MAC'S VIEW: Time to select my favourite Donegal full-forwards

Brian rounds off his team selection by picking his best players at No. 14

Mac's View

Michael Murphy celebrates scoring a goal in the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final win over Mayo PICTURE: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Since lockdown began, Brian McEniff has been selecting his favourite Donegal players in different positions. From week No. 1, when he chose his favourite goalkeepers, Brian's picks have been generating plenty of debate on social media. Today Brian finishes off his team by picking his favourite players at No. 14. Our thanks to Brian for a brilliant feature

We are down to the last selection in our best players who represented Donegal in my time and this week I'm choosing players in the full-forward position.
Ironically, it was one of the more easier tasks to name the best three to wear the No 14 jersey and the players I have selected could have played on the same team, such was their versatility.
The three are Michael Murphy, Tony Boyle and the late Seamus Bonar.
Michael Murphy - I could have selected him anywhere on the team, but his greatest potential with Donegal is at full-forward.
No words of mine could describe him; the complete player, a great captain and he has been so good for Donegal. An unreal footballer; can do everything.

Seamus Bonar - a wonderful player who made a great contribution to Donegal GAA

I think Larry Tompkins put it best when he says 'he was the best player in Ireland for last 10 years.'
Tony Boyle - I took him into the squad in 1990. He had been playing a bit of soccer and had damage to his knees. I talked to him over Christmas and he made a commitment for the rest of his career.
Unfortunately he picked up a virus in 1993 and while we were short a number of first team players, his absence was a huge loss. He had all the attributes of a good full-forward.
Seamus Bonar grew into playing as a full-forward. He would have started out at midfield and won an Ulster medal there in 1972.
Then against Antrim in '74, a team which always gave us problems, he hit four goals and scored two penalties in the final against Down.
He also got a goal in the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway before he was taken out. Was a goal scoring machine at that time.
He was still there in 1983 and then joined the Donegal backroom team. He made a great contribution to Donegal. I remember him playing underage for Drumbar along with the late Brendan Martin. Phonsie Travers was chairman, secretary, manager and kitman at Drumbar at that time.
Other than the three I have selected, Pauric McShea would have played at full-forward in his early days; Fionn Gallagher played there as did Sean O'Donnell and John Hannigan played up there in his later football life.

Tony Boyle - came into the Donegal squad in 1990. A brilliant player whose career was hampered by injury

Before them the likes of Dr Tom McGinley and John Andy Campbell were at No 14. John Andy was on the Ulster minor winning team of 1956 and had potential, but had a short senior career.
Back in the day Jim ‘Gouldie’ McGettigan was a strong full-forward, as was his son, Leslie.
Then in the early 1970s a young Michael Sweeney came into the panel and was full-forward in 1972. But like many, he had knee problems.
Jim McGuinness came in as a full-forward after playing there as a minor, while Frank Rushe, a Galway native, who joined St Eunan's, was also a strong performer.
Gerald McElwee from Dungloe also featured and replaced Seamus Bonar in 1974 in Croke Park. Adrian Sweeney also played there, while Hughie Travers of Four Masters featured there in the 1960, as did Sean Young, who was on the Derry panel in '58, but then joined MacCumhaills.

Outside Donegal
Outside Donegal there has been an array of top performers at full-forward.
Those that come to mind in no particular order are Kevin Heffernan, Eoin Bomber Liston, Kieran Donaghey, Peter Canavan, Tom Langan, Frankie Stockwell, Sean O'Neill, Ray Cummins, Bobby Burns, Frank McGuigan, Art O'Hagan, James Brady, Padraic Joyce, Ned Doogue, Mattie Forde, Liam McHale, Kevin O'Brien, Declan Browne, Aidan O'Shea, Tom Long, Andy Moran.
It is a very difficult choice but I'll go with Sean O'Neill, Padraic Joyce and Frank McGuigan.

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