St. Malachy’s ‘Best 15’

As we near the end of our ‘Best 15’ footballers feature we would like to thank all the clubs who have submitted teams and the response has been truly remarkable. The feature has been a great success, thanks in no small way to the individuals who have taken on the challenge to select their club’s ‘Best 15’ and, I’m sure have had to take some flak for their selections.

After today we have St. Patrick’s Lisburn and Pearses and O’Donnell’s on file and only Ballycastle and Lochra Loch Lao have failed to submit side but there’s still time. Send your ‘Best 15’ selection to or

Today we look at St. Malachy’s GAC’s ‘Best 15’ through the eyes of someone who simply wants to be known as ‘Oul Hand’ and we respect his request for anonymity. It can be a thankless business this selecting your club’s Best 15 but ‘Oul Hand’ has stepped up to the plate and came up with a strong looking side.

Oul Hand’s St. Malachy’s ‘Best 15’

This was a really tough team to pick and I’m sure I will upset a few friends by not putting them in lol. So if you could just say this came from an Oul Hand that would be great. A serious bunch of reprobate’s but all round good guys that gave it all for the jersey.

1- Andy Devlin. Andy was probably the best keeper in my opinion. Good talker, brilliant shot stopper and brave to a fault. A serious knee injury cut short his playing days.

2- Hugh McGrattan. Scratt was a monster and could really shift over the ground. Very intelligent player and a no nonsense defender who you loved a battle.

3-.Kevin Dobbin. Probably made the team for the years of service he gave. Strong in the air kept things simple and played to his abilities.

4- Johnny Carlisle. One of the nicest people you would ever meet off the pitch but looks are deceiving. A great engine and had pace to burn and he would and literally did run through walls to get possession. I’ve seen many a crumpled body after an exchange with Johnny, but he wasn’t a dirty player just very, very tough.

5-.Anthony Dobbin. Playing Anto out of position here but he could play anywhere. He is the Forrest Gump of the team with a fitness level unmatched and stamina to run all day blended with the skill to take people on and get past as if they weren’t there. That why I’ve put him out wide so he can ran up and down. The only downside is he has chocolate ankles.

6- Mark Connolly. Jimmy is a player who loves to get on the ball (maybe a bit too much) and try and attack at every opportunity but he is a solid defender and a good team player. He just loves the roundabout style of play.

7-.Peter Murray.  Peter came to play towards the end of his time but what an impact and influence he had on the team. From changing the style of fitness training to leading by example on pitch.  A gentleman but he was also some craic. 

8- Ciaran Vernon. A player of pure skill, technical ability and first class attitude. The now club captain just seems to ooze class when on a pitch and is usually these days the go to guy to get things going. He just seems to glide over the surface and makes things look so easy and always seems to know what to do when to do 

. Another player with great fitness levels and a skill to get past people. Worked well with his partner in middle of park and could take a score from most places. Very accurate with frees and 45’s. He would also tell anyone that would listen how good he was and how great his scores were lol.

9- Gerard McMullan. Ulla was the work horse for the team in middle third. He done a lot of the unselfish dirty work that maybe most never seen to allow other people to go forward for the headlines. He was also a proper baller too who could pick a pass and dictate the tempo of a game. 

10- Paddy Neeson. The real good guy that everyone not only in his own team but other teams totally respected. He never caused a fuss or a scene and he played the game the way it should be played. A player who gave his all and had an outstanding pair off hands that never failed. A strong runner with the ball and could use both feet to great effect. Top notch player.

11- Stephen Dobbin. Another player with great fitness levels and a skill to get past people. Worked well with his partner in middle of park and could take a score from most places. Very accurate with frees and 45’s. He would also tell anyone that would listen how good he was and how great his scores were lol.

12- Collie Connolly. The knackers dog as he is known was a very hard working and skilful wing forward back then. He could pull scores out of nothing and change a game when it was needed and would always work for the good of the team. He’s to be found down around the defence area these days.

13-.Karl McKavana. Hyper is something that not many people could describe. A voice that could wake the dead. He is a match winner on his day a forward who once gets the ball is hard to win back off and he could take scores that would grace Croke Park on any Championship Sunday. His only downfall is that there seems to be a broken link between his brain and his mouth because although we know what should be said the nonsense that comes out of his mouth is laughable.

14- Martin Walsh. The Legend that is Walter. This guy was just pure class. I never seen a player who could sell a dummy like him and with a shimmy and a shammy he was away and the ball usually ended up in back of net. A real goal getter but could take a fine point too and was a real focal point and target for the out ball. Very very underrated player.

15- Patrick Turley. The brains of the forward line. Although he would usually play deeper out for his ability to see a pass before anyone else he is in there for his ability to win ball and either take a score or create chances for others with his movement off the ball. 

If it’s ok I would like to give a few honourable mentions to people I left out. Billy McManus Michael Mitchell Jim McGivern Stephen Glennon  Neil and Ciaran Drain and Damien Bannon would all get into the team without doubt but I just tried to balance it out a bit. Ciaran Vernon is another who is an absolute baller and a machine who just glides through games but I only ever played once or twice with him and that’s the only reason why he’s not in. 

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