Neil Ewing: The best of the Telten Cup coming with the All-Stars deserves the spectacular absurdity

I would have absolutely loved to win an All-Star. He is personally an incredible compliment to any footballer. A timeless honor for years of dedication. A huge reward for the parents, teachers, mentors and club mates who have helped shine a diamond over the decades.

Contradict but I also think All-Stars is an absurdity. bear with me.

Where to start? Choosing a team of 15 players from a season where competing teams play different amounts of games, each against different opponents. Also, the team selectors cannot say that they watched every relevant game.

The prizes are also the victims of two bugbears I turned down a few weeks ago. Recency bias and scoreboard journalism. Players who play high profile games towards the climax of the season are preferred. Team players who sneak out to the right side of a one-score game in the semi-finals or finals, increasingly, increase their chances of selection.

There are many other variables that make them an absurdity.

He said all. They are a wonderful absurdity!

The All-Stars’ complete subjectivity makes them the perfect Lightning rod for the coffeehouse, high stool, or canteen debate. Importantly, neither flippant nor embroiled debaters will never go wrong. or right.

Within logical reason, there is no way to explicitly say whether his team is better than any other selection.

The deserving recognition they bring to the chosen ones is very well deserved in every single respect. An honor that will stand the test of history. Our All-Stars feared on and off the field during their playing days are forever revered. The adventures that earned players their All-Stars are passed down from generation to generation in awe.

Another prime tenant cannot be ignored. The mystery that the All-Stars awaken in a young neighbor, club mate or county person. The realization that one day they too will be jumping on stage to collect their gong. The All-Star among them may inspire them to imitate their hero or move on and become a legend for their club’s adult team over time. Both equally important roles.

I have selected a Telten Cup All-Star team from the inaugural competition of 2022. Undoubtedly, the team is aware of all the flaws mentioned above, but I hope that, based on some logic, it recognizes the outstanding performers of the last three months.

To give some level of playing field, I’ve ignored league football and only considered Telten Cup games.

Having previously covered the broader roles of the contemporary Gaelic football team, I have attempted to reflect this setup in my own team.

There are goalscorers, two man-markers, 10 transition type players (including four with defensive leanings, two with slightly more traditional midfield roles and four with an attacking leaning, including a playmaker) and finally, two inside scorers.

Of course, I’ve let out a few players who could have been in. This will include players who suggest they are ‘lucky’. There are others I’d like to include myself.

My Teletain Cup All-Stars

Aidan Devne: Raymond Galligan was as atrocious as ever for Cavan with his free-taking and kickouts. Sligo Netminder shoved it to the side in an extra-time penalty save in a Round 1 win over London, two saves in a shoot-out win versus Leitrim and some top saves from Cavan playing in the loss.

Kevin Maguire: Concrete campaign despite regularly raising opposition threats. Captains are often seen as important vocal presences, but actions define leaders. His game-winning block in the final ensured that the cup was going to Mullinger.

Ivan Leon: We all love to see a beautifully balanced forward popping score. But, is there anything more pleasurable than a strange corner defying all logic, and physics, to appear out of nowhere and win a ball they had no right to? This man repeated that trick on several occasions.

Jason McLaughlin: Often started out as an inside defender but was given the task of chasing his man off the field. It did so with aplomb and showed a comfort in advancing the hands-on marking work and the occupied area.

Ronan Wallace: Great performance in the final. In all games, moving the ball with purpose and running late in dangerous positions gave others an advantage.

Killian Clark: Could be included in midfield. Opposition playmakers, a kickout option, and great awareness while covering any gaps left in Cavan’s transition from defense to attack.

Sam McCartan: He did better in each game and was as important for Westmeath in attack as he was in defense. A true modern half-back. Good stock, no doubt that some of his versatility was passed down from his grandfather, Sean Purcell of Galway.

Ryan Jones: After a great away victory over Longford, Fermanagh was perhaps unlucky to have been drawn against a then strong Cavan side. Jones was a key figure in his two matches and is a fine example of a strong fielder who also brings scoring and playing ability. Six points from the game confirm his remarkable performance.

Ray Conlon: His previous stint in the AFL is no surprise given his athleticism. Sometimes used to catch the middle and free Westmeath’s attacking half-back line. He also won several important aerial doubles and was aerobically a step ahead of other midfielders at this level.

Gerard Smith: Probably Cavan Player of the Tournament. Consistently looking for work in possession and out and still scoring seven points in the semi-finals and final with leg and accuracy says it all.

Gearoid McKiernan: Another who spent some time in midfield but his skill level means he just needs to spend as much time in the opposition half as possible. The physical qualities that suggest Kroke Park’s open spaces and counter-attack opponents may highlight him, but an unmistakable dexterity of the left or right foot allows him to direct the game and score big.

Ronan O’Toole: No opposing team could beat him. Creative and scoring threat too. The elusive runs fetched him innumerable deliveries, none of which went in vain.

Anton Sullivan: The archetypal wing ahead in today’s game. A manager’s dream because he has the fitness to cover the ground repeatedly, packed defense has the acceleration to break a line and the skill to finish the moves.

John Heslin: The free-scoring farmer of Maroon and Whites was a handful in play, given his normal height and had always been reliable on the free. Scored important marks when needed. Niall McNamee played a similar role to Offaly in this campaign, but was not as influential as the Westmeath man.

Keith Beerne: Cavan’s Paddy Lynch is too unlucky to miss out on here. Birne was instrumental in Leitrim’s encouraging victory over highly ranked Antrim and then was Electric in his defeat to Sligo, which included some classy strikes.

who will you cast? who will you leave And why?

This is the spectacular absurdity of it all. Its great fun. Long live the All-Stars!