Cillian shortlisted for Young Footballer of the Year award

It was widely expected to happen but earlier on today it was confirmed that Cillian O’Connor has made the shortlist for this year’s GAA GPA All-Star Young Footballer of the Year award. The young Ballintubber man is up against Dublin’s James McCarthy and Donegal’s wee Mark McHugh for the gong with the winner due to be announced at the All-Stars bash on Friday week.

While reaching the final three is a superb achievement in its own right – it’s the first time a representative from the county has done so since Aidan O’Shea made the cut back in 2009 – Cillian has to be in with a great shout to win the award outright.

I reckon that it’s between him and James McCarthy and while the young Ballymun Kickhams man has had a wonderful year, in which he bolted down a starting fifteen place on Dublin’s All-Ireland winning team, Cillian’s breakthrough into senior just a year on from being eligible to play minor and the significant role he played in our championship run might be sufficient to swing it for him.

Also, with Alan Brogan looking like a nailed-on certainty for the senior award (where Stephen Cluxton and Darran O’Sullivan have also been nominated) there’s got to be less of a chance that they’d give the two Footballer of the Year awards to the two Dublin lads. Paddy Power appears to agree with this assessment: Cillian is the strong odds-on favourite at 2/5 to scoop the prize.

14 thoughts on “Cillian shortlisted for Young Footballer of the Year award

  1. Cillian has a great chance. Remember going into the Roscommon game we had no freetaker and up stepped the young lad and scored from all angles on one of the worst days for free taking despite collins’ best attempts to throw him off. Two all stars and young player of year would do nicely

  2. Had an outstanding year out of minor in the Senior Ranks and still contributing with his club looking at back to back titles. Should be enough ! Best of luck Cillian.

  3. An outstanding talent. A real natural scoring forward. A rarity in Mayo unfortunately. A few more like him and Sam would be on his way.
    He is the future.

  4. facetheball i dont buy into the line that we dont have many naturally scoring fowards in mayo. Yes There was a time in the not too distant past when it was common to see a mayo foward unmarked 20 yards from goal blazing the ball wide but i dont necessarily agree that its still an issue to be honest. We can score as freely as most other counties out there when the chance is presented.

  5. Who would these natural SCORING forwards be Ted ?
    Freeman in 2010 looked like he could be, A Moran this year.
    I’m thinking top class scoring forwards like Gooch, Dec O’Sullivan, Meehan, Brogans.
    MacD and O’Neill were the last two we had like that. If had one in’96 and’97, we would have won the doube, without doubt. McD was too young at the time and I think O’Neill was injured.

  6. Didn’t McDonald play in the ’97 final? Number 13? Scored 1-3 or something? (I was only 7 at the time but I remember him playing that day)

  7. ah facetheball now you’re moving the goal post by referring to the likes of the gooch, meehan etc. I certainly wouldnt put cillian in that class YET. Those players you mention are of the exceptional variety. My point was that we have been labeled in the past as a team without any scoring potential. That has changed in recent years and we score as much as most however when we kick the odd shocker Morrisey and canning refer to same old problem of mayo not being able to score and it drives me nuts. As for freeman he had a poor year this year by his own standards but he has the potential to be a major player for us.

  8. Mayo’s problem is no the scoring, its that we don’t do it consistently enough. We can score but we also have a big turn over of waste from the possession we rack up.

    In 1997 we hit 1-16 v Galway and 0-18 v Leitrim. In 1999 we hit 0-21 v Roscommon and 1-14 v Galway (reigning AI champs), In 2004 we took Galway for 0-18,Ros for 2-13 , Tyrone (reigning AI champs) 0-16 and even Kerry for 2-9. In 2005 a poor enough year we got 0-18 v Kerry. In 2006 we got 1-16 v Dublin and 3-5 vKerry ( I know). Go to 2009 and we ran up 3-18 v Ros and 1-14 v Galway.

    The problem is that after for example the Tyrone game is we scored a paltry 8/9 points v Fermanagh. We can score but we aint consistent and that comes down to a confidence thing. I was at the 1997 semi final v offaly. I think we scored 0-13 but kicked 22 wides, many from scoring positions. Its a mental thing.

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