15 GAA players we won't see in 2017

We lost some stellar GAA talent last year

BY Sinéad Farrell 12:50 Friday 3 February 2017, 12:50 3 Feb 2017

©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

The Allianz football and hurling leagues start this month and there'll some notable absentees around the country.

2016 witnessed the conclusion of several high-profile GAA careers across both codes. Donegal go into 2017 without some of their towering figures from their All-Ireland winning panel five years ago, while the Kilkenny hurlers saw some of their most decorated players depart the dressing-room for the last time.

Here we take a look at 15 of the GAA stars who won't be appearing at county grounds around the country this year.

Aidan O'Mahony - Kerry Footballers

Image: Aidan O'Mahony has been a stalwart for Kerry during his term with the Kingdom.

After 14 seasons of inter-county service, Kerry defender Aidan O'Mahony announced his retirement earlier this month. 

During his career, O'Mahony picked up two All-Stars, five Celtic Crosses and eight Munster titles. He also picked up five National League titles.

Marc Ó Sé - Kerry Footballers

Image: Marc Ó Sé was a consistent defender in a Kerry jersey.

O'Mahony's retirement was preceaded by the retirement of his Kerry colleague Marc Ó Sé last October. With over 170 appearances for Kerry, Sé (36) comes from a distinguished football lineage in Kerry.

The five-time All-Ireland winning player flourished throughout his 15 seasons with the Kingdom, earning the GAA Player of the Year and Texaco Player of the Year in 2007. 

Patrick Kelly - Cork Footballers

Image: Patrick Kelly in action for Cork.

The Ballincollig clubman, who stepped away from inter-county football this month, played a key role in Cork's All-Ireland winning triumph in 2010. After making his debut in 2008, Kelly won three National League titles as well as three Munster championship medals in the early stages of his career.

The latter part of his career however, was less fruitful with his last appearance for the rebels coming against Donegal in Croke Park last summer.

Fintan Goold - Cork Footballers

Image: Fintan Goold played a key role in Cork's All-Ireland winning success in 2010.

At just 30 years of age, Fintan Goold also called time on his inter-county carrer during the winter break. A second member of that All-Ireland winning Cork team, Goold also lined out for the county in the 2007 and 2009 deciders where they lost out to provincial rivals Kerry.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner's Kieran Shannon, Goold admitted to a loss of hunger for continue playing at inter-county level and said he picked up a few injuries during his final season.

Daniel Goulding - Cork Footballers

Image: Daniel Goulding 

Another key link to that 2010 panel was the first of the three to announce his retirement in October of last year. Daniel Goulding took the man-of-the-match award from that All-Ireland win and collected an All-Star the previous season.

Goulding, who made his Cork senior debut in 2006, also retires with four National League titles and four Munster senior football medals.

Eamon McGee/Colm McFadden - Donegal Footballers

Image: Eamon McGee celebrates winning the Sam Maguire in 2012.

Donegal lost a glut from the squad that won the Sam Maguire in 2012 before the beginning of this season.

Colm McFadden, who was introduced as a sub against Dublin in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final, retired in the same month at the age of 33. McFadden's contribution to their All-Ireland victory in 2012 culminated in an All-Star award for the forward.

Throughout his 14 years with Donegal, he racked up a National League title and three Ulster titles.

32-year-old Eamon McGee also decided to end his inter-county career shortly after his side were beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park. 

Along with his All-Ireland honours, McGee also finishes up with three Ulster championship medals and a National League title, in a career that stretches back to 2004.

Rory Kavanagh/Christy Toye/David Walsh - Donegal Footballers

Image: Christy Toye holding off Dublin's Jonny Cooper.

Donegal lost three more players in quick succession earlier this month.

Rory Kavanagh concluded his inter-county career for a second time, having previously rejoined the Donegal fold at the outset of the 2016 season.

The midfielder hinted at a second retirement after their All-Ireland quarter-final exit, but Donegal manager Rory Gallagher confirmed the news a few weeks ago.

Christy Toye came on as substitute during their All-Ireland final victory in 2012.

Paul Finlay - Monaghan Footballers 

Image: Paul Finlay in action for Monaghan.

After 14 years with Monaghan, Paul Finlay confirmed his retirement last November. 2013 and 2015 were among his most successful years in a Monaghan jersey, in which he won Ulster senior championships with the county.

He retires as the county's top-scorer in a distinguished career, making 168 appearances for Monaghan. He was also part of the 2008 International Rules squad which defeated Australia in in Perth and Melbourne.

Dick Clerkin - Monaghan Footballers

Image: Dick Clerkin

Clerkin's departure from the Monaghan jersey came just a few weeks before Finlay's. Having made his county debut in 1999, Clerkin clocked up 180 appearances for Monaghan, making him their longest-serving player.

He also played a key role in those Ulster title wins between 2013 and 2015.

Gearóid Ryan - Tipperary Hurlers

Image: Gearoid Ryan.

Tipperary's Gearóid Ryan announced his retirement from the Tipperary hurlers at the end of November, citing injuries as the primary reason for his decision.

In a career spanning eight years, Ryan won two All-Ireland crowns and five Munster Senior Hurling medals.

Eoin Larkin - Kilkenny Hurlers

Image: Eoin Larkin was one of Kilkenny's most prolific forwards.

In a 12-year stint with the senior Kilkenny hurlers, Eoin Larkin collected eight All-Ireland medals - four consecutively between 2006 and 2009 and four more again between 2011 and 2015.

He captained them when they defeated Galway to win the 2012 All-Ireland replay. Additionally, he also won 10 Leinster senior hurling medals, six national hurling leagues and two All-Stars.

Jackie Tyrrell - Kilkenny Hurlers

Image: Jackie Tyrrell looks on after losing to Tipperary in the 2016 All-Ireland final.

Larkin's Kilkenny teammate Jackie Tyrrell also ended his playing days with Kilkenny late last year. After serving the Cats for almost a decade, he retires with nine Celtic Crosses, 10 Leinster titles, six Allianz Hurling Leagues, and four All-Stars.

 

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