Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-06:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball

It is shocking that Connolly only has two All-Stars | Diarmuid Connolly's Dublin legacy

Diarmuid Connolly called time on his inter-county career on Wednesday and while the star forward ...

It is shocking that Connolly o...

It is shocking that Connolly only has two All-Stars | Diarmuid Connolly's Dublin legacy

Diarmuid Connolly called time on his inter-county career on Wednesday and while the star forward won six All-Ireland titles, he was only named an All-Star twice.

For a player as talented as Connolly is this is quite unusual. Former Kerry forward, Kieran Donaghy described the situation as shocking while discussing the St Vincent's man's legacy on Thursday's OTBAM.

"When you look at his resume it is second to none," Donaghy said. 

"He has six All-Ireland medals, I can't believe he only has two All-Stars, that is shocking to me for how good of a footballer he is. Maybe that other side to him, I don't know the guy off the pitch, but maybe that other side, being in the news all time cost him a few All-Stars."

Tony Kelly 14 September 2019; Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

"It's crazy to think that a player that was at the top of his game since 2011 winning All-Ireland's has only two All-Stars to show for it."

Paul Curran, an All-Ireland winner with Dublin in 1995, agreed with Donaghy that it is unusual to see a player that had such a unique ability only be recognised on two occasions despite playing a leading role in Dublin's historic decade of success.

"The column where it says All-Stars is kind of a curious one. I mean this guy certainly deserved a lot more, why he did not pick them up is up for debate."

"He was part of a generation of forwards in the county that we will probably never see again."

Connolly had the ability to score off either foot, pick out inch-perfect passes that defied belief, a unique physicality coupled with a determination that set him apart from many of his peers. He was a nightmare for opposition to defend against, says Donaghy.

"He was always top of the list for guys to try and watch out for and obviously you're putting one of your best defenders on him," the four-time All-Star winner said.

connolly Diarmuid Connolly celebrates winning the 2017 All-Ireland final.

"Of course he is a thorn in the side because of his raw power and speed combined with an ability to kick off either leg."

"I liked the bit of an edge he had. I liked that side of him on the pitch because he was never going to back down, you weren't going to push him around the place."

For opposing counties it is a relief that they no longer have to face Connolly, Donaghy joked.

"Of course we don't have to worry about the maestro anymore [that] is an ease to everybody that is not from Dublin."

With Connolly's retirement, the question of how Dublin are set, as they prepare to defend the Sam Maguire for the sixth time in a row, is becoming more relevant.

Jack McCaffrey also stepped away from inter-county football albeit in a temporary capacity, and Paul Clarke has relinquished his duties as part of the management backroom staff.

It has left many wondering can the dominant Dubs' perform at their ruthless best in a strange inter-county campaign taking place during the winter.

"The timing of it is a little strange," Curran commented on Connolly's decision.

"It adds to Dessies woes I think, the challenges, he has, have not necessarily been with Jim Gavin and Pat Gilroy in their first years [at the helm], losing a couple of great players. Connolly and Jack McCaffrey have stepped away, Paul Clarke from the management team. There are challenges ahead for Dessie."

Donaghy, on the other hand, is not sure it was as big of a shock decision on Connolly's part and believes Dublin are in good shape ahead of the resumption of inter-county play.

While Farrell would love to have Connolly available in the tight games that are sure to come thick and fast they are such a well-rounded squad that it may not affect their chances too much.

"He has gone out on top, as I said it does not surprise me. I think this Dublin machine rolls on no matter who retires."

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

All-Ireland 2020 Croke Park Dessie Farrell Diarmuid Connolly Dublin GAA Jim Gavin Kerry Kieran Donaghy Pat Gilroy Paul Curran