GAA

David Brady Picks His Mayo Team Of The Last 30 Years

David Brady Picks His Mayo Team Of The Last 30 Years

All summer here on Balls.ie, we're asking you to pick your 15 for 30. 15 for 30 is a weekly GAA series in which we ask the public to vote for their best XV from different counties from the last 30 years, alternating between football and hurling. This week, we're looking at the Mayo footballers. So far, you've selected your best Donegal, Waterford, Tipperary, Meath and Armagh teams.

With a new poll launching every Monday, the series also features a podcast with a personality from the county in question. This week we spoke to former Mayo midfielder, David Brady about his selection and his reasoning behind it. He was involved in the team that got to four All-Ireland finals between 1996 and 2006.

Mayo have had a great run between 1990 and 2019. They reached eight All-Ireland Finals (nine if you stretch the criteria to 1989) with ultimately three distinctive great teams. They won 13 Connacht titles, two National Leagues and were certainly one of the main contenders for an All-Ireland during the last decade.

The Mayo of the 2010s are possibly the greatest team never to win an All-Ireland, getting to four All-Irelands. They lost by a point on two occasions and one final went to a replay. So, despite a very consistent run for the Yew county, it hasn't been without its heartbreak.

Such is the rich tapestry of success that Mayo have had that some huge names will be missing from any team. In David's case, one in particular sticks out in four time All-Star Colm Boyle. The competition in the half-back line is fierce though, and Brady laid out his case for going with the three he did.

Brady, of course, is a live contender himself for a place in this team with a career than spanned two great Mayo generations, but resisted the urge to pick himself. His selection is stretched pretty evenly over the 30 year period. There's lots of places up for grabs and it's up to the voters to decide the best Mayo football team from the last three decades.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast here, or listen below, and you can vote for the Mayo 15 for 30 below. The winning team will be revealed on Saturday.

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You can vote for your team below, or email your team to [email protected]balls.ie, or message us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


 

David Brady's 15 for 30:

1. David Clarke

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15 for 30

Goalkeeper - 2001 - present

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

All-Stars: 2016, 2017

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"His shot-stopping, he brings his own style to his kick-outs. He has been phenomenally consistent. He has shown all the attributes, when the battle was there between him and Rob Henley, that neither of them stopped improving. Both of them improved over the last six or seven years. As a club-mate of mine, I saw him when he was 15 or 16 and I knew that he was going to be phenomenally exceptional and one of the best keepers of many generations."

 

2. Kenneth Mortimer

Cornerback - 1993 - 2003

What David said:

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1996, 1997, 1999

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National League: 2001

All-Stars: 1996, 1997

"When he was on his day, and in his prime, he was a phenomenal, phenomenal corner-back. I suppose some of my judgment is clouded by seeing his tenacity and tight-marking in training games over the years. Without a doubt Kenneth, and if you ask Kenneth he'd say 'rightly so'."

 

3. Kevin Cahill

mayo team

Fullback - 1993 - 2001

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Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999

National League: 2001

"The ultimate full-back, he would not play anywhere else. He was that good, he was that secure and his reading of the game was phenomenal. As the ball was going into the full-back line, you'd nearly be turning and thinking it's going to come back out again because Cahill was personified professionalism."

 

4. Keith Higgins

Cornerback - 2006 - present

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Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2006

Young Footballer of the Year: 2006

All-Stars: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

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5. Lee Keegan

Wing-back - 2011 - present

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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National League: 2019

Footballer of the Year: 2016

All-Stars: 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016

"Without a doubt, one of the most exceptional and consistent performers. On the big day, when the big challenge was put up to him, he consistently performed. It's gone down in the annals of football history, the competition between himself and Diarmuid Connolly."

 

6. James Nallen

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Centre-back - 1995 - 2010

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2009

National League: 2001

All-Stars: 1996, 2004

 

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7. Paddy Durcan

mayo 15 for 30

Wing-back - 2015 - present

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2015

National League: 2019

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All-Stars: 2019

"I would see him as being an absolutely class footballer. A class apart. That has been a lot of the foundation to Mayo's progress and on the road to All-Irelands, the Paddy and Lee combination. Paddy came up against [the best half-forwards] in some way, shape or form, and gave them absolutely nothing. He was at one stage Mayo's top-scorer at half-back from play. He's exceptional."

 

8. Liam McHale

mayo 15 for 30 Midfield - 1985 - 1999
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Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999

All-Stars: 1996

"I had the best understanding on a football field with any human being, with any individual, I had it with Liam McHale. We were telepathic. We trained, we travelled, we played, we socialised together solid for a good eight years, week in week out, day in day out. He was an exceptional player to play in midfield with. I had to do a bit of the tracking back but I gave him that because he was phenomenal in his own right."

 

9. David Heaney

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Midfield/centre-back/full-back - 1997 - 2010

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1997, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2009

National League: 2001

 

10. Kevin McLoughlin

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Wing-forward - 2009 - present

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

 

11. Ciaran McDonald

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Centre-forward/corner-forward - 1994 - 2007

"You couldn't but have Ciaran McDonald in at number 11. In a playmaker position, in his prime, he was top class."

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 1997, 1999, 2004, 2006

National League: 2001

All-Stars: 2004

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12. Alan Dillon

Wing-forward - 2003 - 2017

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2001

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All-Stars: 2006, 2012

 

13. Cillian O'Connor

mayo 15 for 30

Corner-forward/full-forward - 2011 - present

Honours:

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Connacht Championship: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

Young Footballer of the Year: 2011, 2012

All-Stars: 2014

"He's the best player I've seen put on a Mayo jersey, in every way, shape or form. There were some opportunities from frees in the dying moments, but they are not going to blur my opinion that he is Mayo's finest. He still has the ability and the longevity to go on.

His scoring capability, his goal-scoring, his link play, the way he commands winning the ball. They are signs of a special player and I do rate him as number one."

 

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14. Aidan O'Shea

Full-forward/centre-forward/midfield - 2009 - present

Honours:

Connacht Championship: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

All-Stars: 2013, 2015, 2017

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"From a full-forward perspective, I've seen him absolutely obliterate teams. I have seen him command that box and command so much attention that it has given leverage to the players around him, including Cillian. From an overall context, you'd be hard not to put Aidan O'Shea in any Mayo team."

 

15. Andy Moran

mayo 15 for 30

Corner-forward - 2004 - 2019

Honours:

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Connacht Championship: 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

National League: 2019

Footballer of the Year: 2017

All-Stars: 2011, 2017

"You have one of our most loyal, capable servants who put so much into the game ... especially in the latter part of his career when he came back. Rightfully so and deservedly so got Player of the Year. He had a decade of unbelievable football."

 

See Also: 15 For 30: Vote Now For Your Best Mayo Team Of The Last 30 Years

Ryan Carrick

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