The Best XV I have Played Against: Shaun Sharkey

Shaun Sharkey has been playing adult football with his club Dungloe for 25 years, while he has also represented Donegal at underage level.

He has come up against some top quality players over the course of his career and has this week picked the best fifteen he has faced.

Sean Sweeney (Gaoth Dobhair)


Sean was a very solid goalkeeper for Gaoth Dobhair. He was always well organised and made sure he did the basics right. He made his defence feel confident.

Denis Ferry (Cloughaneely)

I would have played with and against Denis a good bit when we were younger and he always stood out. He was a strong corner-back who rarely gave you an inch but he was a good footballer too.

Johnny Bonner (Naomh Conaill)

Johnny was a corner stone of that good Glenties team down through the years. He has had a bit of trouble with injuries over the last few years but he was a good full-back. Some other players might have got more of the credit at the time but Johnny was one of the main focal points of that team.

Johnny Bonner, Naomh Conaill. Donegal Senior County Football Championship Final, Naomh Conaill, Glenties v St. Eunan’s, MacCumhail Park, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Hughie Cunningham (Naomh Columba)

Hughie had a great knack of knocking the ball away from you just as you thought you were going to get it. He was a great athlete and very quick. He emigrated over to London for work, and if it wasn’t for that, would have played for Glencolmcille for a long time.

Eoin Waide (Naomh Conaill)

Eoin had a great engine and he could keep going all day. He has been one of Naomh Conaill’s main men over last ten years or more. Usually when we played them, someone would be asked to track Waide’s runs and it wasn’t an easy job.

Owenie McGarvey (Naomh Muire)

I always kept a close eye on our neighbours and Owenie was a very good footballer. He was a leader for Naomh Muire, and any success they had, he was involved in it. I hear he has a child on the way in Dungloe so I’m looking forward to him taking our Under 6 team with the club in a few years!

Owenie Mc Garvey.

Brian Gillespie (Naomh Muire)

Brian can be a bit hot-headed at times, but he has been one of Naomh Muire’s most reliable players down through the years. He is usually asked to mark the opposition’s best player, and they don’t get it easy as a result.

Kevin Rafferty (St Eunan’s)

I wouldn’t have played much against Raff at underage but I did at senior and he was a fabulous footballer who made the game look effortless. He was unlucky that he didn’t get more of a run with the county, but he was a very consistent man with ‘Eunan’s down through the years.

St Eunan’s Kevin Rafferty in action against Stephen Coyle of St Michaels. Photo: Donna McBride.

Kenneth Doherty (Ardara)

Kenny was always a solid performer for Ardara. A lot of the time he was given the job of marking the other team’s big name and that didn’t bother him. Any day you came up against Kenny it was going to be tough.

Ciaran Bonner (Glenswilly)

Ciaran got a good run with Donegal under Brian McIver but it was more at club level that he stood out for me. He was key to Glenswilly’s success and delivered on the big days.

Ciaran Bonner

Denis Boyle (Cloughaneely)

Denis was a good lively player that led the line for Cloughaneely for years. He was as equally good at soccer and was very skilful player with a sweet left foot.

JP Boyle (Naomh Muire)

John Paul Boyle was an absolutely fantastic player. He probably should have played a lot for the county but emigrated for work. I had many big battles with him and he was very hard to play against.

JP Gallagher (Cloughaneely)

I would have played a lot against JP at underage and in schools football for Rosses against PCC. He was a real quality player and it was only injury that stopped him from going on and making a greater impact at senior level.

Seamie ‘Coshia’ Friel

Seamie was as strong as a bull and very quick off the mark. He knew where the posts were and would score seven or eight points a game. We wouldn’t have played against Fanad or teams from that side of the county too often but ‘Coshia’ made his mark when we played them.

Martin Caulfield

Martin Caulfield (Na Rossa)

Martin was from just up the road, and was a big player for Na Rossa. He is the same age as myself so I would have had a lot of dealings with him. He was very fast and strong and probably should have played more with the county than he did.

DUNGLOE siblings Shaun and Helena Sharkey represented their country with distinction at the recent European Championships in Nantes, France.


Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland