In a time when the influence of a goalkeeper on a team’s overall tactical structure is more important than ever we take a look at 5 of the best in the business as inter-county football gets ready for its resumption in October.
- 1. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
There can only be one man at the top of this list.
The Dublin legend has revolutionised the position of a gaelic football goalkeeper and paved the way for the rest of the men on this list.
His short kickouts have changed the game, and his ability to find a teammate from a restart is just about unrivalled. His shot-stopping isn’t bad either.
- 2. Rory Beggan (Monaghan)
The Monaghan No 1 has been consistently one of the best goalkepers in Ireland over the last decade.
His ability to kick points from long range frees is matched by very few players anywhere in the country, while his ability to distribute the ball accurately will prove even more important to his county this year with the new rules banning a pass-back to a goalkeeper from a kickout.
- 3. Niall Morgan (Tyrone)
The Tyrone goalkeeper is not only a top class shot-stopper and long range free-taker, but he also acts as a quarter back type figure for his team now.
His ability to get involved and impact general play within Mickey Harte’s team has seen him come to the fore in recent years, and he also manages to aid his team with scores from play when the opportunity presents itself.
- 4. Shaun Patton (Donegal)
The Donegal No 1 has emerged as one of the best keepers in Ireland since he joined Declan Bonner’s panel in 2018.
A former league of Ireland goalkeeper, Patton’s ability to find a teammate with his extremely accurate and lengthy kick-outs have added a new dimension to the Donegal game-plan as they continue to evolve under Bonner and former Mayo boss Stephen Rochford.
- 5. Graham Brody (Laois)
Another fine exponent of the modern style gaelic football goalkeeper is Laois No 1 Graham Brody.
The Portlaoise native is probably more well known to people around Ireland for his regular forays up the field in support of his outfield teammates, than he is for producing top quality saves, but make no mistake the Laois keeper is more than capable in that department also, as he has proved time and time again for the O’ Moore county.