The Best XV I have Played Against: Sean McEwen

Sean McEwen enjoyed a long and distinguished career with St Eunan’s.

He made his debut ‘Eunan’s in 1992, and played with them until 2007, while he also had a short spell with Clonmel Commercials in Tipperary.

McEwen represented Donegal at underage level, and played for the senior side for three seasons.


He currently lives in Chicago, but still holds a burning passion for the black and amber.

McEwen went up against some top quality players over his career, and has this week picked the best fifteen he faced.

Paul Durcan

Paul Durcan (Four Masters)

I only played against Paul once or twice because he would be around ten years younger than me but he was a key reason as to why Four Masters beat us in 2003. He had a lot of authority even at that stage, and was ahead of his time in creating a platform to attack from his kick-outs.

Niall McCready (Aodh Ruadh)

I played a lot with Niall at underage level and we had some good battles on the pitch as well. He was a great man-to-man marker but well able to contribute to the play as well. A top class teammate.



Niall McCready


Seamus Moynihan (UCC)

I played with Queen’s in the Sigerson Cup and we had a great side made up of nearly entirely of inter-county players. We won it in 2000, but we were nearly beaten in the semi-final by Seamus Moynihan, who drove UCC on that day. He was an incredible footballer and probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

John Joe Doherty (Naomh Columba)

Glen were our bogey team with St Eunan’s for a few seasons, and we always had great trouble getting past John Joe. We did beat them in 1997 when we had Leslie McGettigan to keep John Joe busy. He was one of the best markers Donegal has ever produced.


John Joe Doherty

Barry McGowan (Killybegs)

Barry was one of the most stylish players in Donegal when I played. He could defend and attack, and could cover the ground so quickly. When you played against Killybegs, you never knew where he would turn up.

Noel Hegarty (Naomh Columba)

On his day, Noel was a force of nature. Glen probably should have won more in the nineties but it wasn’t for the want of trying from Noel. He was a ferocious competitor.

Damien Diver (Ardara)

I played a lot with and against Damien at underage, and from that era, he was the best player about. He was hugely committed to Ardara and Donegal. Ardara won two championships in 2000 and 2004, and Damien was the single biggest reason for that.

Damien Diver


Paul McGrane (Armagh)

I played with Paul at Queen’s and I would have played against him at underage level with Donegal. He had great authority and discipline on the field. He trained hard when he was 18 and 19 to build himself up and was years ahead of his time.

Eamon O’Hara (Sligo)

Eamon O’Hara was probably the most athletic player I ever went up against. He had great workrate and would cover every blade of grass on the pitch, while he was able to take a score too.

Eamon O’Hara

Diarmaid Marsden (Armagh)

Diarmaid was another man I was fortunate to play with and unfortunate to play against for Armagh. He was a very driven man and if he got a head of steam up, there was no stopping him. A quality player.

John Gidea (Naomh Conaill)

John was a fine footballer, who always seemed to up his game against St Eunan’s. We brought the best out of him! I played in both the finals in 2005, and John was so important to that Naomh Conaill team. They were so young but John was very vocal and sweeping across the pitch, keeping everyone right.


Declan Boyle (Killybegs)

Declan was one of the most gifted underage players of his time. I played in numerous county finals against him, and also played with him at Under 16 and Minor level for Donegal. He was a superb footballer blessed with skill and pace, and made his senior debut at 19 year old in 1993. He would have been a definite starter in the Donegal forward line if he didn’t elect to go down the soccer route.

Manus Boyle (Killybegs)

It’s hard to pass Manus. There was always great banter with him on the pitch. He could talk the talk but he backed it up on the field as well. You just have to look at his longevity with Killybegs, and he always delivered for them.

Tony Boyle (Dungloe)

Tony played a good bit at midfield for Dungloe but he is one of the best forwards Donegal has ever produced. He was unmarkable at his best. Dungloe were unlucky that they were just one or two players short from winning a championship.


Tony Boyle

Declan Browne (Moyle Rovers)

I have saved the best for the last. There’s no doubt that the best player I played against in my career was Declan Browne. I came up against him when I was with Clonmel Commericals, and he had everything. He was quick, could win his own ball, and kick off either foot. He won a lot of games by himself.



Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

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