EirGrid has today revealed through the ‘EirGrid 20 U20 Awards’ the top 20 players of this year’s All-Ireland U20 Football Championship.
To no surprise, All-Ireland champions Cork dominate the selections with seven players in the Top 20 after their final victory over Dublin three weeks ago which saw them pulling off a nine-point comeback against the capital lads in Portlaoise.
The ‘EirGrid 20 U20 Awards’, now in their fifth year, are run by EirGrid to recognise the outstanding talent at this age grade and are selected by the Gaelic Writers Association. In addition, EirGrid has named the U20 Player and Manager of the year, selected from the top player and manager from each of the provincial championships.
Dublin sharpshooter, Ciaran Archer, was named both Leinster and overall EirGrid U20 Player of the Year ahead of Munster’s Cathal O’Mahony (Cork), Connacht’s Liam Costello (Galway) and Ulster’s Sean Og McAleer (Tyrone), all of whom were named the top players from their provincial championships.
In a new initiative for the 2019 season, Keith Ricken, who masterminded Cork’s emphatic comeback against Dublin in the All Ireland final, was named Munster and the overall EirGrid U20 Manager of the Year ahead of Leinster’s Tom Gray (Dublin), Connacht’s Padraic Joyce (Galway) and Ulster’s Paul Devlin (Tyrone).
Cork, who won their 12th U20 (formerly U21) title, and first since 2009, when they overturned a seven-point deficit in the second half against Dublin, have seven players selected in the EirGrid 20 U20’s. These are: Josh O’Keeffe, Paul Ring, Peter O’Driscoll, Maurice Shanley, Brian Hartnett, Cathal O’Mahony and Mark Cronin.
All Ireland finalists Dublin have four players included (Kieran Kennedy, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, Ciaran Archer and James Doran) as do Ulster champions Tyrone (Conal Grimes, Conor Quinn, Darragh Canavan and Sean Óg McAleer). Connacht champions Galway have three players named on the panel (Oran Burke, Matthias Bairead and Liam Costello) with the remaining slots going to Mayo (Oisin Mullin) and Laois (Diarmuid Whelan).
Dublin's Ciaran Archer fires a point against Longford
Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan said: “My congratulations to all of those who have been named on this prestigious list and to the families and clubs who they proudly represent.
"The EirGrid 20 U20 awards acknowledges the fact that a full panel of players is needed to be successful and is reflected in the fact that players from six different counties are included here in recognition of their excellence over the course of another high quality EirGrid U20 Championship. "These players are following a well-worn and proven pathway in making the step from underage to senior status and football's rich history shows how these competitions help nurture and develop the senior stars of tomorrow."
Valerie Hedin, External Communications Manager at EirGrid commented: “We are delighted to honour the top 20 performers of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship and extend our congratulations to Dublin’s Ciaran Archer who has been awarded the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year. From what we saw of Ciaran in this year’s championship he has a bright future ahead of him in the blue of Dublin.
"Our recognition of the championship’s top performers has this year extended to those that manage and develop the current U20 teams and prepare them for the future both on and off the pitch. Cork’s Keith Ricken impressed with his stewardship over his young side and was named EirGrid Manager of the Year. It is great to be able to recognise and award the talent and character displayed by these young men in a competition that nurtures and develops the stars of tomorrow. Well done to all our winners and thank you for making the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship such an outstanding competition.”
EirGrid 20 U20’s
1. Josh O'Keeffe (Cork)
2. Oran Burke (Galway)
3. Paul Ring (Cork)
4. Peter O'Driscoll (Cork)
5. Maurice Shanley (Cork)
6. Kieran Kennedy (Dublin)
7. Oisin Mullin (Mayo)
8. Conal Grimes (Tyrone)
9. Conor Quinn (Tyrone)
10. Brian Hartnett (Cork)
11. Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Dublin)
12. Matthias Bairead (Galway)
13. Cathal O'Mahony (Cork)
14. Mark Cronin (Cork)
15. Ciaran Archer (Dublin)
16. James Doran (Dublin)
17. Liam Costello (Galway)
18. Darragh Canavan (Tyrone)
19. Sean Óg McAleer (Tyrone)
20. Diarmuid Whelan (Laois)Tweet