Pat Spillane's Top 40 Gaelic Footballers right now, Part 1

Tyrone stalwart Sean Cavanagh comes in at No 35
Tyrone stalwart Sean Cavanagh comes in at No 35

I’m often asked who I rate as the best footballer in the country. There are variations on that theme; like who is the best defender, best midfielder, best forward or the top 10 players in Gaelic football. Now that the championship is done and dusted for another year, I have decided to compile my list of the top 40 footballers in the country.

PART 1: 40 - 31

40- Sean Quigley (Fermanagh)

His scoring statistics speak for themselves. He scored 4-42 in the league and 2-36 in the championship. A scoring machine that is worth his weight in gold. 

39- Diarmuid Murtagh (Roscommon)

If Kevn McStay and Fergal O’Donnell are going to deliver silverware, the scoring must come from Murtagh, one of the most skilful forwards around

38- Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo)

A shoo-in for Young Footballer of the Year, he was a revelation in the two matches against Dublin in the All-Ireland series. 

37- Darren McCurry (Tyrone)

A skilful, nippy forward, he is blessed with a wonderful left foot and is deadly accurate from both play and frees.

36- Paddy McBrearty (Donegal)

An accurate finisher, he has the ability to win his own ball. Showed glimpses of reaching his full potential in the early rounds of the championship.

35- Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)

While he is past his peak he was still the player who drove Tyrone all the way to the All-Ireland semi-final this year. 

34- Niall McNamee (Offaly)

Has always reminded me of Maurice Fitzgerald. Great balance, very skilful and deadly accurate.

33- Dessie Mone (Monaghan)

Has reinvented himself as an effective sweeper, but retains the ability to kick long-range points when he ventures forward.

32- Paul Geaney (Kerry)

Even though he was below his best in the All-Ireland final he is a tremendously skilful player and is very accurate with both feet.

31- Niall Kelly (Kildare, below)

At last he is beginning to deliver on the promise he showed at minor and college level. A really accurate half-forward.