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GLIST -Donegal’s All-Stars of the last ten years

2019

Michael Murphy (half-forward)

This was Murphy’s third All-star. He won it after a season in which he won his fifth Ulster championship title, and he was captain that year as well. Donegal lost to Mayo in the final round of the ‘Super Eights’ and that ended their participation in the competition.

He was the only Donegal player to be named on the team, a team that had seven Dublin players, four Kerry players, one Mayo, and two Tyrone men.

2018

Ryan McHugh (half-forward)

McHugh earned this award after a season in which he scored a goal in Donegal’s Ulster final win over Fermanagh. The county’s fourth Ulster title since 2011. This gong in 2018 was McHugh’s second All-Star award, and he had also won the GAA’s Young Player of the Year in 2014. However, he was the sole Donegal winner on the 2018 team. The team included seven Dublin players, three Monaghan players, two Tyrone players, one Kerry player and one Galway man.

2016

Ryan McHugh (half-back)

Donegal lost the Ulster final to Tyrone in 2016, but there was some joy for Ryan McHugh who won his first All-Star. His award added to the previous awards won by his father Martin, his uncle James and his brother Mark. The McHughs became only the second family, behind the Brogans of Dublin, to have a father and two sons win All-Stars. The 2016 selection also included six Dublin players, four Mayo, two from Tyrone, one from Kerry, and one from Tipperary.

2014

Paul Durcan (goalkeeper)

This was Durcan’s second All-Star. He was named after a fantastic season, with his only real blemish was giving away a goal to Kieran Donaghy in the All-Ireland final. But bar that disappointing mistake, Durcan was great from kick-outs and a reliable man in the area. His save from Diarmuid Connolly in the All-Ireland semi-final was a crucial move that led to Donegal reaching the decider.

2014

Neil McGee (full-back)

This was Neil McGee’s third All-Star. When he won this award he became only the second Donegal man – after Karl Lacey – to get more than two awards. He held James O’Donoghue scoreless in the All-Ireland final against Kerry. There was disappointment that Eamon McGee did not get a recognition for his performances in 2014 as well.

2014

Neil Gallagher (midfield)

Gallagher’s performance against Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final was a big reason why the Tír Chonaill men won that day. Gallagher did admit that he thought it was a brilliant performance, but he told the Irish Independent in 2017 that going on to lose the final would always take the shine off that year.

2014

Michael Murphy (half-forward)

The 2014 All-Star was Michael Murphy’s second award. He was captain in 2014, and was named in the half-forward line of the 2014 All-Star team. There was some discussion before the team was named about Murphy being named in the half-forwards shortlist. This move appeared to pave the way for Kieran Donaghy to be named in the full-forward line, and then Ryan McHugh would be edged out of the half-forwards.

That was the case, though McHugh was named as Young Player of the Year.

2012

Paul Durcan (goalkeeper)

Durcan’s crucial save against Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final was regarded as a pivotal moment in the 2012 campaign. He was between the sticks throughout their incredible run to All-Ireland glory that year.

2012

Neil McGee (full-back)

The 2012 award was Neil McGee’s second having won one the previous year. McGee was a steadying influence throughout the season.

2012

Karl Lacey (half-back)

Lacey provided the movement and transitional play from defence to attack. For that reason he was named as an All-Star at half-back in 2012.

2012

Frank McGlynn (half-back)

A strong ball carrier and man-marker, and also capable of turning the ball over as well. He was regarded as a certainty in the All-Star 2012 team before it was named. He was particularly good in the Ulster final win over Down.

2012

Neil Gallagher (midfield)

This was Gallagher’s first All-Star award after nine years of playing for his county, but it was well deserved after a huge year. He had a great game against Mayo, one of the performances that he said he was most proud of.

2012

Mark McHugh (half-forward)

RTÉ described Mark McHugh as one of the most versatile players to ever play the game. He had great movement and great vision, and helped to open teams up.

2012

Michael Murphy (full-forward)

He earned this award in no small part for his man-of-the match performance in the All-Ireland final. His early goal helped to give Donegal the platform they needed to get over the line.

2012

Colm McFadden (full-forward)

The stalwart finally won the holy grail that was the All-Ireland title. His goals against Mayo and Kerry were important. He had played for Donegal for 10 years so this year was huge for McFadden. He earned an All-Star for his effort as well.

2011

Neil McGee (full-back)

McGee won his first All-Star in 2011 after years of battling in the full back line for Donegal. Was a key member of the defensive unit that provided the foundation of Donegal’s success.

2011

Kevin Cassidy (half-back)

Cassidy was Donegal’s all-action half back, hammering over points, hammering attacking forwards, and hammering home the message that Donegal would not be beaten.

2011

Karl Lacey (half-back)

Lacey had won All-Star awards in 2006 and 2009, but this one was perhaps the sweetest of those three as it came on the back of Donegal’s Ulster final winning season.

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2011… Donegal’s All-Star winners, from left to right, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey and Kevin Cassidy with their awards

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SHINING BRIGHT…GAA GPA All-Star Young Footballer of the Year Ryan McHugh with his Donegal team-mates, from left, Neil McGee, Paul Durcan, Neil Gallagher and Michael Murphy with their 2014 GAA GPA All-Star awards

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