Kernan selects his greatest defenders of all time

Aaron Kernan has selected the three greatest defenders that he has saw during his years involved in Gaelic Games.

Speaking of the GAAGO magazine show ‘Ratified’, Kernan, along with Marc O’Se, Michael Murphy and Paddy Andrews, picked their greatest defenders of all time.

The former Crossmaglen and Armagh defender picked out Lee Keegan, Seamus Moynihan and James McCarthy.

Marc O’Se also picked his fellow county man Moynihan, and explained what made him so good. The only Ulster representatives on the list were Conor Gormley and Karl Lacey, chosen by Andrews and Murphy respectively.

“I think just over this past 10-12 years, James McCarthy, what he has done in arguably the greatest team of all time as a defender, as a midfielder, as a leader,” explained Kernan.

“Someone who has set high standards, maintained them and just someone who always seems like he’s thinking about the bigger picture all the time. If you’re thinking that way, that brings its own pressures.

“But it never seems to faze him. I suppose the biggest compliment you can pay him is whenever you are under pressure and maybe some of them All-Ireland finals against Mayo or the big games for Dublin, he always chipped up with the scores late on.

“Whenever a game was at its peak, he had the ability to get the crucial scores whenever they were needed.

Aaron Kernan has selected the three greatest defenders that he has saw during his years involved in Gaelic Games.
Photo Credit: John Merry

Lee Keegan

“Keegan as someone who was basically just an attacking half back, for him to have the ability to not change at all in terms of how he attacked, goals in all Ireland finals, the points off the outside of the boot, yet still go back and man mark.

“I know myself; your mindset is totally different whenever you’re given a job to do. You go away from what you’re really good at, but he just had the ability to lock a player down and still not take away from what the main strengths of his game were.

“I remember asking Tony McEntee, who obviously would have been coaching him for a certain period of time, and he said he would just put no thought into it.

“Whereas I was an over thinker, I would be day and night, what am I going to do, trying to tick every box. Apparently, he was just like, he’d turn up and he’d train hard and that, but he just went out and did his job.”