With the Leitrim Senior County Championship finally being decided last Saturday evening, competitive football ended in Ireland for another year. With that in mind we decided to have a little fun and try to put together our choices for the stand-out performers of this years All-Ireland football championship. Of course one county dominated Gaelic football in 2015, and naturally they also dominate our team of All Stars. Hope you agree with our choices!
1 – Cathal McCrann (Leitrim)
Not a great year of goalkeepers this year – it looks like the big 2 of the past 10 years, Stephen Cluxton and Paul Durcan, are basically finished. Therefore, for our team, we have to look elsewhere. It may be seen as a bit biased to include a fellow Leitrim man in our All Star team but Cathal McCrann conceded an average of only a goal a game in the championship and conceded zero scores whatsoever to any of Kerry, Mayo or Dublin all year long. Impressive.
2 – Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Leitrim)
There is a school of thought within the GAA that it’s beneficial to have a dirty bastard playing corner back, and there’s no older dirty bastard than Leitrim’s no. 2 – Ol’ Dirty Bastard from the Wu Tang Clan. Just look at his list of stats for the season: 14 misdemeanours, 8 felonies, 9 car jackings, at least 1 instance of regicide, 3 eyes (successfully) gouged, 13 caps popped in opposition players asses. And all without a single booking all season long. Naysayers will no doubt point out the fact that referees were afraid to approach ODB for his tendency to carry a glock with him at all times, but then again there’s nothing against carrying firearms on the pitch in the rule book.
On a side note, Leitrim County Board would like to thank Mr. Bastard for his rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann at the recent county final replay, but would like to respectfully point out that they don’t think the national anthem neither starts with the phrase ‘Party People, holler at me’ nor ends with ‘Wu Tang Clan ain’t nuthin to fuck with’
3 & 4 – Bebop and Rocksteady (Leitrim)
Leitrim’s high profile signings Bebop and RockSteady (Pictured above at their unveiling at Wrynns Pub, Ballinaglera) were brought in to fill a weakness in Leitrim’s backline, and they performed admirably all year long, especially considering the difficulty they encountered with the physics of playing Gaelic football as cartoon characters. Its frightening to think the heights these two can potentially achieve, especially if the rumour that Leitrim County Board are considering moving Pairc Sean to inside the Technodrome, comes to fruition.
5 – Tom Gannon (Leitrim)
We previously mentioned Tom Gannon in one of our posts and were promptly criticised by some for disrespecting his good name, which was not our intention at all. To make amends we have included him in our team of the year at wing back. By winning this award Gannon becomes the only man to win an All Star and the WWE Intercontinental Championship Belt in the same calendar year after The Great Khali and the author of this post.
6 – Declan D’arcy (Leitrim)
To be perfectly honest, like most people, I dozed off early during the All Ireland final, and only woke up when the celebrations were in full swing. Lo and behold, what greeted me but the wonderful sight of Declan D’arcy dancing around the pitch with joy. I can only speculate that Dublin and Kerry and the other Balrogs who run the GAA were kicked out of Croke Park by a pitchforck wielding mob and that D’arcy led Leitrim to a famous win against the only other non reptilian team in Ireland (New York).
7 – King Agamemnon (Leitrim)
A sack of wine he must certainly is but King Agamemnon is nothing if not a leader of men. As a 3,000 year old semi mythical ruler, King Agamemnons age and mortality are surely a major concern for Leitrim GAA going forward (Like a lot of members of this team it must be said).
8 – Skeletor (Leitrim)
I’m not going to lie, I was extremely dubious when I heard that Leitrim’s management were thinking of calling up Skeletor to the county panel – after all he is on my (admittedly long) list of mortal enemies. But what a midfielder. His telepathic skills, freeze rays and ability to open gateways between dimensions were revolutionary this year, and were seen to great effect in Leitrim’s narrow 9 point loss to the mighty warriors of Louth in round 1 of the qualifiers.
On the downside, it was unsavory to see him sledging his opponents during matches – no one likes to be called a dolt, a halfwit, or Lord bless us and save us, a brainless boob.
9 – Grace Jones (Leitrim)
It’s obviously very important to put your strongest men in midfield, and who’s a stronger man than Leitrim’s Grace Jones? Not much was expected when Jones started her 6 year long Drum and Bass club night residency in the Cosy Corner pub in Kiltyclogher last September, but she was a surprise standout performer at the county trials last winter, and gained a tough reputation in her first year in GAA, not least when she threw referee Pat McEnaney off a bridge after a match when he had the temerity to award a free against her.
10 – The Midget From the Man with the Golden Gun (Leitrim)
Leitrims wing forward, The Midget from the Man with the Golden Gun, was a throwback to simpler days when midgets were carefree folk, not like the scheming midgets we have been force fed these past few years (Tyrion Lannister and Knacker Dwarf, for example). As anyone who has marked a midget will tell you, they’re a very crafty folk and they’re extremely difficult to mark without giving away about 40 frees. Plus they will humiliate you if they get the chance, as seen above when Leitrim’s no. 10 bounced the ball against the Roscommon players face 73 times in a row.
11 & 12 – Cher & Liberace (Leitrim)
Although neither of these players had much of an impact on the field of play themselves, Cher and Liberace certainly are Stars, and this list is literally about All-Stars, so they have to be included. Liberace’s most notable contribution on the pitch was in a League match back in March when most of the opposition Carlow panel perished when a gigantic 90 foot candelabra fell on them in the pre-match warm up. Understandably Leitrim coasted to an easy victory that day.
For her part, Cher had a mostly disappointing year on the pitch, but had a big hit with her song ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’, which she wrote after some Roscommon substitutes stole the Abe’s Odyssey and Duke Nukem games for the PS One she had in her kit bag, during an FBD League match in January.
13 – Packy McGarty (Leitrim)
Packy McGarty (or Gacky McParty as he probably doesn’t like to be called) is Leitrim’s best ever footballer, and played for the county team for 23 years before embarking on a successful Hollywood career, winning consecutive Academy Awards for his performances in Captains Courageous and Boys Town. He returned to the panel this year and continued where he left off. McGarty says that his biggest pet hate is the high number of people that get him mixed up with Spencer Tracy. His partner Katharine Hepburn was unavailable for comment.
14 – Ray Cox (Leitrim)
The trouble opposition counties have with Ray Cox is the same trouble Saudi Arabia had with big Gary Breen back in the 2002 World Cup – you take a look at him, assume he’s shit, but then when you’re not looking for a split second he nips in with a big toe and the ball’s nestling in the corner of the net. You’re not quite sure how it’s happened, but you definitely are sure that you’ll be getting 50 lashes from Grand Mufti Abdulaziz when you get home.
15 – Julio Cruz (Leitrim)
Good player, Julio Cruz, in fairness.