Midfield for any Gaelic football team is a vital area of the pitch, and having top quality players in the midfield positions is instrumental to any team’s chances of success. Here we take a look at the top 5 midfielders in Gaelic football
Brian Fenton (Dublin)
Without doubt the finest midfielder in the land. The measure of the Raheny man’s greatness is the fact that he is already in the discussion as the greatest midfielder to ever play Gaelic football by the age of 27.
He is the driving force behind the greatest team to ever play the game and has won an All Ireland every year of his senior inter county career so far.
Fenton has proved almost unstoppable from his midfield position over recent years, with his now trademark runs from deep resulting in numerous goals for him and his team.
The towering midfielder has won man of the match awards in All Ireland finals, and was named footballer of the year in 2018, an award he will no doubt win again in the future.
2. James McCarthy (Dublin)
A Rolls Royce of a footballer.
The Ballymun man could easily have made the defenders list such is his versatility but its at midfield where McCarthy truly shines in a Dublin jersey. A three time all star, he, like so many great players in any sport comes alive when it matters most.
A tremendous athlete as well as a supremely talented footballer, McCarthy is often overlooked when compared with the other superstars of the Dublin team, but it is very often McCarthy that is the catalyst of the Dubs greatest performances.
3. Michael Murphy ( Donegal )
The subject of so much debate, what is Michael Murphy’s best position.
He is named in our midfield list but could quite easily make the forwards list, such is the ability the Glenswilly man possesses.
It is at midfield though that Murphy has his greatest overall influence on his team these days. Here, accompanied by the lung bursting runs of Ryan McHugh he can feed the inside threat of players like Paddy McBrearty and Jamie Brennan.
These pacy inside forwards allow Murphy to be the conductor of the Donegal orchestra from a deeper position, and not be viewed as their only attacking threat, as he has been for many years.
This midfield position also allows Murphy the luxury of using his football intelligence to ghost into score taking positions from out the field, while also dropping deeper to provide a screen in front of his defence.
4. Aidan O’ Shea ( Mayo )
The heartbeat of the Mayo sides under James Horan and Stephen Rochford that came so close to finally ending their county’s long wait for an All Ireland triumph, Aidan O’ Shea is one of the most recognised names in Gaelic football and well worth his spot as one of the top 5 midfielders in gaelic football.
The powerhouse from Breaffy can cause havoc around the field with his strength and skill when he is at his best, and has even done a stint at full back to quell Kieran Donaghy’s influence in the 2017 All Ireland semi final.
At midfield is where the 30 year old has only a select number of rivals though, especially in the air, where his ability to field a high ball can be challenged by very few in the game today. O’ Shea’s ability to break tackles from midfield, and attract defenders through his sheer physical strength also make him so important to the way Mayo play.
Entrusted with the captaincy by Horan, O’ Shea will look to be the leader that can take Mayo to the promised land in this fragmented 2020 season.
Kerins O’ Rahilly’s clubman Moran is fundamental to any hopes Kerry have of catching Dublin.
The Kingdom are building a youthful and exciting team under Peter Keane, but the key component to any hopes they may have of silverware remains midfielder Moran.
A brilliant fielder in midfield Moran is also an extremely skilful footballer, and he is vital to the way Kerry move the ball forward from their defence.
At his best when he is sitting in front of his defenders initiating attacking moves, Kerry fans will be hoping for a big championship from their star midfielder when inter county football resumes in October.