Cillian scoops second YFOTY award

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.

7 thoughts on “Cillian scoops second YFOTY award

  1. Congrats to Cillian, the steel he showed taking the first 45 into the hill and then to do it twice again was indeed exceptional.
    The maturity he has and work he puts in belies his youth.
    All the talk from commentators throughout the final stages of the championship about the great young bright stars,was on the likes of Paddy McBrearty, Kilkenny and co. and it seemed to be taken for granted that Cillian was some sort of seasoned pro, yet the lad was only a year older.
    This is testament to the make up of the guy, he has the ingredients that shows a very bright future for Mayo football, oceans of skill,both from the dead ball and in play and above all he has great fight in him .

  2. Haha,
    I was just on YouTube watching the semifinal against the dubs, and not even thinking about this ypoty award. I can say that I Connor has great skill from placed ball and open play and won’t walk away from a punch up in a hurry neither, which is something more Mayo lads are going to have to learn.
    I was thinking while watching that he is the epitome of what we need in our players. Colm Boyle and Keegan are others with the right ingredients.
    The future is bright.
    Well done Cillian.

  3. Delighted for cillian _ he deserves it.
    Celebrity B is a load of boll#### but there were possibly 10000 in parnell park watching two teams play football. There is learning there for us all……….qu ite what that lesson is im not sure but it needs figuring out

  4. That’s the point exactly, diehard – there’s so much about Celebrity Bainisteoir that you could rage at but it does really tap into something within the GAA and those clubs involved in it get totally behind it.

  5. It said on the Star newspaper today that Cillian was the first player ever to win young footballer of the year title back to back. Fair play to him. As for McBrearty…remember him being taken off? He’ll be remembered in 50 years time by me as the only Donegal insideforward who was taken off. (Well he did want to be remembered for something afterall!)

  6. Well done to Cillian on his award. I wasnt sure if he was going to get it but im delighted he did. The 3 45s into the hill in the semi final were for a 20 year old man is the stuff many players can only dream about. Hopefully we will see Cillian do it for many years to come.

    10000 is a huge crowd at a celebrity bainisteoir match. its probably that big because many would want to get their faces on tv. I know im being cynical but thats why many would go to these games besides the clubs supporters. Congrats to Moy Davitts though. They have suffered alot in the last few years going down to intermediate and losing many quality players. Fair play to them.

  7. Cillian is a wonderful role model for any kids to aspire to and a great ad for the GAA in this great county of ours. Too many of our (apparently) knowledgeable friends on this great site are too quick to dismiss the massive effort that ALL our wonderful players put in.

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