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Diarmuid Lyng Picks His Wexford Team Of The Last 30 Years

Diarmuid Lyng Picks His Wexford 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 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, we're voting on the hurlers of Wexford, and the former Wexford captain Diarmuid Lyng was good enough to join us to pick his team.

"Gizzy" was a shining light of Wexford hurling in the mid and late 2000s in what was often a tough period for the county, coming up against the greatest hurling team of all time in Leinster finals year after year.

For Wexford, it's been a weird 30 years with the peak coming just six years into the period when Liam Griffin's heroes of '96 ended the famine in the Model County. Unfortunately, a new barren spell is in danger of becoming another famine, and it looked as far away as any point his history in the early 2010s. Since then, a brilliant crop of young players and management of Davy Fitzgerald have revitalised the county and they were incredibly unlucky to lose to Tipperary in last year's All-Ireland semi-final after a famous Leinster final win over the old enemy in black and amber.

For Diarmuid, and all voters, the choice comes between the legends of the 90s, and the young, exciting, and as yet unpeaked bunch of the last couple of years.

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 wonderful hurlers in the last 30 years, even during a time when the team might not have been firing on all cylinders.

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

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


Diarmuid Lyng's Wexford 15 for 30:

1. Damien Fitzhenry

Wexford

Goalkeeper - 1993 - 2010
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997, 2004
All-Stars: 1997, 2004

What Diarmuid said:

What a legend! What a goalkeeper! In a time of great goalkeepers. We were blessed at that time with great goalkeepers. Brendan Cummins and Davy Fitz and Donal Óg, they all had different strengths. Brendan for the shot stopping, Donal Óg for the puckouts and game management, Davy Fitz, just as an overwhelming force of nature in goal, and could do all of those things as well. But I felt Fitzie brought all that together and was the best goalkeeper of that generation - that generation of great goalkeepers!

 

2. Liam Ryan

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Cornerback - 2013 - Present
Honours:
Leinster Championship: 2019
What Diarmuid said:
Darragh Ryan was this tall, rangy, strong full back. When I saw Liam Ryan, I thought, "Oh my God! Brilliant! We've happened on another one!" Because in a place like Wexford, you could go 20 more years without finding that type of the player. It's the type of player he is. The strength and the length and the imposition of his will on the game is a very, vert rare commodity for a back. I was delighted when Liam Ryan came along. Jesus, what a brilliant player!
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3. Darragh Ryan

Fullback - 1999 - 2006
Honours:
Leinster Championship: 2004
All-Star: 2001
What Diarmuid said:
I talked to Joe Deane about it. I just wanted to ask him about Darragh Ryan because there was this four year period when he was imperious. Joe Deane in 2003, I can remember him coming over his shoulder, dancing left, dancing right. He was a foot and a half underneath Darragh. He'd be losing people left, right and centre. And there was a couple of times where Joe turned back inside on his right after trying to slip Darragh on his left, and out of nowhere, this ranging hurl comes in and just get the very top of the ball, and Joe Deane must have been thinking, "is this an octopus I'm marking, what is happening?" And Joe said as much, he just said, "what a force, what a hurler!"

4. Colm Kehoe

Wexford

Cornerback - 1995 - 2003
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997

5. Larry O'Gorman

Wexford

Wingback - 1987 - 2004
Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997, 2004
Hurler of the Year: 1996
All-Star: 1996

6. Liam Dunne

Wingback / Centreback - 1988 - 2003

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997
All-Stars: 1990, 1993, 1996
What Diarmuid said:
Sometimes he gets a little bit of a hard time that he was dirty and the sendings off and everything else and I think that's a misrepresentation. Maybe it's his own fault for the book being focused on that aspect of him a little bit more than the fact that he was a joyous hurler. He was a joyous hurler!

7. Diarmuid O'Keeffe

Wexford

Wingback / Centreback - 1988 - 2003

Honours:
Leinster Championship: 2019
All-Star: 2019

8. George O'ConnorWexford

Midfield - 1979 - 1996

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996
All-Stars: 1981, 1988

9. Adrian Fenlon

Midfield - 1993 - 2005

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997, 2004
All-Star: 1996
What Diarmuid said:
He's a great presence in midfeld, he was for his time. A brilliant midfielder!

10. Martin Storey

Wexford

Wingforward / Centreforward - 1986 - 2001

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997
All-Stars: 1993, 1996, 1998

11. Lee Chin

Centreforward - 2011 - Present

Honours:
Leinster Championship: 2019
All-Star: 2019
What Diarmuid said:
When the shift is taking place to somebody's else's team, when it's moving away from Wexford, when there's a score, or a break in play, or some other important moment, I'd like to see those stats. I'd like to see how many balls Lee Chin wins as that's happening, after there's been a break when momentum is about to sway. I think his dependability when it's needed is something I've been very impressed with Lee in his development.
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12. Rory McCarthy

Wingback/Wingforward/Midfield   - 1994 - 2007

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997, 2004
All-Star: 1996

13. Tom Dempsey

Cornerforward - 1984 - 2000

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997
All-Star: 1996
What Diarmuid said:
The last four minutes of the Leinster final (in 1996), finally the shackles fell off Wexford people, and Tom Dempsey was knocking points over from the front row of the Hogan Stand at one stage, on the 14! And you're like, 'Oh Tom! What are you doing?", and he did it and it went over the bar. And he just kept doing it, and I could just see in Croke Park, the whole place was dancing, and he was leading the dance in that moment, and it was a dance out of the shackles of disappointment and pain and struggle. Wexford people were beside themselves with delight when he was going through that glory four or five minutes.
His career is certainly far, far greater than that and he contributed so much more, but I'll always feel like that moment, that's the moment and he was lighting it up!

14. Conor McDonald

Wexford

Fullforward - 2013 - Present

Honours:
Leinster Championship: 2019

15. Paul Codd

Wexford

Cornerforward - 1995 - 2006

Honours:
All-Ireland Championship: 1996
Leinster Championship: 1996, 1997, 2004

SEE ALSO: 15 For 30: Vote Now For Your Best Wexford Team Of The Last 30 Years

 

Michael McCarthy

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