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The PA Hurler Of The Decade: Part 2 – The Defender

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Over the past decade, the hurling world has seen a plethora of exceptionally talented players come and go.

There’s been dynamic goalkeepers, rock-solid defenders, exceptional midfielders and clinical forwards. But who’s been the very best in the country in each position?

In the second edition of our five-part series we ask, who’s the best hurling defender of the past decade? Let’s take a look at the five options, each representing a different county.

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Name:

Seamus Hickey

County: 

Limerick

Credentials:

A great servant to Limerick hurling, Seamus Hickey remains one of the best defenders to never win an All Ireland medal. The Murroe-Boher man made his inter-county senior debut in 2006 and won the Young Hurler Of The Year award just a year later. His passion, work rate and leadership have been key attributes to his play which were all on display in his heroic performance and subsequent post-match interview in the All Ireland semi-final loss to Kilkenny in 2014. The 30-year-old has one Munster, National League and All-Star medal to his name.

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Name:

Pádraic Maher

County:

Tipperary

Credentials:

Best known for his trademark bursts out of defence, Pádraic Maher has been the heart of the Tipperary defence since his debut in the National League in 2009. His leadership and contribution were recognised and rewarded in 2017 when he was appointed Tipperary captain, having previously captained the U21 side to All-Ireland glory in 2010. The Thurles Sarsfields man has a host of accolades to his name including two All Ireland medals, five Munster titles, seven Tipperary county championship medals and five All-Star awards.


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Name:

JJ Delaney

County:

Kilkenny

Credentials:

JJ Delaney is a player that will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever to wear the black and amber. Though never the tallest, Delaney was incredibly tenacious and skilful, and was unbeatable under the high ball. He divided his time between wing-back and full-back and was named Hurler Of They Year in just his third season at senior level. The Fenians man is one of hurling’s most decorated players with nine All Ireland medals, eleven Leinster titles, eight National League medals as well as seven All Star awards.

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Name:

Michael “Brick” Walsh

County:

Waterford

Credentials:

Michael “Brick” Walsh has been hailed as Waterford’s best ever player and in 2018, he broke the record for the most SHC appearances when he made his 74th consecutive championship appearance for the Deise against Cork in the Munster round-robin series. That achievement demonstrates the passion and determination “Brick” has for the game. Since 2015, the Stradbally man has been named among the forwards but prior to that, he was known as one of the best centre-backs in the game and won four All-Stars for his efforts in the position.

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Name:

Daithi Burke

County:

Galway

Credentials:

Though he only made his inter-county debut in 2014, Daithí Burke has been continuously hailed for his talent as a full-back and centre-back, and has been ear-marked to become one of the game’s greatest defenders. In his four seasons with the Galway seniors, the 25-year-old has become one of their most consistent and valuable players with his ability under the high ball second-to-none. The Turloughmore already has an impressive medal haul having won a Leinster, All-Ireland and National League title as well as three consecutive All Star awards.

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Check out Part 1 of our series to vote for your goalkeeper of the decade.

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Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign celebrates the passion displayed by those in Ireland’s collective hurling community and shines a light on those who devote their lives to the game helping to make the sport a pillar of Irish pride.

For further information on Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign, check out www.centra.ie.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter