Colm O’Rourke: Dubs dominate my team of the decade – but are you surprised?

They've won five All-Ireland titles on the bounce, so it's not exactly a shock that Colm's team of the decade has a distinctly blue hue

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It’s been a decade dominated by the Dubs and it’s no surprise to see them dominate my team from 2010-2020. However, they don’t fill up all 15 places as players from Kerry, Mayo, Donegal and Monaghan have all get some representation.

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And there could have been one or two other counties in there as well. But for me, my GAA team of the decade is as follows.

Colm O’Rourke’s Team Of The Decade

Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)

I don’t think too many would argue with having Cluxton in goal given that, not only is he the goalkeeper of the decade, but he’s probably the goalkeeper of the century. He’s forced all sorts of goalkeepers to be copycats and he has been the most revolutionary player ever in the GAA.

Marc Ó Sé (Kerry)

Most of his career might have been in the noughties but he didn’t finish up until 2016. I think he’d be on most teams of any decade and if there was a team of the century to be picked, he’d be a serious contender for that too.

GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final 3/8/2014
Kerry
Marc O’Se
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Neil McGee (Donegal)

There hasn’t been a dominating full back for the last ten years but this is a man who has stuck around through thick and thin and even thinner. Not only is he still playing but he’s still holding a lot of good forwards scoreless. Nobody ever seems to get the better of him.

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Mick Fitzsimons (Dublin)

If you’re looking for the prototype corner-back, then he’s your man. He marks his man and gets on with his job. He’s never wants to look too flashy and that’s why he gets the nod.

Lee Keegan (Mayo)

Given how close they have gone in the last decade, there had to be one Mayo man and he’s the obvious player. He’s been a brilliant player for Mayo, especially in the big games, and he’s one of three players on my team to yet win an All Ireland.

Allianz Football League Division 1, St Tiernach’s Park, Largy, Co. Monaghan 23/2/2020
Monaghan vs Mayo
Mayo’s Lee Keegan
Mandatory credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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Cian O’Sullivan (Dublin)

He’s a fairly quiet player and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves but he’s been a brilliant player for Dublin all through the decade. He’s the man who sits back and does the job. His role of guarding the backs is one of the reasons Dublin have won five-in-a-row.

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Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)

He’s been an inspirational player for Dublin and he adds something special to the Dublin setup. He’s done it all from All Ireland finals Man of the Match awards to Allstars.

Brian Fenton (Dublin)

Hasn’t lost a game since he came on the Dublin scene in 2015. He’s been a dominating midfielder and he’d be on any team from the last 50 years.

Allianz Football League Division 1, Croke Park, Dublin 22/2/2020
Dublin vs Donegal
Dublin’s Brian Fenton
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom O’Hanlon

James McCarthy (Dublin)

He’s a player you can play anywhere and outside of Cluxton, he’s been the best player in the last ten years. Never seems to miss a game which matters and is an incredible athlete.

Shane Walsh (Galway)

An outstanding player who’s been on the scene since 2013. He’s suffered by the fact that he’s been on poor Galway teams but we’re seeing the best of him now in recent years.

Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin)

Maybe the bad boy of Dublin football in some ways. He’s played for over a decade with the Dubs and in the middle part of that, 2013-2017, he was probably the best player in the country.

Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

An automatic pick in that every day when Dublin play, he’s always one of the outstanding players. He’s close to being man of the match in nearly every game that he plays and he’s got a tremendous work rate. You can throw in his appetite and scoring ability too.

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Conor McManus (Monaghan)

An unbelievable player and one who has helped put Monaghan back up there as one of the best teams around. His ability to kick scores is second to none.  

Michael Murphy (Donegal)

He’s most definitely one of the best players around and has been the dominant influence in Donegal football for a decade. He’s most deserved in the team at full forward.   

Bernard Brogan (Dublin)

In the middle part of the decade, he was the dominant forward. Dublin wouldn’t have won some of those tight All Irelands against Mayo if it wasn’t for him. Scores from frees and play, he was so dominant.

Subs: Johnny Cooper, Philly McMahon, Colm Cooper, Dean Rock, Kieran Donaghy, Paul Mannion, Keith Higgins, David Moran, Mattie Donnelly, Sean Cavanagh, Peter Harte.

Footballer Of The Decade – Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)

Manager Of The Decade – Jim Gavin (Dublin)

Match Of The Decade – Dublin v Kerry (2011 All Ireland SFC Final)

Moment Of The Decade – Dublin’s resilience v Kerry (2019 All Ireland SFC Final)

Goal Of The Decade – Michael Murphy v Mayo (2012 All Ireland SFC Final)

Point Of The Decade – Dean Rock v Mayo (2017 All Ireland SFC Final)

If there’s something happening, Paddy’s probably got odds on it