Owen Mulligan's Team of the Decade: The Dubs dominate with no room for Cork and just one Kerry man included

Owen Mulligan's Team of the Decade: The Dubs dominate with no room for Cork and just one Kerry man included
James McCarthy of Dublin, a ‘Rolls Royce’ of a player according to Owen Mulligan. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

TYRONE sharp-shooter Owen Mulligan hasn't included any Rebels in his Team of the Decade.

However, the Paddy Power GAA ambassador (below) in his latest column for the betting firm's website didn't put any of his own county men in the mix either.

While there are three Ulster footballers among his 15, none are from Tyrone. Of course, the Cork footballers that looked poised to shine across the past 10 years when Sam Maguire was last captured, like Aidan Walsh and Ciarán Sheehan, didn't stay at the summit of the game.

The Dubs dominate Mulligan's All-Stars, which is fair enough, though Kerry's David Moran is unlucky to be squeezed out at midfield. 

The Kingdom are represented in Colm Cooper, but he's out of position as a wing-forward. The Gooch's best performances were in the noughties, though if we were switched with Ciarán Kilkenny in this line-up there would be more balance to the front six.

The inside line picked by the former Red Hand attacker is hard to argue with: Brogan, Murphy and McManus. 

Monaghan's Conor McManus. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Monaghan's Conor McManus. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Owen Mulligan’s Team of the Decade:

1. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin): 

“Without doubt, the greatest goalkeeper there’s ever been in the game. His ability to find a man from his kick-outs is second to none. His shot stopping ability also sets him apart from the rest. Thankfully, he got distracted by my highlights in 2005 for that goal.” 

2. Johnny Cooper (Dublin): 

“An absolute beast of a worker and reads the game extremely well. One of those guys who I’d have really relished going up against because he’d be more than happy to play you fair and straight or on the knife edge.” 

3. Neil McGee (Donegal): 

“He’s about as popular in Tyrone as Ryan McMenamin is in just about every other county in Ireland, except for Fermanagh. Comes across as a very confrontation player and plays right on the line. Every county in Ireland would love him at full-back.” 

4. Keith Higgins (Mayo): 

“If he was from Dublin, he’d have started every game for them in their run to five in a row. Still looking for his first All-Ireland medal but that hasn’t stopped him bagging four All-Star awards.” 

Keith Higgins. Picture: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Keith Higgins. Picture: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

5. Lee Keegan (Mayo): 

“Another four-time All-Star who’s gone so close to landing Sam. Fully merited his Player of the Year Award in 2016 and when you need a man to pick up a dangerous forward, he’s your guy. Also, very accurate in front of the posts and even deadlier with a GPS as well, so I’m told.” 

6. Cian O’Sullivan (Dublin): 

“He owns the number six jersey on this team. He’s like a magnet to win the ball and he’s the springboard to the Dublin attacks. He’s so creative and often dominates his sector of the field.” 

Jack McCaffrey scores a goal against Cork last summer. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Jack McCaffrey scores a goal against Cork last summer. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin): 

“In the same way that Philip Jordan owned this position in the noughties, McCaffrey has done the same in the last decade. He’s been one of the standout players for Dublin. His pace and power when driving forward creates such havoc for opposing defenders.” 

8.  Brian Fenton (Dublin): 

“Still to lose a championship game for Dublin and is one of the most complete midfielders of his generation. His high fielding, break neck speed in the attack and ability to get his own scores makes him the player he is.” 

9. James McCarthy (Dublin): 

“A ‘Rolls Royce’ of a player. He could play in any position and has now bagged seven All-Irelands playing in three different positions. Should probably have won Footballer of the Year on a couple of occasions too.” 

Paul Flynn. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Paul Flynn. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

10. Paul Flynn (Dublin): 

“An All-Star four years in a row and blessed with immense power and pace. He’s has been a huge asset for this history-making Dublin side and will go down as one of their best ever players.” 

11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin): 

“He might well have joined the ranks of the Aussie Rules before Jim Gavin got his hands on him. Such an important cog in the Dublin forward line and one of the ‘Darlings Of The Hill’.” 

12. Colm Cooper (Kerry): 

“He may only have won one All-Ireland in the last 10 years (2013) but his performances on the big days sets him apart from those around him. He was particularly effective towards the end of his career and he is a must pick for this team.” 

13. Bernard Brogan (Dublin): 

“He’s got seven All-Irelands and four All-Stars. A surgeon in that inside forward line and he was highly effective in finding the net. He was simply unmarkable in a number of Dublin’s championship-winning performances.” 

Michael Murphy shoots to score past Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke. Picture: Stephen McCarthy
Michael Murphy shoots to score past Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke. Picture: Stephen McCarthy

14.  Michael Murphy (Donegal): 

“Always feared by Tyrone and from an early stage in his career, he stood out as a true leader in the Donegal team, especially when he was captain. Hard to believe that he’s only got one All-Ireland medal but easily one of the players of the decade. Scored that belter of a goal against Mayo when they lifted Sam in 2012.” 

15. Conor McManus (Monaghan): 

“He might never have featured in an All-Ireland final but I’d have him on my team any day of the week. He’s one of those players who can light up an occasion with his skillset. A three-time All Star, he fully merits his position on my team and any team.” 

 Footballer Of The Decade – Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) 

Manager Of The Decade – Jim Gavin (Dublin) 

Goal Of The Decade – Michael Murphy v Mayo (2012 All-Ireland final)

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