Although it’s still early days, we at Pundit Arena have updated our gaelic football power rankings on all teams challenging for the coveted Sam Maguire Cup.
As we’ve done in the hurling already, we’ve positioned each team in order of quality. This is based, mainly, on league and championship (bar Sligo) form in 2015 and it’s sure to change as the championship progresses.
The top eight pretty much pick themselves. It is however, from places nine to nineteen where we struggled to find a suitable position for each county. A lot of teams will feel hard done by.
1. Dublin (No Change)
Dublin have displayed a vast array of talent so far this year. The strength and depth in their squad is unrivalled. With the likes of Brogan, Flynn, Connolly and company operating in the forwards, Dublin are favourites to reclaim ‘Sam’ in September.
Star Player: Paul Flynn
2. Kerry (No Change)
Reigning All-Ireland champions Kerry will look to recapture their form of last summer. After beating Tipperary, the Kingdom are now set-up for a long summer. Cork await in Killarney but with a formidable forwad line in place, Kerry should hold no fear.
Star Player: James O’Donoghue
3. Donegal (No Change)
Having beaten both Tyrone and Armagh, Donegal’s confidence is sure to be high. Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy are in flying form up-front for the Tír Conaill men and with a variety of tactics on display from Rory Gallagher’s men, Donegal are firm favourites to claim Ulster glory.
Star Player: Michael Murphy
4. Mayo (No Change)
After beating Galway yesterday, the same question marks remain over Mayo. Their over-reliance on Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea can’t be good and under Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, they have failed to add an extra dimension to their game.
Star Player: Cillian O’Connor
5. Cork (Up One +1↑)
Cork were very professional in dispatching Clare yesterday. Donnacha O’Connor and Michael Shields were as always impressive while championship debutant Stephen Cronin impressed in defence. With injuries now clearing up, Cork are well positioned to take on Kerry in Killarney.
Star Player: Colm O’Neill
6. Monaghan (Down One -1↓)
Monaghan will look to built on a relatively solid performance against Cavan when they face Fermanagh in the Ulster semi-final. With that, they boast one of the top forwards in the game in Conor McManus.
Star Player: Conor McManus
7. Tyrone (No Change)
Tyrone will have to go the scenic route if they are to reach the final stages of this year’s All-Ireland. However, they can take great encouragement from their performance against Donegal.
Star Player: Seán Cavanagh
8. Roscommon (No Change)
Back-to-back promotions in the league and a championship victory over London leaves the Rossies in a good place. A Connacht semi-final awaits against Sligo and should they win that, John Evans’ men will look to go places this summer.
Star Player: Senan Kilbride
9. Tipperary (Up One +1↑)
Despite their loss to Kerry, Tipp’s championship campaign is still alive and well. With Colin O’Riordan, Stephen O’Brien and Michael Quinlivan delivering fantastic performances, the Premier have a bright footballing future.
Star Player: Colin O’Riordan
10. Galway (Up Two +2↑)
Despite their loss to Mayo, Galway are improving steadily. A fortuitous goal went against them yesterday and coupled with the loss of Shane Walsh, Galway couldn’t get back in to the game. However, the Tribesmen can take plenty of positives from the game.
Star Player: Damien Comer
11. Derry (Up Three +3↑)
A morale-boosting one-point win over Down sees Derry sit in 11th position. However, with a meeting against Donegal in the pipeline, Derry may fall back down the ladder fairly swiftly.
Star Player: Mark Lynch
12. Meath (Up Three +3↑)
Without a host of key names, Meath managed to get past a spirited Wicklow side yesterday. A clash with neighbours Westmeath awaits at Croke Park for Mick O’Dowd’s men.
Star Player: Donal Keogan
13. Down (Down Four -4↓)
Down will be reeling after their loss to Dery. A lack of dicipline ultimately cost the Mourne men and a long journey is now needed through the qualifiers for Down to salvage their season.
Star Player: Kevin McKernan
14. Kildare (Up Four +4↑)
After an extremely disappointing league campaign, Kildare announced their arrival on the championship scene with a bang, hammering Laois in a replay on a scoreline of 3-18 to 1-11. However, a clash with the Dubs awaits.
Star Player: Eamon Callaghan
15. Cavan (Down Two -2↓)
Cavan can take a huge amount from their one-point defeat to Monaghan. London await in the qualifiers for Terry Hyland’s men.
Star Player: Cian Mackey
16. Armagh (Down Five -5↓)
Kieran McGeeney’s side were very disappointing in their display against Donegal. They lacked any potent threat up-front and failed to match Donegal in both the physical and tactical stakes.
Star Player: Jamie Clarke
17. Westmeath (Up One +2↑)
Westmeath boast one of the best young talents in the game in John Heslin. After their dispatching of Louth, they now face Wexford in the Leinster quarter-final.
Star Player: John Heslin
18 Laois (Down One -2↓)
Laois, under the guidance of Tomás Ó Flatharta, had a comprehensive win over Carlow in their first round tie. However, a crushing defeat to Kildare has left the Laois faithful with plenty to ponder.
Star Player: Ross Munnelly
19. Fermanagh (Down One -2↓)
Fermanagh were very impressive in gaining promotion to Division 2 and will look forward to their Ulster semi-final against Monaghan.
Star Player: Ryan Jones
20. Sligo (Up One +1↑)
The only team not to play championship so far this year, Sligo are facing a tough task when in-form Roscommon come to town. The scenic route looks the more likely option for the Yeats County men.
Star Player: Adrian Marren
21. Clare (Down One -1↓)
After beating Limerick, Clare suffered a spate of injuries which most teams wouldn’t cope with. A brave performance against Cork followed but they were never going to trouble Brian Cuthbert’s men such were the players they were missing.
Star Player: Garry Brennan
22. Limerick (No Change)
Limerick were unfortunate to narrowly lose to Clare in the Munster quarter-final. A trip to Omagh to face Tyrone was exactly what The Treaty didn’t want, but unfortunately for them, that’s what lays ahead of John Brudair’s men.
Star Player: Ian Ryan
23. Wexford (No Change)
Unfortunately, for Wexford, a disappointing league campaign saw them relegated to Division 4 and coupled with their recent loss to Westmeath, the positives are hard to come by in the sunny south-east. Down await in the qualifiers.
Star Player: Ben Brosnan
24. Louth (No Change)
Louth suffered a disappointing loss to Westmeath on home soil. After relegation to Division 4 earlier, things aren’t looking great for the 2010 Leinster finalists. A win against Leitrim may propel Louth to grater things.
Star Player: Ryan Burns
25. Wicklow (Up Four +4↑)
The Garden County performed admirably in their loss to Meath. Three goals and twelve points is a fantastic tally for any football team. Unfortunately, a trick test against Armagh is what’s ahead of them in the qualifiers.
Star Player: James Stafford
26. Offaly (Down One -1↓)
Offaly ended a superb league campaign by being crowned Division 4 champions. Although they fell to Longford in the opening round of the championship, they may yet have a run in the qualifiers, with Waterford being their first task.
Star Player: Niall McNamee
27. Antrim (Down One -1↓)
Antrim were very disappointing in their loss to Fermanagh. They failed to perform and head in to their qualifier clash with Laois low on confidence.
Star Player: CJ McGourty
28. Longford (Down One -1↓)
A crushing Croke Park defeat at the hands of the Dubs has left the Longford men with a lot to ponder. They must, however, pick themselves up quickly as they head to face Carlow in the qualifiers.
Start Player: Mickey Quinn
29. Leitrim (Down One -1↓)
Galway defeated Leitrim in their Connacht quarter-final and without the services of Emlyn Mulligan for the year, a championship run for Leitrim may not be on the cards.
Star Player: Seán McWeeney
30. Carlow (Down One -1↓)
Laois had the beating of Carlow from the word go two weeks ago. A hefty 17-point loss will do the Barrowsider’s confidence no good.
Star Player: Daniel St. Ledger
31. Waterford (No Change)
Waterford suffered a crushing blow with the loss to Tipperary last weekend. Tipp were in devastating from, however, Waterford looked short on ideas from the outset.
Star Player: Michael O’Halloran
32. London (No Change)
London suffered defeat to Roscommon in Ruislip. They will look to bounce back against Cavan in the qualifiers but any sort of championship run is unexpected.
Star Player: Lorcan Mulvey
33. New York (No Change)
New York do not participate in the qualifiers.
Let us know what you think of our updated power rankings.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena
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