Today we look at St. Joseph’s Glenavy’s ‘Best 15’ footballers through the eyes of one of their best ever players, Ronan Hamill. I’m informed by a reliable source that Ronan enlisted the help of his brother Ciaran, another Glenavy and Antrim great and it is a tribute to the modesty of both men that they haven’t included themselves in the ‘Best 15’
As with each team we publish Ronan’s ‘Best 15’ will not attract universal approval but that is the beauty of this feature. It’s one man’s opinion (in this case 2) and it’s only a bit of fun.
Featured photograph: Paul Loney (R.I.P) and Francie Doone (R.I.P)
Photographs: Bert Trowlen
Ronan Hamill’s Glenavy’s ‘Best 15’
I have been involved with Glenavy for over 40 years now and have picked a range of players that have had a direct impact on my game and whom I enjoyed to watch, play with, compete against or just sometimes hear stories about! I have left all generations of Hamills out and other people can decide where they might fit in any Glenavy team. Although this covers 40 years there will be many other opinions and also previous legends that I didn’t have the privilege of seeing.
1 – Donanrd Shannon – great kick-out, penalty stopper and all round athlete.
2 – Kieran Devlin – quick, competitive, niggly corner back but also great on the ball and always sure to deliver a quality pass.
3- Jim McCorry – a man of legend, witnessed his outstanding strength as a child around various farms in Ballinderry, a rock with a record of play that stands alone in club.
4 – Martin Clenaghan – A tenacious player, outstanding leader and gave it all for club over many years, nightmare in training as played each one like a championship match!
5 – Paul Loney (R.I.P) – Just absolute class, arrived into club as I joined senior ranks and quickly set about toughening me up and duals with him in training were a joy. Rarely got the better of in any matchup.
6 – Patrick Gallagher – Outstanding athlete and great leader, can play anywhere and always close to action.
7 – Emmet McCorry – Stands out with his left peg and physique was awesome at his peak. An underage phenomenon and seemed to have same build from about age of 13!
8 – Gerard Doherty – Quiet but fiercely competitive, his fielding and drive were sometimes much underrated and was rarely outshone.
9 – Francie Doone ( R.I.P.) Joined as Loney, just as I started in Senior ranks and was just a force of nature, fielding, drive, energy and leadership.
10- John Phillips – was a joy to watch and play with, diminutive figure but was just class and gave out many a headlight to opposing defenders!
11- Michael Trowlan –Never got to play with but was someone who I was in awe of for many years watching, carried the senior team for many years and was a free and penalty taker of the very highest standard.
12- Barry Mulholland – A gifted two footed player, who could play anywhere. Huge work rate and although quiet, was always very competitive.
13- Fergus Cunningham – As a top of the right coming round onto his left side for many a score, was one of the most enjoyable to play with in the full-forward line.
14- Owen Gallagher – A raw talent with size, speed and ability to find the net. Close call on this one at full forward!
15- Michael Rea – Short spell with Glenavy but as someone who I played with closely an absolute talent, some of his scores would just leave you smiling.
John McCourt – A fantastic player and so clever with the ball, unlucky with injuries at times but when on song unpayable.
Danny Trowlan – Was my focus as a young player and had total balance on both left and right feet which I used to aspire to. Wonderful free taker as well.
Brian Grant – A hard as nails centre forward who was a great leader and ball winner, always calm when pressure came on.
Dominic Gallagher – When he came on scene as youngster was just frightening, unplayable at full forward and had one of my most fun seasons playing alongside watch him knock full backs like skittles!
Declan McGarry – Senior career was shorter that I would have liked, as was great to play with. A game winner and one of the best talents to grace Chapel Hill.
Kieran O’Neill U21 All Ireland winner 1969
Owen Ruddy R.I.P.