# Things Lee Did
Lee Keegan: 'People say this hard luck story with Mayo, I find that bit of a farce to be honest'
The 2016 Footballer of the Year gave a wide-ranging interview on Newstalk last night.

Lee Keegan shakes hands with Diarmuid Connolly Cathal Noonan / INPHO Lee Keegan congratulates Diarmuid Connolly after the All-Ireland final replay. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

FOR THE FIRST time a Mayo man was honoured as Footballer of the Year last Friday night, as Lee Keegan was recognised for his exploits during the 2016 season.

Keegan also collected his fourth All-Star football award and now has more All-Stars than any Mayo player.

After an inter-county Gaelic football campaign where Keegan was one of the dominant figures, last night he reflected on it all on Newstalk’s Off The Ball with Joe Molloy.

2016 GAA/GPA Opel All-Stars Awards Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE All-Star Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE / SPORTSFILE

Despite Keegan’s individual prowess, the ultimate goal of the All-Ireland senior medal eluded him as Mayo lost a third All-Ireland final in five years while the Westport man has also been thwarted twice recently at the semi-final replay stage.

But Keegan is not in any mood for sympathy for Mayo’s plight at going so close.

“It doesn’t get easier to be honest. People say this hard luck story with Mayo, I find that a bit of a farce to be honest. There’s 30 teams out there that could be in the same position as us but they’re not.

“We’re there every year challenging. People say there’s a hoodoo with Dublin but we’ve beaten Dublin before in semi-final and in league games.

“People tend to think it’s his hard luck Mayo story, that’s not the way we think. We’re a very ambitious young group that are striving to the top end of things.”

The subject of Diarmuid Connolly, his opponent in a series of absorbing individual duels, also came up for discussion.

Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly James Crombie / INPHO Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“I have nothing but respect for Diarmuid Connolly as a player and what he’s done in the game. If you look at his record, it’s one of the best out there.

“It’s great to have a personal duel with someone and the quality that Diarmuid has. People nearly expect me to just let him play football for the full 70 minutes.

“Of course everyone would love to see that. I love watching players on the top of their game and able to do things that other players can’t do.

“When it comes down to competition and winning trophies and medals and winning big games, of course I’m going to stop Diarmuid. I’m a defender at the end of the day and that’s my job.

“I’ve nothing but utmost respect for Diarmuid and the Dublin squad because what they’ve achieved over the last number of years is nothing short of sensational.”

Keegan also spoke about the honour of being crowned Footballer of the Year, how Dublin edged out Mayo in the All-Ireland final saga, the black card he received in the replay and #ThingsLeeDid.

You can listen to the full interview here.

Off The Ball / SoundCloud

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