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Poll: Who deserves to be named Young Footballer of the Year?

Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor is the favourite to win the award.

AS THE ONLY player nominated to feature in the All-Ireland final, it would be a huge shock if Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor doesn’t pick up his second straight award on November 4th.

He faces competition from two of the bright sparks from Tipperary’s incredible run to the last four of the All-Ireland series, Jimmy Feehan and Josh Keane. All three players enjoyed memorable campaigns and were among the finest youngsters in the inter-county game in 2016.

Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo)

Diarmuid O’Connor Source: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Connor is the red-hot favourite to pick up his second straight award. If he does it would be the fourth time a member of his house was named Young Footballer of the Year, with big brother Cillian also taking home the award twice.

Diarmuid wasn’t as electric in 2016 as he was in his breakout year, as he struggled to shake off injuries at the business end of the season. Still, his key role in Mayo’s U21 All-Ireland winning campaign must not be forgotten.

O’Connor scored a serious contender for goal of the year against Kildare in the qualifiers and had his moments in both the final and replay against Dublin.

Jimmy Feehan (Tipperary)

Jimmy Feehan Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Among the band of fearless young Tipperary footballers to emerge this year. In the coming years we might well become more accustomed to seeing Feehan employed midfield, but for now he’s making his name as an all-action wing-back.

This young Tipp side are not afraid to play ball and Feehan typifies that. He has a natural aggression and an eye for a score once he breaks forward. Big things are expected of him in the Premier County. He’s only going to get better.

Josh Keane (Tipperary)

Josh Keane Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Keane is talented hurler to boot, and Liam Kearns might face a challenge to keep him away from the lure of All-Ireland medals with Michael Ryan’s hurling squad.

A typical modern day wing-forward, Keane is hard-working, tenacious and a good all-round ball player. With natural scorers in Conor Sweeney, Kevin O’Halloran and Michael Quinlivan in attack, Keane’s role was as important, although a little less obvious.

Who do you think deserves to be named Young Footballer of the Year?


Poll Results:

Diarmuid O’Connor (2757)
Jimmy Feehan (791)
Josh Keane (744)



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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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