The Best Roscommon XV since 1975
I am this week going to publish the best Roscommon SF team that I have seen since I
started going to and reporting on matches.
I am not including any of the players who were on the great team of the
40’s or the team that got to the All-Ireland final in the early 60’s.
However it includes the four-in-a row- Connacht team from the late 70’s
So here goes:
1. Gay Sheeran – Gay had a long and distinguished career between
the posts and his passion and dedication to the cause was
legendary. He beats Paul Staunton to the number one position
with Darren O’Malley also a consideration.
2. Harry Keegan – The easiest choice of the whole lot. He got three
All-Stars playing for a county that didn’t win an All-Ireland which
was some achievement. The great Castlerea man was the best
corner-back I have seen- on any team.
3. Pat Lindsay- The St Faithleach’s man was a brilliant full-back and
a great leader. He trained harder than anyone else and was an
inspirational captain when Roscommon won the league in 1979.
As tough as they come, he beats Pat Doorey to the position.
4. Enon Gavin – This was a tough choice between the Clann na
nGael man and Gerry Connellan both of whom were All Stars.
Gavin burst on to the scene as a 19 year old in 1991 and remained
a part of the Roscommon team for many years after that.
5. Seanie McDermott – I know that Seanie played most of his football
in the full-back line but he played many times out in the half-back
line too. He was a magnificent servant to Roscommon and richly
deserves his place on the team. Niall Daly’s consistent displays
meant he was also in contention.
6. Francie Grehan – The St Aidan’s man was so fiercely determined
and passionate that he deserves his place. His performances in
the early noughties were sensational. Tom Donnellan from the
team of the late 70’s and early 80’s was also an outstanding
7. Danny Murray- One of the classiest players that I have ever seen.
He won two All-Stars and should have won more. Was always in
great shape and loved to bomb forward with the ball.
8. John Newton- For me this was a straight choice between the big
Garda and Elphin’s Seamus Killoran. A lot of Roscommon fans
would say that Killoran did the hard work while Newton did the
fancy stuff but that would be unfair to the Shannon Gaels man who
was a superb player
9. Dermot Earley- Another easy choice. A legend on and off the field.
An inspiration for so many Roscommon footballers, Roscommon
football fans and for everyone who knew him. What a Roscommon
man he was.
10. Mickey Freyne- The Castlerea man won his All-Star in the
full forward position but he played in almost every attacking
position for club and county. He was a very classy player and was
a mighty man to get a vital goal, Edges out the brilliant John
11. Fergal O’Donnell- Another hugely influential player and
one that always led by example. For club and county Fergal was
an outstanding leader and his qualities extended to masterminding
that unforgettable All-Ireland minor triumph is 2006. One of the
great Roscommon GAA figures of the modern era.
12. Nigel Dineen- There are a number of live contenders for
this position but after a long career Nigel got a lot of vital scores for
Roscommon and edges out the likes of Eamon Junior McManus,
Tommy Grehan and Vinny Glennon.
13. Frankie Dolan – His inter-county career was not as long as
it might have been but he turned in some sensational displays in
the Primrose and Blue jersey and was a prolific scorer. His
contribution to St Brigid’s All-Ireland club win will go down in
folklore. Cathal Cregg would also be in contention here.
14. Paul Earley- there were a number of contenders here
including Ciaran Murtagh but Earley was a magnificent player
when he was on his game. He was a great target man and could
15. Tony McManus- The greatest Roscommon forward that I
have seen in my time. His career spanned two different successful
Roscommon teams and he was a fierce competitor who hated to
lose. Even more impressive was that he stuck with the
Roscommon team through lean times from 1981 to 1990. A
Roscommon football legend for sure.
16. Paul Staunton
17. John ‘Jigger’ O’Connor
18. Niall Daly
19. Seamus Hayden
20. Tommy Grehan
21. Gerry Connellan
22. Pat Doorey
23. Eamon McManus Senior
24. Seamus Killoran
25. Ciaran Murtagh
26. Enda Smith
So that’s my choice. I know that there will be fans out there with a much
different idea and of course it’s arguments like these that keeps us all