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'O'Shea is an incredible player' | Brian Fenton on his toughest opponents

A five-time All-Ireland winner with Dublin, midfielder Brian Fenton discussed a selection of his toughest and most admired opponents on Friday's OTB AM.

It is difficult to imagine that Brian Fenton, a 26-year-old inter-county footballer who has never lost a championship fixture, could have any regrets about his career thus far.

Although going so far as to term it a regret may be excessive, there are some things he wishes were different, however.

"I would have loved to play with Ciaran Whelan," he said of the former Dublin midfielder, "or play against Darragh Ó Sé.

"I was very lucky to play on the same pitch as the likes of Colm Cooper, Marc Ó Sé and I don't take these things for granted.

"I remember saying to Marc Ó Sé after maybe the '15 final or 2016 semi-final, 'Oh, you're a legend,' as I shook his hand and walked off the pitch.

"These people are icons."

Brian Fenton 2 March 2003; Ciaran Whelan, Dublin, in action against Darragh O'Se, Kerry. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Of those players the Raheny native has had the pleasure and difficulty of coming up against, there are plenty of names that come to mind.

"Aidan O'Shea is an incredible footballer," he said of his frequent Mayo opponent, "he poses so many different challenges.

"Colm Cavanagh poses a specific threat, Jack Barry and David Moran pose different tests and then you have maybe these smaller runners who mark you in close contact.

"I always say that I was very lucky to avoid Gary Brennan in Clare. I remember we played them in a friendly, but luckily I wasn't marking him because that was my first year on the panel and it could have gone south from there."

Considering his role as a midfielder when under the close attention of a Cavanagh, Barry or the like, Brian Fenton retained a nuanced view of his responsibilities.

"There's loads more [I can do] than getting on the ball," he remarked. "My agenda is making Dean Rock look good, or giving the ball to Ciaran Kilkenny, or getting Paul Mannion into the right position rather than focusing on myself."

You can watch back Brian Fenton's interview with Off The Ball in full here.

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Aidan O'shea Brian Fenton Darragh O Se Dublin GAA Gaelic Football Kerry Mayo Tyrone

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