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The Best 2023 GAA NFL Team With Only One Player From Each County

The Best 2023 GAA NFL Team With Only One Player From Each County
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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The 2023 Allianz NFL drew to a close at the weekend, with the finals taking place in all four divisions.

It brought to an end what was an intriguing campaign. Many of the pre-season promotion favourites lived up to expectations, although that was not the case in every division.

When it comes to selecting the best players from across the leagues, it is certainly no easy task. It gets even more difficult when you limit yourself to only one player from each county to be included in the XV, which we have attempted to do below.

One player from each of the top two teams in each division has been included, as well as the pick of the performers from other counties.

Here's what we came up with.

2023 NFL XV with one player from each county

1- James Califf (Louth)

James Califf may not be a natural goalkeeper, but the Louth man had a brilliant campaign in his converted position.


While he only played half of the games, his performances warrant a place in the side. His shot-stopping is excellent for a player who spent much of their career as a midfielder, while his ability contribute further up the pitch was a huge asset for Mickey Harte.


2 - Conor McCluskey (Derry)


There are no shortage of options for the Derry inclusion in this side, although few have a better case than Conor McCluskey.

He was absolutely fantastic at the back for a very mean Derry defence, which conceded only 69 points across their seven games prior to the yesterday's final.



3 - Sean Kelly (Galway)

A fairly straightforward choice here.

Sean Kelly was absolutely immense for Galway throughout the league and is sure to play a decisive part in what could be a big summer for Padraic Joyce's side.



4 - Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

It was a nervy campaign for Tyrone, but three wins on the trot in the final weeks of the competition meant they would ultimately finish in fourth position.


Padraig Hampsey played as big of a role as anybody during that run, putting in some top performances.


5 - Paul Murphy (Kerry)


It wasn't exactly a vintage league campaign for Kerry, who certainly fell short of the standards they have set in recent years.

In saying that, a few individuals performed well throughout. Paul Murphy certainly falls into that category, putting in some very good displays in recent weeks.


6 - Dara McVeety (Cavan)

Cavan may have ultimately stuttered over the line in to earn promotion from Division 3, but they did put in some very good displays earlier in the campaign.

Dara McVeety was the standout player for large portions, with most of the team's good play going through him at centre back.


7 - Brian Stack (Roscommon) 

While Roscommon couldn't quite maintain the form they showed during the first few weeks of the season, they will still be hugely satisfied with the way the league went for them.


Captaining the team this season, Brian Stack was absolutely key for the Rossies. Capable of playing across the defence, the St Brigid's man set the standards for Davy Burke's side at the back.


8 - Brian Fenton (Dublin)

Dublin had a few different candidates to make the team, although the consistency Brian Fenton displayed throughout the league gives him the nod.

The Raheny player also scored 2-8 across the campaign, an excellent tally for a player in his position.


9 - Rian O'Neill (Armagh)

While Rian O'Neill is rarely named as a midfielder on the team sheet, he often spends much of his time operating around the middle third for Armagh.

Kieran McGeeney's side would be relegated at the end of the campaign, with O'Neill's injury absence in the last week contributing to that. He was absolutely immense up to that point, scoring 0-23 in six appearances.


10 - John Heslin (Westmeath)

It was a disappointing league campaign for Westmeath, who entered the year as many people's favourites for Division 3 only to fall well short of expectations.

In saying that, John Heslin was in brilliant form on a personal level. His personal tally of 3-32 was the second highest among players in all four divisions.


11 - Keith Beirne (Leitrim)

The only man to outscore John Heslin in the 2023 league campaign was Keith Beirne.

While it was a heartbreaking end to the year for Leitrim after falling just short of promotion, the Mohill scored a remarkable 5-53 in seven league appearances. For those counting, that is 27 points more than the second-placed man on the list.


12 - Sean Carrabine (Sligo)

Sligo will have been been thrilled with how their Divison 4 campaign played out. Having lost their opening game against Laois, they won six games on the spin to earn promotion, then going on to defeat Wicklow in the final.

Sean Carrabine was their standout performer, scoring 1-32 across his eight appearances.


13 - Ultan Kelm (Fermanagh)

Six wins from seven games in Division 3 was quite the return for Fermanagh, with their only defeat coming against Offaly in the second round of games.

While Sean Quigley was their top scorer, Ultan Kelm was arguably their best player in the league. 2-12 from eight games isn't the most-eye-catching scoring tally, but that did not convey his overall contribution to the team.


14 - Aidan O'Shea (Mayo)

In what was a brilliant league campaign for Mayo, Aidan O'Shea was probably their best performer. Having played well short of his best on occasion over the last couple of seasons, the 32-year is back at his peak so far in 2023.

Continually playing him closer to the goal no doubt plays a part in that, with Kevin McStay reaping the benefits of that decision.


15 - Eoin Darcy (Wicklow)

Oisín McConville would have been absolutely thrilled with how his first league campaign in charge of Wicklow played out, with the Leinster county securing their promotion to Division 3 on the final day.

Eoin Darcy was their top scorer in the competition, picking up 0-28 in his eight appearances (including the final).

SEE ALSO: Questions Raised Over Shane Walsh Decisions During Galway Vs Mayo

shane walsh galway free kicks



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