Irishman's fantasy football team are top of the world

Tubbercurry native Mark Burke is leading the overall Premier League table with his team ‘Honesty of Effort’.

imageBurke in action for Sligo's senior hurlers in 2007. Credit: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

MANY OF US know only too well what it feels like to spend hours painstakingly deliberating over your Premier League fantasy football teams each week.

As Giovanni Trapattoni often emphasised, it's those "little details" which can make all the difference when it comes to deciding on the right calls before that window of opportunity slams shut on Saturday morning.

After the final whistles go and another Gameweek is done and dusted, the time comes to check out how you've fared.

When Tubbercurry native Mark Burke logged on at the final whistle of Everton's win over Newcastle on Monday night, he saw quite the sight.

His team, named 'Honesty of Effort' in homage to John Giles, not only led the two leagues he competes in with the local golf club and a group of college friends, Burke was, incredibly, also ranked FIRST overall in the competition.

"It’s unbelievable," he told The Score today. "If I was in the top 500 I’d class it as something to brag about in the pub.

"How long it will last though, I don’t know."

imageCredit:  Fantasy Premier League

Just to put it in context, there are over 90,000 participants in Ireland and a total of 2,981,853 playing worldwide. The 101 points picked up in Gameweek 6 thanks to fine displays from the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Daniel Sturridge and John Terry put Burke on 454 - one higher than his nearest rival.

While his team performed well as a whole, the Liverpool fan pinpoints the decision to pick Romelu Lukaku and hand the Belgian striker the captain's armband as crucial.

"Luckily enough, Benteke is out and I had to bring a striker in for around the same price," he explains.

"Before last weekend I was in 200th spot. I knew I had Lukaku as my captain so I kept a keen eye on Monday night’s game between Everton and Newcastle.

Some of the lads have suggested I go for the Ireland job!"

Here's his team:

imageCredit:  Fantasy Premier League

An avid Liverpool fan, Burke has been playing fantasy football for a several years but admits never taking very seriously -- although one of the leagues he entered into involved a €20 buy-in.

So has he got any tips for us?

"I’ve changed my team captain every week and haven’t been sticking with the same players.

I generally make one change and spend about half an hour on a Friday just going over the team and looking at the weekend ahead."

Outside of fantasy management, Burke is a former captain of the Sligo senior hurlers and a talented footballer. He is part of the Tubbercurry team who take on Tourlestrane in the Sligo senior decider on Sunday week.

On the final, he adds: "Tourlestrane have been doing a lot better than ourselves over the past number of years but it’s a local derby and I’d be fairly confident. We’ll give it a hell of a go anyway."

(h/t: OceanFM)

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