Tommy Daly is a Letterkenny Gaels stalwart and played senior football for his club for the best part of 15 years.
He could play in the half-back line or midfield, but it was usually the number three jersey he was given.
Daly is now involved with the Letterkenny Gaels senior and reserve management teams, and this week he picked the best fifteen he faced over the course of his career.
Paul Given (Naomh Padraig, Lifford)
Paul could play outfield, but his best position was in nets. His kick-outs were excellent, and he was comfortable on the ball and helping his team work the play out from the back.
Lorney Crossan (Naomh Padraig, Lifford)
Anybody who went up against Lorney, didn’t get much change from him. He was a fine all round player but a real solid man too. When we played Lifford, Lorney would often pick up Mark Hunter, who was our best player, and he wouldn’t give him any space at all.
Ryan McKinley (Naomh Colmcille)
Ryan was probably best known as a midfielder, but he was a strong full-back too if there was a big man inside. The only way I could describe him was that he was a pure bull on the field. If you stood and said nothing to him everything was grand, but if you were giving crap, Ryan would soon cut you down.
Gary Wilson (Naomh Padraig, Lifford)
On his day, Gary was able to destroy teams when he played for Lifford. He has since moved to MacCumhaill’s but he was a big leader when he played for Lifford even from a young age. He was good on the ball but he could do a job for the team as well.
Tony McClenaghan (Moville)
Tony is a very strong and pacey player and he’s very good at running the ball out of defence. He’s a hard man to stop when he’s at full speed. Injuries have probably stopped him getting a good run with Donegal, but he is a top class player.
Packie Mailey (St Mary’s, Convoy)
Packie has played a few times against us at midfield, but I think he’s at his best when he’s sitting at centre half-back. He’s an option for short kick-outs from there, and very few teams are going to be able to work the ball down the middle when Packie’s there.
Thomas McKinley (Naomh Colmcille)
Tommy was a serious player for Newtown. He was so quick from half-back and he could score goals and points. When we played them we had to put one of our best players, Ciaran Cannon, on him and they had some brilliant battles. I’d have a lot of respect for Tommy, and he’s a big loss for Naomh Colmcille.
Malachy McDermott (Moville)
Malachy is a great midfielder and he works so hard around the field. He can hurt you if he has the ball, and if the opposition has it, he will do everything he can to try and win it back. He has a good pair of hands on him too.
Damien Browne (Red Hugh’s)
Damien is a similar player to Malachy but what also stands out for him is that he is a great free-taker too. Even out in the middle of the field, there’s a fair chance he would put a free over. He’s always been an important player for Red Hugh’s.
Ciaran Diver (Moville)
Ciaran is another really strong ball-carrier. He has got pace to burn and when he gets going, your only choice is to pull him down or it’s a certain goal. He’s a hard man to try and mark.
Pauric Curley (Milford)
Pauric was one of the best playmakers I went up against. He was great at picking up ball in the middle of the field and he would be scanning the forward line to see who he could hit.
Barry O’Hagan (Naomh Colmcille)
Unfortunately I had to man-mark Barry a few times and that was not easy believe me because he was a brilliant all-round footballer. He was coming towards the end of his career when he moved to Newtown but he was still quick and strong, and if he gave you a shoulder, you knew you were hit.
Damien Diver (Naomh Padraig, Muff)
Damien Diver from Muff was a real quality player. He wasn’t really a man for taking you on, but he didn’t need to even look at the posts to score. If he beat you out to the ball, then it would be going over the bar, so I always had to mark him in front or by his side because you just couldn’t afford to let him beat you to the ball.
Alan Lyons (Naomh Ultan)
Big Alan was a nightmare to mark. He would remind you of Michael Murphy with that big frame and he could just hold you off. He’s a goal machine too and never content to go for a point. He wants to put it in the onion bag. Alan’s a nice fella off the pitch but when he’s in the game, he’s in the game.
Cathal McGettigan (Milford)
I always say that marking Cathal McGettigan in matches and Conor McBrearty in training retired me as a senior footballer. I couldn’t get anywhere near Cathal. I would have thought I was good enough at reading the game but Cathal would make these dummy runs and I’d be lost. I’d rate him as one of the best players I played against.