in last year’s edition.
15. Patrick Horgan (Cork)
Completing this hurling XV is one of Cork’s greatest sons. Their leader and top scorer, Patrick Horgan is the man the Rebels look to when they are in trouble and he consistently delivers. He remains one of the best and most potent forwards in the game while his free-taking ability is second-to-none.
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