Barry O’Shea: My ‘Tralee Team Of The Year’

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Our GAA columnist, Barry O’Shea, makes some tough calls in picking his Tralee ‘Team Of The Year’…

Team of the yearTHE thing about these end of year teams is they’re just a bit of fun.

When selecting the team I had to make a lot of tough calls. Going on what I’ve seen in the last 12 months, I could have picked another 15 nearly as good.

Obviously, Stacks were going to dominate because they won the county and Munster championship, but a lot of players can contribute to a team without being individually brilliant.

Looking at the team, I think it would give a lot of inter-county side’s a run for their money. If you’re looking at next year’s Kerry panel there’s probably going to be about five or six players from Tralee in there.

From what history has shown us, if there’s a good crop coming out of town, Kerry football is in a healthy state to win All-Irelands.

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1, Dermot Raggett (John Mitchels)

I’ve played soccer with him he’s a very good goalkeeper, good kick outs and a good all-rounder.

2. Fearghal McNamara (Austin Stacks)

A great year for him. He won a Sigerson with UCC along with picking up a county and Munster medal with Stacks. Overall, he’s a good solid club corner-back. He was on the Kerry senior panel, but it remains to be seen if he can bring his game to the next level.

3. Barry Shanahan (Austin Stacks)

I’m not sure if you could call him a natural full-back, but there’s not a whole pile of competition for that position. Barry Shanahan could have played as much at centre-back and midfield as he did full-back.

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4. Tommy Begley (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

He’s small in stature and light, but he’s as sticky as a leech. He can kick a score as well. If he was a little bit bigger there would be a lot of talk about him – a good bit of stuff at club level.

5. Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

He had an excellent season picking up an All-Ireland Minor medal with Kerry. He has great power and pace, he could be one for the future.

Cormac Coffey

Young Kerins O’Rahilly’s player Cormac Coffey with the Tommy Markham cup he won with Kerry this year.

6. Ross O’Callaghan (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

He didn’t play as much football as he liked this year, but when he did he played well. He has improved a lot on his game. The centre-back position was a difficult one to pin down.

7. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)

In the Munster championship semi-final he was the Stacks best player, especially in the first half against Ballincollig when they were all over the place. He was like a one man show in defence that day, his teammates can thank him for their Munster medals! He’s a good footballer too as well as a defender.

Ronan Shanahan was fantastic for Austin Stacks this year. Photo by Dermot Crean.

Ronan Shanahan was fantastic for Austin Stacks this year. Photo by Dermot Crean.

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

He had an outstanding season, one of the players of the year and rightly finished up with an All-Star. He’s got it all, if he keeps working on his game he can get even better. Midfield is a position where a player can keep improving until they are 30, I can see David improving even more this year once he puts his head down, which he will do.

In 2014, David Moran announced himself on the big stage. Photo by Dermot Crean.

In 2014, David Moran came of age as a footballer. Photo by Dermot Crean.

9. Wayne Guthrie (Austin Stacks)

He had a good solid season for the Stacks, in the past he was more a bit-part player. This season he obviously knuckled down because he made great strides in his improvement as a quality club midfielder.

10. Greg Horan (Austin Stacks)

Another man for the future, a potentially Kerry standard player if he keeps improving. Great attitude along with strength and power. He could be a very good player.

Austin Stack's, Greg Horan, is one for the future. Photo by Dermot Crean.

Austin Stacks’ Greg Horan is one for the future. Photo by Dermot Crean.

11. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

He’s a shoe-in for this position. He’s been excellent for his club and for Kerry when called upon. It’s going to be difficult for him to make it onto the Kerry starting team because standards are high, but he is capable of it.

12. Mikey Collins (Austin Stacks)

This was a very difficult one to decide. I went for Mikey Collins because he performed very well for Stacks in the county championship, it was between him and Daniel Bohan who played well for Stacks from the county final onward. A toss of a coin between them.

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13. Alan O’Donoghue (John Mitchels)

He has carried the Mitchels forward line throughout the county league and been by far their best forward. He has great pace, is direct and has a great attitude. He is a player that is always improving.

14. Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)

His season swung around dramatically as we all know well. He was carrying an injury and maybe getting a bit of stick from supporters, if he was professional we mightn’t have seen him at all this year because they wouldn’t take the chance with his injury.

A game-changing player, that any team would have.

Kieran Donaghy walks onto this team. Photo by Dermot Crean.

Kieran Donaghy walks onto this team. Photo by Dermot Crean.

15. Shane O’Callaghan (Austin Stacks)

I could have gone for David Mannix in this position, but I went for O’Callaghan, purely on his work rate and effort. O’Callaghan is in with the Kerry set-up and played McGrath Cup last year so he’s in a good position to make the Kerry team, but I think he needs to add more scores to his game. He has the right attitude to keep improving though.

Players unlucky to miss out are: Andrew Barry, Jack Savage, Shane Carroll, Daniel Bohan and David Mannix

In total: eight from Austin Stacks, five from Kerins O’Rahilly’s, two from John Mitchels 

Tralee Team

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