St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass ‘Best 15’

Today we look at the ‘Best 15’ footballers through the eyes of former Moneyglass and Antrim footballer, Kevin Brady. Kevin represented St. Ergnat’s and Antrim for more than 2 decades and would have been the first name on both team-sheets at his peak but has modestly resisted putting his name on his St. Ergnat’s selection.

Kevin’s side contains players who saw success earlier in his playing career and is a formidable looking side. While not everyone will agree with his selection, it’s only one man’s opinion. ‘It’s just a bit of fun!’

Kevin Brady’s St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass ‘Best 15’ footballers

As with all these teams I could have picked 3 players for every position and still left some good players out. Considering I was on the senior panel for 21 seasons I’m sure I’ve played alongside well over 100 players so this was an almost impossible task! I’ve gone for most of the old guard but I’m excited for what the future holds for Moneyglass as they have many fine young players currently playing on the Senior team. For me there weren’t too many Moneyglass men that put on the jersey that didn’t give their all. As a small club, with few numbers, I feel we punched above our weight for many years going between Division 2 and Division 1 for spells. We were always a real force to be reckoned with in any Intermediate Championship, the highlight of my club career being 2004 when we got to the Ulster Intermediate final.

Goalkeeper – Brendan Devlin

Moneyglass have been blessed with many excellent Goalkeepers down through the years with many of them tasting some County action as well. Benny Marron and Mark (Sparky) Carey were two of them but I have to plump for my old mate Benny Devlin. As well as playing in the Irish League Benny also played for Antrim for many years. Well before the days of Goalkeepers such as Cluxton, Morgan and Beggan influencing games with their kick-outs, Benny was ahead of his time. I often played in the half-forward line for the club and him and I had great telepathy on his kick-outs – he’d pick you out more often than not. He was also an excellent shot stopper and great craic in the changing rooms. (Psycho rating: 7.5 – always kept our defence on their toes and let them know when they weren’t)

Corner back – Donal Laverty

I had many a good duel with Donal in training games so I knew better than most how good a defender he was. Deceptively fast, he attacked the ball with pace and often broke the ball away from the forward before they could even get the ball in their hands. Tidy on the ball as well but was never convinced with his shooting despite what he may say! (Psycho rating: 5 – always very calm and measured even when things had gone to pot)

Full back – James Scullion

James had the build of a good full back, tall, strong and good in the air. He marked some really good players over the years and rarely got found wanting. James was Mr Dependable and very cool under pressure. His shooting was worse than Donal’s and for some reason he thought (wrongly) he had a left foot. (Psycho rating: 7.5)

Corner back – Colm (Curly) McCoy

Most definitely not his best or favoured position but that was the thing with Curly – you could play him anywhere and he’d do a job. Played here to mark Joe Brolly in an Intermediate final loss to St. Brigids. Tenacious, skilful and with a work rate second to none, he probably did his best work at wing half forward. Curly was a man for the trenches and never shirked on the physical side of the game. Saw his fair share of red cards and referees had a love hate relationship with him but Curly had the respect of everyone in Moneyglass. (Psycho rating: solid 10)

Wing half back – John (Wee Chick) Neeson

Back in the early days it would have been common for wee Chick, Benny Devlin and Justin McErlain to light up a cigarette before, during (half time) and after games. But don’t let that fool you, John was a tough customer and liked to put his opponent on the back foot. He had a great turn of pace marauding up and down that right wing game after game. A big fan favourite in Moneyglass because of the way he played the game. (Psycho rating: 8)

Centre half back – Conor Boyd

Gerard Carey regularly played at No. 6 and read the game brilliantly but Conor gets the nod here and continues to play excellent football for Moneyglass. Blessed with great pace Conor is a defender who definitely could shoot, as is evident in his ability to hit scoreable free kicks out of his hands. The fact that he’s a neighbour from home has nothing to do with his selection Lol ((Psycho rating: 6)

Wing half back – Justin McErlain

With John Neeson on one side Justin brought great balance to the side playing down the left wing. Naturally left footed, he was a strong, no nonsense defender. We had many feisty battles in places such as Falls Park, Woodlands and Cherryvale and Justin was always a good man to have with you rather than against you. (Psycho rating: 8.5)

Midfielders – James (Painter) Marron, Adrian McKeefry, Ryan Boyd and Tommy (Big Chick) Neeson

I’ve gone for a quartet of midfielders here as all were excellent in their own way. Painter tasted some senior action for the County and was a real luxury to have in midfield. He was as skilful as most forwards and racked up huge scoring tallies over the years. (Psycho rating: 10) 

Adrian was a box to box midfielder with a great engine. He was the leader of the team continuing to drive everyone on in training and matches. He’s as fit and strong now as he’s always been and could probably do a job for the club yet. (Psycho rating: High 10)  

Ryan was similar to Painter in many ways in that he was a very natural footballer. When he was on his game he was practically unplayable and sometimes hit 8 or 9 points a game. (Psycho rating: 9.5) 

Big Chick was one of Moneyglasses most popular players despite doing his cruciate on at least one occasion and later in his career moving to live in San Francisco. But before he did he also played for Antrim and was the first man on the teamsheet on any Moneyglass team he played on. Another gas man in the changing rooms, he kept the spirits up on many a tough day. (Psycho rating: 8.5)

Wing half forward – Darren McCormack

Darren was one of Moneyglass’s finest ever underage and school’s players. While at St. Mary’s Magherafelt he earned the right to represent Ireland at U17 level in Compromise rules games v a travelling Australia squad in Croke Park. Always looking the part he could certainly back it up with his performances. Skilful and with a good eye for goal, he was a key performer on many of our best days. (Psycho rating: 6.5)

Centre half forward – Mick Marron

Mick was extremely talented and equally good off either foot. He was also a great fielder of the ball as well as doing his bit to keep the scoreboard ticking over. He played in many positions for Moneyglass over the years such was his versatility. Had some questionable haircuts but we’ll not hold that against him. (Psycho rating: 7)

Wing half forward – Colm (Smiley) Duffin

One of the current crop of fine young players in Moneyglass, Smiley is now the leader of the team. He’s been getting better and better every year and is now a regular on the County team. Has also mixed it with the best at University level. Born leader and natural scorer. (Psycho rating: 8)

Corner forward – Stephen Griffin

Griff is built like Diarmuid Marsden and played like him in many ways too. A strong carrier of the ball he often did a lot of the donkey work in the forward line. Strong as an ox he would tackle the life out of defenders coming out with the ball. Really fast and powerful and an important link in our team. (Psycho rating: 9 – could lose it with the best of them)

Full forward – Paul McErlain

Played in the infamous MacRory final of 1996 and had a spell with the County as well. Paul was a great ball winner and very smart at winning frees with his route 1 approach. Scored some crucial goals over the years. (Psycho rating: 10 – just ask any Goalkeeper or full back who played against him, the kicking tees were regularly fired back over the end line)

Corner forward – Kevin (Kindo) Marron

As naturally talented a player as I have seen in Moneyglass, Kindo had a wand of a left peg. When I played in the full forward line I loved the long diagonal balls Kindo could ping in from as far back as left half back. Great peripheral vision and could pass the ball through the eye of a needle. Scored some outrageous goals and points in his career and still going strong. (Psycho rating: 8)

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