St. Patrick’s GAC Lisburn opted for a committee of four to select their ‘Best 15’ footballers and came up with an impressive 15 as our feature on ‘Best 15’ footballers from your club reaches the closing stages. After today we have O’Donnell’s, Pearses and Ballycastle on file and are still hoping to hear from Eire Og and Lochra Loch Lao if they can forward their teams in the next couple of days.
Super Pats ‘Best 15’
St.Patricks took the creation of their best team to a selection panel, made up of Mick Lynch ( Club President and Club Legend , Peter Burns (Chairperson), Kieran Drayne and Peter Mallon , lifetime stalwarts of the club ,which stretched back to the formation of the club in 1965 to the present day- which is quite unique. Mick Lynch, as anyone who knows him, regaled us all with the stories of heavy hits, broken noses, an odd melee and of the skilled footballers who played for St.Patricks.
The panel started with 50 players, which was whittled down to the best 15, a subs bench to create an exceptional squad and honourable mentions. The selected players had the following attributes –long term commitment, positional expertise and championship quality. They also acknowledged those who played for Antrim.
- Paul Lavery (RIP) – Top class goalkeeper, central to the 1990 JFC win. ‘Lav’ loved the craic and loved to sing. He entertained the Derry fans in ’92 outside the Cat & Cage.
- Thomas Burns –‘Tucker’ has played for 8 years on the senior squad. Mc Larnon Cup winner with CBS. Strong under the high ball and a solid man-marker.
- Pat Cassidy (RIP) – ‘Shovels’- Quiet and unassuming gentleman. Played with panache, elegance and assurance. Mc Rory and Hogan Cup winner with St.Colman’s Newry. Plucked the ball from the air with hands like shovels.
- Peter Mulholland – ‘Elbows’ –Peter took no prisoners, scrupulously fair though back in the day , he hit hard and played harder.
- Ben Mc Mullan –‘Benji’ built like a tank , runs like a greyhound, a half forwards worst nightmare. Captain of the 2019 JFC winners.
- Eamon Drayne – stylish CHB , great engine , a ‘Lynch’pin for Mick O’Leen.
He took a defeat very badly.
- Sean Fay –‘Seanie’ – marauding LHB, played Antrim U21s, blighted by a knee injury , but still playing for the SA footballers when required., from the Fay Dynasty.
Like a lot of clubs, the panel went for the best midfield combination.
- Liam Mulholland – ‘Doggie’- Captain of the 1990 JFC winners. Covered every blade of grass in every match.
- Liam Mc Stravick – ‘Sticks’ – Around 6ft 2”. Massive holding midfielder, a great eye for a long-range point, complimented the lung bursting runs of his Midfield buddy.
- Kevin Lenaghan – ‘Speedy’ – Incredible pace and very talented baller. Exceled in ’90 JFC final, scoring a goal at Casement, that is still talked about today. Unmarkable.
- Tony Ferris – sublime skill set, changed the direction of a game with ease. Emigrated to NZ and represented his adopted country at soccar.
- Mick ‘Og’ Lynch – ‘Wee Mick’ – Quick and accurate with An educated left foot. Perfected the Frank Mc Guigan dummy. Right, Left, Bang. U21 Ulster Chamionship winner with Antrim.
- Josh Mc Mullan – ‘Twin’ – turbo boosters on, he leaves defenders in his wake. A baller who plays to win. Has his own fan club.
- Billy Drake – Strong, Robust, pacy and a full back’s worst nightmare. Played for Antrim. Pure Baller. Equally proficient with either foot. When Billy got on the ball, there was only two outcomes a goal or a point.
- Niall Ward – ‘Wardie’- second player to make onto two teams. Niall managed the senior team to the ultimate goal of a JFC in 2019. His contribution on the field oozed class, toughness and determination.
- Peter O’Neill- youngest player to make the panel, at 21, has played Senior football for five years. Consistent performer in goals, outstanding in 2019 JFC.
- Peter Mallon – ‘Muzz’ –stylish and hard-working HB, linked up well with Billy Drake, never got a return ball though. Longest serving member of the senior team & management. Complained to referees on the pitch and nothing has changed on the side line!
- Jack Mc Mullan – ‘Jacko’- stylish, hard-working man-marker. Always does the job the manager needs. Horrendous dress sense ! Third Mc Mullan to make it.
- Tomas Fay- ‘Big T’ – A foot soldier, who takes no prisoners, loyal servant through two decades, 2019 JFC medal was a fitting reward for his service to the club. Like a fine wine, getting better with age. Loves Co.Down, as he was born on the other side of the river Lagan.
- Damien Morgan- played for the club for a long number of years. A consistent performer.
- Francis Mc Meel – ‘The Postman’- Tyron’s loss was Lisburn’s gain. Francie is a stylish and cultured forward who always delivers.
- Seamus Mc Grath (RIP) – Seamus tragically died in a car accident in his prime. A fantastic footballer, whose loss was felt throughout the club.
Honourable mentions – players who graced the team sheets with distinction-
Gerry Lennon, Eoin Fay, Mick Jameson, paddy Morgan, Kieran Toal, Kevin Parker, John Toner, Damien Johnston, Mark Chernek and Kevin Fay.
A great opportunity to reflect on those who have created great memories.