Photo: GAA (Sportsfile)
Ahead of the big annual bash in the Convention Centre tomorrow night, this morning the football All-Star team for 2014 was announced and we have three players on the chosen fifteen – Keith Higgins at corner-back, Colm Boyle at wing-back and Cillian O’Connor at corner-forward. Stars they all sure are and their inclusion in the team this year is richly deserved. Well done to them and indeed to all of the Mayo lads nominated this year.
I have to say I’m a bit surprised – in a nice way – that we got the three gongs as I fully expected us to be under-rewarded again this year in the way that we were twelve months ago. Keith and Cillian were always bolted-on certainties for inclusion – the former becoming the first Mayo player to win three All-Stars, the latter gaining his first on top of back-to-back YPOTY awards in 2011 and 2012 – but it’s really great to see Boyler claiming his second All-Star award, beating off stiff enough competition in the half-back line to do so. A bit like how he always performs on the field.
For a change, this year’s All-Star line-up doesn’t have any obvious shocks in terms of inclusions or omissions. James McCarthy edging out Frank McGlynn is probably the closest thing to a controversial pick but the Dublin player was very good all year and deserves recognition and while Paul Durcan’s All-Ireland final howler and Kieran Donaghy’s lack of playing time during the year should perhaps have weighed more strongly against their respective inclusions, it’s probably still right that they both did manage to make it onto the team.
The full team for 2014 is here.