Tonight was All-Star award night up here at the National Convention Centre and with Keith, Ger, Lee and Alan collecting their gongs it was always going to be a good night for the county. It was made even better, though, with the announcement that Cillian O’Connor was, for the second year running, named the Young Footballer of the Year.
Ed McGreal was musing on Twitter this evening as to whether or not anyone had won back-to-back YFOTY titles before and although I can’t be 100% sure on the point, I’d be very surprised if anyone had. I was equally surprised when Ed pointed out that the young Ballintubber man is still eligible for U21 next year – Cillian seems to have been around for years but he’s obviously not ageing as quickly as the rest of us.
I didn’t, to be honest, expect him to win the award tonight. Donal Keoghan wasn’t ever really in the hunt – despite a few sparkling performances in Leinster, getting a nomination was surely reward enough for the hugely promising Meath corner-back – but I felt that Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty was more likely to prevail, if only because Cillian had won it last year.
But then when you start to think about the crucial input that Cillian had to our championship run this year – can anyone, for example, forget his mammoth place-kicking against the Dubs? – it becomes mush easier to see why our man sealed back-to-back wins in this particular category. Well done, Cillian, on another exceptional year.
Right, I have some Celebrity Bainisteoir news, with the final between Moy Davitts and Cashel having concluded a short while ago at Parnell Park but before I go any further it’s time for the old spoiler alert sign again. So here it is:
I know many people think that Celebrity Bainisteoir is a load of old bollocks but I quite like it and the clubs involved in it certainly make the most of the opportunity it provides them to raise their profile, fund-raise and generally have a good time. I know Moy Davitts took to it with gusto this year and tonight Callum Best’s charges got their reward when they eked out a narrow 0-9 to 0-8 victory over Cashel in the decider. Highlights of the match will be shown on the programme on Sunday; it’s on RTÉ1 at 6.30pm.
So – that makes four All-Stars, a YFOTY award and an All-Ireland title for a club from the county. That’s a good night’s work not matter how you cut it.