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GList: Fermanagh’s top performers since 2008

Here we rank the Fermanagh players with the most appearances for their county since 2008, with statistics from @thenumbersgael.

1 Ryan Jones

(117 appearances)

IT says something that Jones appears top of this list despite taking a sabbatical this season (Fermanagh fans will be hoping he’ll be coaxed back into the fold by new boss Kieran Donnelly). Jones, who has started 106 times for the Erne County, has formed a highly effective midfield partnership with Eoin Donnelly down the years, most memorably setting up Donnelly for a famous winning goal against Monaghan in the 2018 semi-final.

2 Eoin Donnelly

(114 appearances)

Donnelly’s commitment to the Fermanagh cause has been truly commendable. The big Coa midfielder rarely has an off day, and is one of the most formidable midfielders in the province. One of his proudest moments was leading Fermanagh into battle against Donegal in the 2018 Ulster final. He’s still going strong, and when asked earlier this year why he’s never taken time out, expressed his pride in representing his county. He was one of their better players against Monaghan this year, as Fermanagh more than held their own in the middle sector.

3 Barry Mulrone

(110 appearances)

Mulrone’s intercounty days seem to be at an end, and he’s currently recovering from an ACL injury while playing for his club, Devenish, but he’s given some service to Fermanagh. A dynamic and hard-working player, he was a particularly key figure in Fermanagh’s run in 2015, going from a disappointing Ulster Championship exit to reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin, where they performed admirably in Croke Park given the quality of their opposition.

4 Declan McCusker

(110 appearances)

The Ederney man crowned an impressive career when he captained his club to the Fermanagh Senior title last year, and he’s also known as a fine player for his county. Has had more than a few memorable moments for Fermanagh – hitting a late equaliser to secure a draw against Galway in the league in 2016 to cite one example. He’s one of the workhorses of the Fermanagh team, getting up and down the pitch, and always plays in an unselfish manner.

5 Sean Quigley

(101 appearances)

The Roslea sharpshooter crossed the 100-appearance mark earlier this year, and it’s testament to his quality as a player as well as his commitment levels. Quigley sometimes talks himself down in interviews almost, but he’s been a hugely important player to the Erne County down the years. He is easily their top-scoring player currently playing, and has given some stunning performances down the years. His celebration after scoring a goal against Dublin in 2015 lives long in the memory, and he’s one of the best free-takers anywhere in Ireland.

6 Aidan Breen

(92 appearances)

The likeable Tempo man showed his continued worth to Fermanagh when he scored two fine points against Monaghan in this year’s Ulster Championship defeat. He has had some good days and bad days, and was one of the players striken by Covid last year, but he’s still going strong for the county. One of his best ever performances was against Monaghan in the 2018 semi-final. He regularly chips in with a score, but he’s also a good tackler and distributer of the ball. He’s been a key cog in the Fermanagh team of the last decade.

7 Mickey Jones

(89 appearances)

The Derrygonnelly defender was a tough and tenacious part of the Fermanagh rearguard for years, lining out on many big days like the 2015 quarter-final against Dublin at Croke Park. A somewhat unheralded player, he’s still going strong with a Derrygonnelly team on the hunt for their sixth senior championship title in seven years.

8 Tomas Corrigan

(85 appearances)

Corrigan has flitted in and out of the Fermanagh team in recent years for various reasons including a decision to go travelling. That aside, he’s still racked up nearly 85 appearances for his county. The scoring burden fell on his shoulders in 2020 as Sean Quigley had taken a year out. A nippy corner-forward, his best season was in 2015 as Fermanagh reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals. He said in 2020 that he’d rediscoverd his love of the GAA after time out, but subsequently opted out of the 2021 season. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll be back next year.

9 Paul McCusker

(86 appearances)

MCCUSKER is still playing for Fermanagh, though usually in a substitute role these days. In his pomp he was a hugely energetic player, and he’s still mighty important to the Ederney cause, who are reigning senior champions in Fermanagh. The type of player who covers every blade of grass, he’s also good for taking a score or two.

10 Ryan McCluskey

(80 appearances)

A legend of Fermanagh, McCluskey played a lot of his football before 2008, so he’s mustered many more appearances in total across his career. He was one of the heroes of their run to the All-Ireland quarter-final in 2004, and is remembered for having great battles for the likes of Steven McDonnell. Has now entered the management game, leading the line at Tyrone club Beragh Red Knights, and has also been enlisted by new Fermanagh boss Kieran Donnelly as a coach.

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