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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

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

Austin Gleeson, Shane Bennett and Ronan Maher are in the running.

THE PRESENCE OF Austin Gleeson in the running means it would be a major surprise if Shane Bennett or Ronan Maher take home Young Hurler of the Year.

Gleeson was on a different planet to most hurlers in the country for much of the season, although Maher did enjoy a remarkable All-Ireland final for a debutant.

Gleeson’s Deise team-mate Bennett is another star in the making.

Shane Bennett (Waterford)

Shane Bennett celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

An All-Ireland U21 winning campaign helped soften the blow of Waterford’s defeat to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final replay. Bennett was a majestic performer with the U21s, revelling in a key role in attack.

A classy hurler with a high work-rate and an eye for a score, he has improved steadily under the stewardship of Derek McGrath. Another player who might benefit from a slightly more offensive system, as Bennett often finds himself a little too far out from goal to do the sort of damage he’s capable of.

Ronan Maher (Tipperary)

Ronan Maher Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

They say pressure creates diamonds and while many players wilt under the stress of All-Ireland final day, one or two thrive under the intense conditions. Maher is among the latter, a guy who, on the biggest day of his short career, seized the opportunity with both hands.

To mark both Richie Hogan and TJ Reid, the two previous Hurlers of the Year, in your first All-Ireland final and come out smelling like roses is no mean feat. Maher will be a mainstay at 6 in blue and gold for the next decade at least.

Austin Gleeson (Waterford)

Austin Gleeson Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

A shoe-in for this honour. Gleeson could follow in the foot-steps of Tony Kelly in 2013 by winning both Hurler of the Year and Young Hurler of the Year on the same night.

He was the heartbeat of the Deise U21s who freewheeled their way to All-Ireland glory by ripping apart everybody who stood in their way.

Gleeson is the finest young hurler in the land and is part of one of the most exciting groups of starlets to emerge in recent times.

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

Poll Results:

Austin Gleeson (3769)
Ronan Maher (1306)
Shane Bennett (134)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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