With no All-Stars between them, here we give you five of the most underrated Gaelic footballers in today’s game.
The likes of Conor Sweeney, Peter Acheson and Gary Brennan in particular would have potentially made this list but for the recognition they have received this year.
Brendan Murphy (Carlow)
Brendan Murphy is the main shining light for Carlow’s football team. Over the past few seasons, Carlow have been somewhat in the doldrums, suffering disappointing and often heavy championship defeats. However, Murphy is a fantastic midfielder.
This summer, Murphy inspired Carlow to a championship victory over Wicklow, scoring a remarkable 1-4 from play from midfield. Murphy, a former Aussie Rules rookie with Sydney Swans, missed out on the past two seasons due to being abroad for work commitments. After giving a host of impressive displays this season, the Carlow faithful will hope that the dominant midfielder can stay around.
Donal Keogan (Meath)
Meath football is not where it should be but Donal Keogan is certainly one of the main men trying to revive the Royal County’s prospects of Leinster and All-Ireland glory. At the tender age of 23, Keogan became captain of the Meath team which says a lot about the calibre of the player and the attributes the Rathkenny man possesses.
Keogan, who started as a corner-back for the Meath team, has now become settled as the anchor of the Royal defence at centre-back. It is somewhat down to Meath’s poor performances that Keogan remains underrated but if Meath are to get any sort of a run in next year’s championship, Keogan will more than likely be at the heart of it.
Mark Lynch (Derry)
Derry’s inspirational captain Mark Lynch has one of the biggest and most accurate right boots in the game. The 30-year-old has soldiered on for Derry through a barren spell, which has seen Derry fail to make any significant impact in the championship for a number of seasons now.
Lynch, who claimed an All-Ireland minor football medal in 2002, is certainly up there with the best forwards in the game. It’s a real pity that the Banagher man hasn’t got any personal recognition for his consistent and outstanding performances for the Oak Leaf county.
Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo)
McLoughlin is one of Mayo’s most valuable players. He may not possess the flair that the likes of Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor have but he is equally as important. McLoughlin’s role has evolved under the management of Stephen Rochford. He now plays as a sweeper for Mayo as they bid to put years of heartbreak behind them once again this year.
McLoughlin’s work-rate, doggedness and all round footballing brain has seen the Knockmore man become one of the most influential men on the Mayo team, yet he is still a very much underrated footballer.
Paddy Andrews (Dublin)
Andrews is one of the most stylish and most naturally gifted footballers in the game. The story of his inter-county career is a remarkable one. The St. Brigid’s man lined out at corner-back for the Dubs in 2009 before being dropped off the panel entirely by Pat Gilroy.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena