Last year the Fantasy Hurling (and Fantasy Football) took the league by storm, started by the folks up in Eoghan Ruadh hurling club in Tyrone as a means of fundraising for the development of their youth teams.
It’s back this year once again, adding a fantastic layer of interest and competitiveness to the league should you decide to get involved. It works just like the Fantasy Premier League: pick your team and the team with the most points at the end wins. Simply pick your starting fifteen, with a maximum of two players from each county, a manager, a captain – who scores double points – and based on the scoring system your team will rack up points and compete against other people in the leaderboards.
We’ve created our own mini-league which you can join using this code: ZC8YKH-1548112660. To help you along your way, here are eight players you should be considering for your team. Only eight though, we can’t give away all our tricks…
The purpose of your goalkeeper is to concede as few goals as possible, while contributing in scoring is a major bonus. Waterford’s Stephen O’Keefe isn’t allergic to roaming forward when the opportunity arises, so could be liable to nick a point or two over the course of the league. However with Waterford back in 1B and facing the likes of Laois, Carlow and Offaly, clean sheets are very much likely.
Like O’Keeffe, Fanning isn’t a stranger to point scoring and is very capable from long distance frees. He’s one of the finest shot stoppers in the game, however will face some potent forward lines in Division 1A, so clean sheets may be at a minimum. If you want a 1A goalkeeper, then the Wexford man is an ideal selection and will leave plenty of room for experimentation with your outfield players.
Diarmuid Ryan (Clare)
A slight flaw in the game, on the evidence of the Munster League, is Clare newcomer Diarmuid Ryan is listed as a back when he could be lining out in the Clare forward line. It appears to be a huge risk or reward pick, because if he plays the Cratloe man is a potent wing forward who is capable of scoring a handful of points from play. However the risk is Clare’s strength in depth in this position may mean he doesn’t start or play every game. Defenders score seven points for each score from play, so the youngster could be a major scorer if he continues his Munster League form.
Paudie Foley (Wexford)
The Wexford centre back is a very capable free taker and may have won the long distance free-taking mantle for Davy Fitzgerald’s side. Wexford free takers have been on a rotation basis for the past couple of years, but the Crossabeg Ballymurn clubman hit six in the Walsh Cup in Kilkenny and another two from distance in the final against Galway. He’s very much capable of scoring from play as well, so could be a valuable back for your team.
Tony Kelly (Clare)
If you don’t have Kelly in your team, you’re onto a loser straight away. He’s the equivalent to Mo Salah in the Fantasy Premier League, or Cristiano Ronaldo back in the day. Kelly is likely to play at centre forward for Clare and we all know how good he is. Points, goals, a potential captaincy selection – which means double points – means Kelly must be in your team.
Jamie Barron (Waterford)
It wasn’t too long ago that Barron was a Player of the Year candidate. Last year went a bit quieter for the midfielder from The Nire, but that applies to the entire Waterford team. Now in 1B and under a new regime, Barron will hopefully be back to his best in the middle of the park. He’s capable of a handful of points from play and is a great option in your team. Picking Barron over the likes of Cian Lynch or David Burke means you can add an extra Limerick or Galway man to your forward line, or indeed back lines.
Stephen Bennett (Waterford)
The 23-year-old is one of the finest forwards in the country, but has unfortunately been hampered with injuries over the course of his short career. Now back fit and firing, Bennett is back in the Waterford forward line and may even eat into some of Pauric Mahony’s free scoring. He was prolific during the Munster League and should continue that in the Allianz League. A fantastic selection if you’ve filled your two-team maximum and have a Waterford jersey spare.
Aaron Gillane (Limerick)
Gillane is one of the most prolific scorers in the country. Club, college or county, he’s scoring points be they from frees or in play. He has a thirst for goals too, despite missing some high profile chances last year with his boot. If he sticks to the ash, he should be a serious scorer in your fantasy team.
Join our fantasy mini-league and you win we’ll send you a limited edition GAA Wrap jersey! Use code ZC8YKH-1548112660 to join. All proceeds for joining the game go to Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club youth development.
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