St. Agnes ‘Best 15’ footballers

Today we take a look at St. Agnes ‘Best 15’ through the eyes of one of their stalwarts, Roy McLarnon. Roy has served the ‘Aggies’ as player, manager, chairman and many other roles throughout a lifetime dedicated to the Belfast club and has also given a lifetime of service to his county.

Roy was part of Eamon Grieve’s management team back in 1989 when Antrim reached the Division 3 final and the same year the Saffrons collected the Ulster U21 championship. The St. Agnes man remains deeply involved and is part of the present Antrim backroom staff and is well qualified to pick a St. Agnes 15.

Roy McLarnon’s ‘Best 15’ St. Agnes footballers

(1) KieranMcCoy Origionally from Moneyglass and current secretary. Very dependable and a good shot stopper who varied his kick outs to good effect.

(2) Diarmuid Kelly-Very quick about the full back line. Able to read the play very well and never gave a forward any room and got forward plenty himself.

(3) Maurice Massey-Tough, uncompromising, no nonsense are just some of the many adjectives attributed to Mo-Any full forward who faced him certainly knew they were in a game.

(4) Frank Caldwell, current chairman, Very consistent and again could read the game very well and played to his strengths. Captain and great leader and led by example.

(5) Brendan Grieve-Had Brendan from U12 right through. He came from a great pedigree and played county minor 97/98 and was part of the Antrim squads who lost to the great Tyrone teams of that era in consecutive years. A very versatile player who played in a number of positions with equal distinction.

(6) Conor McQuaid-Came to us from St Enda’s /Omagh.  Conor was very committed and a great organiser at the back. One of four mentioned who won the All-Ireland Junior ‘7’s at St. Jude’s in 2001.

(7) Raymond Compston-One of the best man markers I have ever seen at any level. He never gave his man an inch, played to his strengths and done the simple things well.

(8) Kevin Lynch-Nearly didn’t include him. (He left to play for GNM for a few years) but came back to play his part in that good team of the noughties. Great fielder and very athletic with no little skill. .Rarely missed a game and played through many an injury!

(9) Joe Compston -Part of a great midfield with the aforementioned. Great fielder and scored plenty too. Perversely he played in goals on an Antrim U21 team I managed in 1990-His claim to fame was Benny Tierney playing at full forward for Armagh and never scored!

(10) Declan McLarnon –I’ll probably be accused of bias here but Declan’s feats speak for themselves. A very clever footballer who made his senior debut at 15 years of age and is still a regular on our senior team. He represented Antrim at minor level for three consecutive seasons 99/2000/2001 and U21 for two years. He played at a high level in Australia representing New South Wales winning the Australasia championship and also played for Abu Dhabi Na Fianna in the Middle East. St Judes All Ireland ‘7’s winner.

(11) Vincent McCaffrey-Vinnie, probably our best player in the past 30years. A sight to behold in full flight. Represented his native Fermanagh at senior level. Unfortunately for him and us he sustained a serious knee injury which curtailed his career.

(12) Francis Zubier-Lightning quick and very skilful, “FRA” came through the ranks with big Joe and starred in many victories at that time. The late John Morrison R.I.P. after we played An Port Mor in a challenge match before our JFC final v Cargin described him as ‘Very unorthodox but very effective’.

(13) Kevin Burke-“Burky” was a very gifted footballer and great free taker of both feet. Perversely he represented Antrim at U21 level as a corner back and his claim to fame is he marked Pat Spillane in U21 all Ireland semi-final in Tralee 1975. Prolific scorer for many years and a club stalwart.

(14) Conor “Slim” McLean-I’ve placed Slim at full forward (he has played there) because I didn’t want to break up the Lynchy/Big Joe partnership (I would never hear the end of it) One of the best fielders the Aggies have ever had and still currently on Senior football panel.

(15) Declan Crummey-(The Big Yin) Declan joined us from St John’s now approaching  40 and was first choice full forward until the current crisis struck. Declan Mor agus Declan

Beag vied for leading scorer for many, many seasons. Versatile in that he could help out at midfield when required. Hopefully when normality returns he will be able to complete his career on a winning note in a currently promising “Aggies” team.

Honourable mentions:

Kevin McVeagh-Goalkeeper with outstanding kick outs but left us before returning to assist me for many seasons.

Peter McGinnity-Very, very dependable full back.

Paul Jordan-Goalkeeper, midfielder, full forward. Mr. Reliable/Won “Man of the tournament” at St Judes “7”s

Finbar Fitzpatrick- From Latton, Co.Monaghan. Great footballer and scorer for 2/3 seasons.

Mark Caldwell-Very versatile player and gave 100% in whatever position.

Martin Duffy- Great midfielder

Conor Caldwell- At the veteran stage now but a very steady attacking half back.

John McIlhome- Played for us with great distinction in the early noughties. St Jude’s ‘7’s winner

Damien Hughes- prolific scorer.

Ronan Carroll- consistent and versatile, very good young player in the current team.

Today marks the 17th publication of ‘Best 15’ footballers sinced we launched this feature. It has been a resounding success and our readers have told us that it has generated healthy debate around their clubs as to just who was their ‘Best 15’.

We had hoped to feature every club in Antrim from the outset and currently have Glenravel, Davitt’s, All Saints and St. Brigid’s sitting as a draught waiting to be published in the next four days.

A number of clubs have not made a submission however and we would ask clubs like Aghagallon, Aldergrove, Sarsfield’s, O’Donnell’s, Pearses, Eire Og, St. Malachy’s, St. Patrick’s Lisburn, Ballycastle and Laochra Loch Lao to make their submissions ASAP.

It’s Just a bit of fun!

Submissions to ptrckmclwn@yahoo.co.uk or john.mcilwaine@yahoo.co.uk

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