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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020

5 players who were unlucky to miss out on a football Allstar this year

These men were in the shake-up but missed out on individual honours.

Diarmuid Connolly and Paddy Andrews won All-Ireland medals but missed out on Allstars.
Diarmuid Connolly and Paddy Andrews won All-Ireland medals but missed out on Allstars.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The 2015 Football Allstars have been announced and, as per usual, they’re generating plenty of discussion.

There’s no denying that all 15 of this year’s winners are deserving of their accolade but equally, there are a handful of players who must feel that they just missed out.

This is not an argument for their inclusion at the expense of someone else, but a recognition of the excellent seasons which put them right in the mix.

Paddy Andrews (Dublin)

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Former corner back Andrews emerged as one of Dublin’s standout performers at the business end of the campaign.

The St Brigid’s clubman was man of the match in the All-Ireland semi-final replay victory over Mayo and produced another solid performance in the final victory over Kerry.

Andrews kicked 0-7 over the course of the two Mayo games and chipped in with another crucial white flag against the Kingdom.

He also scored three points from play in the quarter-final win against Fermanagh.

Paul Durcan (Donegal)

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Durcan and Donegal conceded just one goal in the Ulster championship over the course of four games – and that was against Tyrone in the preliminary round.

The man plying his club trade with Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s kept another clean sheet in the qualifier victory over Galway, before Mayo put two goals past him in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Durcan picked the ball out of his net just three times in six matches and his kickouts were instrumental to Donegal’s set-up, as he managed to put the nightmare of last year’s All-Ireland final error behind him.

Kerry goalkeeper Brendan Kealy, who won the Allstar, saw four goals go past him over the course of the two Munster finals against Cork, and the Kingdom also leaked two to Tipperary.

David Moran (Kerry)

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

As Kerry won the Munster championship and powered past Kildare in a one-sided All-Ireland quarter-final, David Moran was being mentioned as a possible Footballer of the Year contender.

He dove-tailed brilliantly with Anthony Maher, who won an Allstar, but Moran will have been disappointed with the tail-end of the campaign, when he struggled to reproduce his early season form.

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He will be pleased, however, to get a full season behind him again following serious injury setbacks over the last few years.

And we could see the very best of David Moran in the green and gold alongside Maher in 2016.

Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo)

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Unlike his hurling counterpart Tadhg de Búrca, O’Connor didn’t add an Allstar to the Young Player of the Year award he collected in Dublin last night.

But that shouldn’t overshadow a superb season for the Ballintubber man, younger brother of Cillian.

Diarmuid’s second season as a Mayo senior yielded another Connacht championship medal and he looks set to become a forward mainstay for many years to come.

O’Connor will now hope that he can add an All-Ireland medal and Allstar to his growing collection of honours next year.

Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin)

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Connolly rampaged through the Leinster championship and looked odds-on to be crowned Footballer of the Year from a long way out.

But as the remainder of the season unfolded, it became apparent that the gifted St Vincent’s player would struggle to even make the Allstar team.

Think Diarmuid Connolly and you’ll talk about that much talked about disciplinary saga that saw him win a late-night DRA battle to line out in the All-Ireland semi-final replay victory over Mayo.

Connolly’s eye seemed off the ball in the second Mayo game and he was below par again in the final victory over Kerry.

But he won’t dwell on individual accolades after collecting another Celtic Cross, the one that means more than anything else.

O’Connor and De Búrca claim Young Footballer and Hurler of the Year honours

Reid and McCaffrey scoop GAA/GPA hurler and footballer of the year awards

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