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7 players we'll miss in this year's football championship

Some influential players have called it a day over the past year.

Updated 07.55

IT’S CHAMPIONSHIP TIME which means exciting fixtures and promising young talent.

Over the past year, however, we’ve lost several influential footballers to retirement. We look back at some standout players that we’ll miss watching this summer.

1) Alan Brogan (Dublin)

Alan Brogan celebrates with the Sam Maguire trophy

One of the most talented forwards to wear a Dublin jersey, Brogan hung up his boots after winning his third All-Ireland last year. 2011 was undoubtedly the highlight of his career, winning his first All-Ireland medal in his 10th season and being crowned Footballer of the Year.

In last year’s final, Brogan came off the bench to score this vital point:

Brogan won’t only be missed by the Dubs on Hill 16, but by GAA fans all over the country.

2) Paul Galvin (Kerry)

Paul Galvin

Love him or hate him, this Kerry man will surely be missed this summer. Galvin retired (again) in January after his dramatic comeback in March of last year.

The 36-year-old has had a hugely successful career in green and gold, winning four All-Irelands, three All-Stars and of course, being named Player of the Year in 2009.

3) Owen Lennon (Monaghan)

Owen Lennon

Lennon first entered Monaghan’s county scene in 2000 and has been involved in the past 15 campaigns. A long-standing ankle injury eventually forced the Latton man to retire.

The midfielder captained the Farney county to the Ulster championship in 2013 to end a 25-year wait and pocketed a second provincial medal last July.

 4) Kevin Reilly (Meath)

Kevin Reilly

The former Royals captain was forced to retire last October due to persistent injuries. Reilly, 29, made his senior debut straight out of minor and featured on the Leinster title winning team of 2010.

The Navan O’Mahony’s defender had been battling a severe hip problem since the 2014 Leinster final, forcing him to prematurely end his inter-county career.

https://twitter.com/truefergallynch/status/653946252086935552?lang=en

 5) Stephen Lucey (Limerick)

Stephen Lucey

The Limerick dual star was a standout defender for the Shannonside footballers over his 17-year career.

Despite his efforts, Lucey wasn’t blessed with the silverware he may have deserved football-wise. He played in four Munster SFC Final defeats but won two National Football League Division 4 titles and a McGrath Cup.

6) Graeme Molloy (Wexford)

Graeme Molloy

Like Lucey, Molloy’s success when it came to silverware wasn’t overly fruitful at inter-county level.

The former captain was forced to retire due to a knee injury which caused him to miss the majority of last year’s campaign. He did, however, help his club St James’ to win their first ever senior championship title and lined out at centre-back in Wexford’s shock championship win over Down last year.

7) PJ Quinn (Tyrone)

PJ Quinn

Quinn is another player who was forced to retire due to injury. The Tyrone man collected an All-Ireland medal in his debut season in 2008 and added two Ulster titles in 2009 and 2010.

He played the last of his inter-county games in 2014 before a hip operation ruled him out in 2015. Quinn was hopeful that he could make a return but officially retired last month.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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