Inpho Sport. Conor Corbett, Paul Towey and Ruairí Canavan could all make their impact felt this season.
# eyes peeled
The young footballers to watch in the 2023 Allianz League
Here’s six rising stars to keep an eye on.

Ruairí Canavan (Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone)

The latest of the famous Canavan clan set to bear the Tyrone jersey, Ruairí was named the U20 Footballer of the Year after a series of man-of-the-match performances led Tyrone to the All-Ireland title.

He scored seven points, including a sideline kick, in their Ulster final victory over Cavan, eight points — four from play — in their semi-final against Kerry, and added 1-7 — 1-4 from play — in the final to topple Kildare. He was named Man of the Match after each performance.

His dream 2022 continued as he helped his club Errigal Ciarán to their first Tyrone SFC title in a decade, scoring in all five matches before they were knocked out in Ulster by All-Ireland finalists Glen.

He went viral for a dummy solo and point in that latter match, which was shared as far afield as ESPN’s SportsCenter in America.

Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers, Cork)

The 2019 Minor Footballer of the Year and All-Ireland winning captain, Conor Corbett was always a top prospect until his Cork senior debut was delayed by injury.

He scored 1-7 in that 2019 All-Ireland final and notched a notable 2-4 in an U20 semi-final victory over Kerry a week before damaging his cruciate in the 2021 Munster U20 final.

He went exactly 366 days off the field, suffering a hamstring strain on his return to Cork training, before making a goal-scoring comeback for his club, Clyda Rovers, last July.

His county senior debut arrived in the five-goal victory over Kerry, where he laid on a goal for Colm O’Callaghan and won possession from a short kick-out to set up another for Chris Óg Jones.

He has been on Sigerson Cup duty since with DCU, scoring a goal in their opening-round win over ATU Donegal.

Eoin McEvoy (Magherafelt, Derry) and Lachlan Murray (Desertmartin, Derry)

Rory Gallagher started two 19-year-olds in all four of Derry’s McKenna Cup games on their path to the title in Eoin McEvoy and Lachlan Murray.

Both were members of their 2020 All-Ireland minor winning team, Murray scoring 1-2 in the Covid-delayed final, and McEvoy adding a point in a commanding centre-back display. They were both named on the Minor Football Team of the Year.

eoin-mcevoy-celebrates-with-the-trophy Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Eoin McEvoy with the MacRory Cup. Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

McEvoy went on to captain St Mary’s Magherafelt to the MacRory Cup last year but injury limited his senior involvement, while Murray scored a consolation goal in the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.

Gallagher hailed Murray as an “outstanding young talent” after his superb last-kick equaliser against Tyrone in the McKenna Cup group stage.

Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields, Mayo)

As Mayo search for more scoring forwards, Paul Towey’s 1-4 haul against Galway in the Connacht League was well-timed.

He hit the headlines while playing in America during the Chicago Senior Football Championship last summer for accumulating a ridiculous 1-17 out of his side’s 2-21 in defeat, 1-7 of that total from play and another point from a mark.

At underage level, he kicked 0-9 (six from play) in a 2020 Connacht U20 quarter-final against Galway that Mayo lost on penalties before making his National League debut that spring. He came on a sub against Sligo a year later for his championship debut.

He was corner-forward alongside David Clifford on the UL team that reached the Sigerson Cup final last year.

Now 22, will be hoping to make inroads towards further involvement under new management.

Keith Doyle (St Dominic’s, Roscommon)

A midfielder with an eye for goal, Keith Doyle scored 2-2 in their Connacht League opener against Sligo.

He’ll be hoping to build on a 2022 campaign that saw him kick a crucial equaliser against Derry which set Roscommon up for promotion to Division 1 of the League. He made a scoring impact off the bench in the Division 2 final victory over Galway and in championship games against Sligo and Clare.

In his youth, he had to overcome a series of injuries, including a torn hip flexor, muscle fibres being torn off his hip bone, a stress fracture in his back, and a broken wrist which kept him sidelined for a combined two-and-a-half years.

He was Man of the Match for Roscommon CBS in his first game at Croke Park to win the All-Ireland Schools B title in 2019 and lined out in midfield for the Rossies in their 2021 All-Ireland U20 final defeat to Offaly.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel