The Best XV I have Played Against: Ciaran McGinley

Ciaran McGinley had a long and fruitful senior career with Naomh Muire, and represented his club with distinction for 15 years.

He made his debut in 2001, and was a star corner-forward for Naomh Muire until working away from home and injuries put an end to his career.

McGinley faced some top quality players over the course of his career and has this week picked the best fifteen he faced, with honourable mentions for Martin Caulfield (Na Rossa), Donal Martin (Naomh Brid), Ciaran Ó Fearraigh (Gaoth Dobhair), and Doalty Boyle (Dungloe).


Michael Boyle (Termon)

One of the best goalkeepers on the club scene for many years. Never stopped talking and shouting at defenders, and always kept them on their toes.

Michael Boyle in action

Seamus McGinty (Sean MacCumhaill’s)

We had many battles with MacCumhaill’s over the years and went up against Seamus a lot. A tight marking defender who kept himself very fit even when he was getting up in years.

James Keaney (Bundoran)

James was probably every forward’s nightmare. He had it all – strength, speed, and a great engine. He loved bombing forward too and often got himself on the scoresheet.


James Keaney.

Kieran McBrearty (Naomh Columba)

Kieran could play anywhere in defence but usually ended up marking me when we played Glen. He didn’t give much away and you always knew you were in for a tough sixty minutes when Kieran was picking you up.

Kevin Mulhern (Cloughaneely)

Kevin has been a great player for Cloughaneely over the years. Very strong and can use both feet. He rarely had a bad game against us.

Frank McGlynn (Glenfin)

Frank had a brilliant career with Donegal but he rarely missed any games with his club. A classy footballer and most of Glenfin’s attacks would start from Frank in the half-back line.

Frank McGlynn

Paddy McConigley (Gaeil Fhánada)

Paddy was the main driving force in the Fanad team for many years. He was a real leader and was very unfortunate to get a bad injury which probably shortened his career.

Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly)

Neil was the best midfielder in the county for a long time and probably the best in the country for a couple of years. Good in the air, good with his feet, and strong as a horse.

Neil Gallagher

Michael McGlynn (Glenfin)

We would have played Glenfin a lot over the years and Mickey was always to the fore. He had a great engine around the middle of the field and would always kick two or three scores.

Paddy McNulty (Sean MacCumhaill’s)

Went up against Paddy a lot and he never had a bad game. He was the main man in the forward line for MacCumhaill’s for a long time.

Adrian Sweeney (Dungloe)

The strongest man I ever saw on a football field. When he had possession, you weren’t getting it back. Adrian could score from anywhere inside the ’45’. A great servant for Dungloe and Donegal.

Stephen Griffin (St Naul’s)

Stephen has been one of the top club players in the country for a long time now. We would have played St Naul’s a lot over the years and Stephen always gave us a hard time. Deadly accurate from frees and from play.

Seamie ‘Coshia’ Friel (Gaeil Fhánada)

Seamie gave us a lot of trouble whenever we played Fanad. Very strong and quick off the mark. I think he scored 2-9 against us one day. I’ll not say who was picking him up!

Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)

Not much to say here. The greatest player to ever play football in the county and it’ll be a sad day when he decides to hang the boots up.

Damien Browne of Red Hughs.

Damien Browne (Red Hugh’s)

I would take a guess that Damien would be the top scorer in club football in Donegal over the last twenty years. Even when Red Hugh’s weren’t going well, Damien was still firing over seven or eight points a game.

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