FOUR DONEGAL FOOTBALLERS have made it onto a list of the best 50 full-backs from the last 50 years.
The selection was chosen by Martin Breheny, the Gaelic Games Editor of the Irish Independent.
“For all the perceived changes, one basic requirement remains the same – the No 3 has to provide the tightest security in the red zone in front of goal,” Breheny’s says of his pick.
Current Donegal full-back Neil McGee (pictured above) makes it at number 10.
“Donegal’s style under Jim McGuinness and largely retained by Rory Gallagher is the ultimate co-op where everybody has extensive defensive responsibilities, but it still requires specialist individual skills,” Breheny says.
“McGee has them in abundance, as recognised by three All-Star selections, in 2011, ’12 and ’14. Nor should it be forgotten that he has been on the Donegal team since 2006.”
Pauric McShea, who won Ulster titles with Donegal in 1972 and 1974, is included at number 13.
“This was Brian McEniff’s description of McShea from some years ago: ‘Strong under the high ball, an exciting full-back, who was one of the first to carry the ball out of defence, even going on to take a return pass. Unheard of in those days’,” Breheny says.
“McShea played for Donegal between 1965-76, during which they won the Ulster title for the first time in ’72 and regained in it in ’74. He was chosen at full-back on the Donegal team of the Millennium.”
1992 All-Ireland winner Matt Gallagher – ‘He might not have kicked the ball in the historic 1992 All-Ireland final win over Dublin but he still made a massive contribution – makes it at number 30, while Bundoran man Bernard Brady – ‘Donegal didn’t make the Ulster breakthrough during his career in the ’60s but he enjoyed considerable success with Ulster – is the 41st player on the list.Tags: