GAA

The Voice Of Clare Hurling Picks His Clare Team Of The Last 30 Years

The Voice Of Clare Hurling Picks His Clare Team Of The Last 30 Years

15 for 30 is a weekly GAA series here on Balls.ie where we get the public to vote for different counties' best team of the last 30 years. With the new poll which launched each Monday, we'll also have an accompanying podcast with someone from within the county in question to choose their team and go into their thinking behind the selection.

This week, after a short break, we're voting on the hurlers of Clare, and the voice of Clare hurling Syl O'Connor of Clare FM was good enough to join us to pick his team.

O'Connor has been a mainstay of Clare commentaries on the local stations for many years, and became a national figure during Clare's 2013 All-Ireland winning campaign when his passionate commentaries went viral.

Coming into the 1990s, Clare hurling was in the doldrums. In 1990, they scored 1-5 in a Munster first round hammering to Limerick. Five years later, they beat the same team in the Munster final and went on the dominate the rest of the decade. Since then, Clare have been up and down, but never irrelevant, and a thrilling young team that won three All-Ireland Under 21 titles in a row between 2012 and 2014 managed a surprise third senior All-Ireland of the timeframe in 2013.

For Syl, and all voters, the choice comes between the legends of the 90s, and the young, skillful bunch of the 2010s.

Many players picks themselves naturally, but there are a number of incredibly tough choices to get down to 15 the picks from a county that has produced some wonferful hurlers in the last 30 years.

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

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

Syl O'Connor's Clare 15 for 30:

1. Davy Fitzgerald

15 for 30

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Goalkeeper - 1990 - 2008
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1995, 2002, 2005
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What Syl said:

"By a country mile, on this occasion, Fitzy will get his place in the goal on the best team of the last thirty years. There'll be no argument on that point, I would imagine. Outstanding, absolutely superb."

2. Frank Lohan

Cornerback - 1995 - 2008
Honours:
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All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Star: 1999

3. Brian Lohan

Fullback - 1993 - 2006
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Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
Hurler of the Year: 1995
All-Stars: 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002

4. Liam Doyle

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Cornerback/Wingback - 1990 - 2001
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Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1995, 1997
What Syl said:
"You only realised the value of Liam Doyle the day he was missing. He does his job and nobody takes any notice. But the day he's missing and that job is looking to be a bit more difficult for somebody, that's the day you miss Liam Doyle."
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5. Brendan Bugler

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Wingback - 2007 - 2017
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Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Stars: 2012, 2013

6. Seanie McMahon

Centreback - 1996 - 2006
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1995, 1997, 1998
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What Syl said:
"One of the greats. One of the really great superb players. What a quality player. I'd often saw Seanie in the month of February, when - as the saying goes - he had 'wintered well'. And, my god, when that ball is thrown in at the end of May or June in the Munster Championship, a totally different man."

7. Anthony Daly

Wingback - 1989 - 2002
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1994, 1995, 1998
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What Syl said:
"If you want to go into a battle, and you want somebody that'll rouse up everything around him, and be the character that he is and the leader that he is, Dalo is a certainty for the number seven jersey.

8 Ollie Baker

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Midfield - 1995 - 2004
Honours:
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All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1995, 1998
What Syl said:
"Ollie Baker is a player that Ger Loughnane decided wasn't the most fluent, stylish player of all time. But he saw something in Ollie Baker that I don't think many people saw [and] decided Ollie Baker only needed one thing. And that was hurling. Nothing else; hurling, hurling.
They would have Ollie in the middle of the field banging ball after ball after ball at him, trying to sharpen up the touch. But what they saw behind all that was a man who was going to anchor the middle of the field. If you want to see what Ollie Baker is about, look at the last couple of minutes of the '95 All-Ireland. Ollie Baker comes out for the ball. I don't know the Offaly player who decided to take him on. It was like getting hit with a train. The Offaly player just disappeared and Baker never broke stride."

9 Tony Kelly

Midfield/Centre Forward - 2012 - Present

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2012, 2013, 2014
Hurler of the Year: 2013
Young Hurler of the Year: 2013
All-Star: 2013

10 Jamesie O'Connor

15 for 30

Wing Forward - 1992 - 2004
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Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1995, 1997
Munster Championship: 1995, 1997, 1998
Hurler of the Year: 1997
All-Stars: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001

11 John Conlon

Centre Forward / Wing Forward / Full Forward - 2009 - Present
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2009
All-Star: 2018
What Syl said:
"I think John Conlon's service has been outstanding. He was part and parcel of that 2009 Under 21 side. Behind the scenes, the effort that John Conlon puts in, the detail he puts in - the smallest of things - while playing for Clare, has been unbelievable."
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12 Colin Ryan

Wing Forward - 2007 - 2017
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2009

13 Niall Gilligan 

15 for 30

Corner Forward/Full Forward - 1997 - 2009
Honours:
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All-Ireland Championship: 1997
Munster Championship: 1997, 1998
All-Stars: 1999

14 Shane O'Donnell

Full Forward - 2013 - Present
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2013, 2014
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What Syl said:
"There was a brilliant statement made after the 2013 All-Ireland: 'I feel sorry for Shane O'Donnell. Because every day he goes out and plays a game and he doesn't score 3-3, it's a poor day for Shane O'Donnell.'
If you think you saw the best of Shane O'Donnell in 2013... I'm going to make a prediction, that the best of Shane O'Donnell is going to come over the next two years. I think he has developed into lethal player. A serious, serious player. I think you will see the best of him over the next couple of years. But for the mark he has made in the time that I've seen him, he's a hugely exciting player, there's no doubt about that."

15 Conor McGrath

Corner Forward - 2011 - Present
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Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 2013
National League: 2016
All-Ireland Under 21 Championship: 2009, 2012, 2013
All-Star: 2013

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

Michael McCarthy

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