Lee Keegan is our Player of the Year


Photo: GAA.ie

I think it’s safe enough to conclude the poll on this one: ever since voting opened last week it was clear where the result was headed. So, over a thousand votes later it’s time to confirm that we have a result in the 2016 Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year poll and the winner by a decisive margin is Lee Keegan.

Lee polled a whopping 58% of all votes cast, with Brendan Harrison next on 18%, Andy Moran and Paddy Durcan both on 10%, with Cillian O’Connor on 4%. A total of 1,097 votes were cast in the poll.

Congrats to Lee on the award, which comes a few weeks before what is all but guaranteed to be a fourth All-Star award for him. He’s also – for the second time in his inter-county career – on the three-man shortlist for the Footballer of the Year award. With few exceptions, however, that one usually goes to the All-Ireland champions and so Brian Fenton’s name would appear to be firmly on that gong on this occasion. This is irrespective of the fact that Fenton’s contribution in the replay was, at best, marginal.

Lee’s unjustified black card in the replay, and the disgraceful targeting of him in the run-up to the game by that bunch of superannuated ex-Dublin players, will continue to fester in our minds over the winter. That match, though, also contained the stand-out moment of the year for the Westport man, one that’s worth savouring during the long, cold nights that lie ahead. Here it is:

There will, I’m sure, be more magic moments to look forward to in 2017 from the finest footballer in Ireland at the present time. Style on you, Leeroy.

66 thoughts on “Lee Keegan is our Player of the Year

  1. Without being bias i agree WJ the best footballer in the country at the moment !!
    Keeps improving year on year.
    One of the best goals ever scored in an all ireland ..

  2. Keegan oozes class, held so many top players scoreless throughout the championship and outscored Connolly from play over the two days despite being wrongly black carded in the replay.

    Great to see two newcomers Harrison and Durkan make the Top 4. If we can find two more lads to make that kind of impact next year and if one of them could be a forward then we can go all the way. We’re very close, a couple of tweaks can get us there.

  3. Well done Lee, well deserved.
    Great,great footballer, an example ( as Ger Cafferkey, says), to all young footballers.
    A true sportsman.

  4. Well done Lee.
    Was anyone at the Crossmolina – Ballinrobe game? It’s just if someone can report we would have the full scoring and performances from all of last years U21 forward line.

  5. Lee needs to be playing further up the field. Wasted chasing connelly all day. His a marked man now after all the crap before the final. His no good to us on the sideline watching the game and be sure some ref will do it again to us next year when its completely unwarranted.we need our best players on the pitch We have plenty of top defenders with limited forward options. It’s all about skill,pace and mobilty nowadays and this lad has it in spades.

  6. Well Done Lee.

    Why do we talk down Lees chances of getting player of the year because Dublin beat us by 1 point over 2 days. He is the best player in the country and we need to keep pointing this out every opportunity we get. It should not matter who won the All Ireland, otherwise the award should be called the best player on winning team award. Dublin won final in 95 and Peter Canavan got player of the year.

    Likewise Clarke made no slip ups this year like Cluxton did when he conceded 2 2 versus Kerry yet its Mayo people that are saying he cant get one because he didnt start final.

    We have the numbers to have our voices heard.

  7. Remember it’s the players who vote for player of the year so I wouldn’t count him out just yet….

  8. F Borland 0-0
    C Loftus 1-2
    D O Connor 1-0
    L Irwin 0-7
    F Duffy 0-7
    M Plunkett 0-0

    K McLoughlin 0-0
    A O Shea. 0-1
    D O Connor. 1-0
    J Doherty Inj
    A Moran. 2-6
    C O Connor 1-8

    Top Scorers

    A Moran 2-6
    J Killeen 2-5
    B Reape 2-5
    C O Connor 1-8
    B Benson 3-1
    N Douglas 0-10

  9. Best player in Ireland by a mile.

    “Goals pay the rent and Keegan does his share”. David Coleman 1974.

    As true today as it was back then.

  10. Thanks very much RedCol much appreciated.
    Just to add a note. Fergal Boland showed a significant lift in his game compared to last year. Looked stronger and was to my eye passing the ball very well and beating his man very well. More of a provider of good passes than a scorer.

  11. Well done to Lee Keegan. A fine player and leader for us always. After 2 weeks I am reflecting on a great year following the Green and Red once again. From that murky evening in Sligo where the U21 team halted the march of the Rossies 3 in a row bid to that evening in Croke Park on the first day of October. We have been treated to a year to remember once again. This time I can say that defeat in the Connacht Championship was indeed a blessing in disguise. It allowed for the game time to work on defence and enabled many supporters to attend a string of games on Saturday evenings that will live long in my memory. The standout game was of course against the lilly whites. Exhibition stuff from many of our fine players. We were not given any chance of beating Tyrone, then second favorites to win Sam. I was on holiday when Dublin qualified to meet us in the AI and I could not believe my eyes the first time I saw the price at 3 to 1. I took a piece of the action at odds on plus 3 points, it was almost as good for the replay. Fair play to the Dubs, they have 4 out of 6 and a 30 game unbeaten run.

  12. Well done Lee well deserved. Great goal too in that clip and excellent assist from Aidan. When the dust settles we have loads to look forward to next year

  13. Keegan is top class and was a massive loss when sent off. I watched the game back last night and I can’t believe how close were to winning. A couple of stray passes and a few other small things apart altogether from the obvious goalkeeping mistakes.
    I thought AOS had a good game despite many reckoning otherwise. He did some great stuff – simple straightforward winning ball and laying it off. He actually has set a template for how he might be used next year. Just keep doing what he did for Keegans goal – provide a target on the 45m line – win the ball – lay it off quickly to a runner – go for the return and bingo! Simple, easy to understand and very hard to play against given his strength. He can also be a target man for the long kick out down the middle.

  14. In case anyone hasnt see it already – Season Tickets and Cairde Mhuigheo tickets are open for renewals only, and there now appears to be a waiting list to get on to the waiting list. I emailed seasontickets@gaa.ie and was told the waiting list was closed, and that I would need to email them after the 2017 season in order to be added to the waiting list.

    Mayo GAA have announced the following on their website:

    “Cairde Mhaigheo & Croke Park season ticket holders can now renew their tickets online for the 2017 season. Benefits of Cairde Mhaigheo include:

    – Entry to all Mayo’s Allianz League round matches plus all League semi finals, play-offs and finals.
    – Mayo’s opening Championship fixture.
    – Entry to all other Allianz Football League matches.
    – AIB GAA Club All-Ireland Finals in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day.
    – Entry to Mayo GAA club games.
    – Guaranteed an All Ireland Final ticket should Mayo qualify for the final.

    The cost for Cairde Mhaigheo members is €200. Renewals for both Cairde Mhaigheo & Croke Park season tickets can be done online here.

    Ticket renewals are open until November 30th meaning no new applications will be accepted until after this date. Please do not contact the office in MacHale Park looking to become a new Cairde Mhaigheo member as currently these tickets are not available. A review will take place after December 1st and if tickets become available they will then be put on sale. Should tickets become available after December 1st we will notify all supporters via our website & social media.

    Mayo GAA thank all fans for their continued support of the Mayo team.”

    I did also ask the Season ticket office if there were any plans to increase the number of Season tickets for Mayo, given the demand was there. Their response was that to be fair to all counties they allocate 3500 season tickets to all counties.

  15. well done lee well done Lee , roll on 2017 we have some great young talent coming into ably assist Lee

  16. I agree Diehard AOS had a great game overall and created that great goal. SOS had a great game also and it is hard to figure out how he is not nominated at midfield. He is so honest and always reminds me of T J Kilgallon of old. This time last year I was asking would Harrison made it in the big time. Well he did with a bit to spare. Who might join him next year, I wonder. I would like to see COS.or may Regan make the first team. COS got a start back in 2014 Connacht Final but has been injured subsequently. If he progresses as he has being going he could be next up.

  17. Billy Joe in the Mayo News, suggests that next year we may need to play AOS in midfield, personally I wouldn’t drop either Tom Parsons or SOS for Aiden in midfield, because in my opinion both are far more athletic, and can keep going for 80 minutes, which is what championship matchs have now become,.. Our incredible strength at half back line seems to grow and grow. Lee Keegan is not only the best half back in Ireland but the best player in Ireland, coupled with, Patrick Durcan, Colm Boyle, we seen how good Stephen Coen was when he came on for Leroy in the All Ireland replay, and just how good he was in the successful U21 championship, Sharoiz Akram is another hugely talented half back, we will have to give a chance next year, by the way he will be U21 next year, Donal Vaughan is a 3 time nominated All Star, he made his considerable reputation as a half back, but he is flexible enough to play midfield as well, Indeed if SOS or Tom Parsons were not available for selection on a given day I’d rate Donie better at midfield than Aiden.. Aiden takes allot of attention, maybe our other forwards get a little less attention because of Aidens presence, but if Mayo can come up with a better CHF, I wouldn’t drop, Tom, Seamus or Donal to accommodate Aiden, all three are far too consistent and far more athletic than Aiden. Who knows Cillian may play CHF next year, or perhaps Matthew Ruane,.. We need to look for solutions for our forward division in any event. The remedies are not as obvious as for our defence. Risks and different formations are going to have to be tried in the league, maybe dropping a high profile player for a league match might be a price worth paying. We will have to do the same with our defence, but whatever players we bring in to our defence, it’s not too much of a risk such is the quality of defender’s Mayo are now blessed with!

  18. I see that Patrick Durcan has been named the GAA/GPA Opel player of the month for September, so fair play to him as well for winning that award.

  19. ‘to win just once says:
    October 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm
    DB9 You are a barrel of optimism. If our year was such a failure I shudder to think how Cork Derry Ros etc. must feel about their years work.’

    To win just once, we’ll never ‘win just once’ with your way of thinking.

    Two weeks ago the bar was Dublin and Kerry – now it is Roscommon – what a fall from grace.

    Try reading Anthony Hennigan’s piece in the Western this week.

  20. Yes really well done to him did well this season maybe Mayo might get more all stars then the dubs. I forgot to say well done to lee Keegan to.

  21. Well done Lee Had a great year and should win Player of the Year. His black card and Donies allegedly accidental clash with McCarthys knee resulting in injury were as critical to our defeat as Robbies nightmare. Keegan shows class on and off the field. No histrionics when he got the black card, genuine congrats to dubs and Connolly after game and heartfelt comments on twitter on the following days. A great man among many great Mayo men. A man we should all be proud of.

  22. Congrats to Lee. So so well deserved.
    A credit to his county and jersey.
    Thank you for a great summer of 2016,and to all your teammates too.
    Cant wait for 2017 now.

  23. I have to say – and this is not sour grapes – that the series of newspaper articles referring to Lee and implying that he uses foul play to mark players before the final was very wrong. Don’t forget we must add in CW’s ‘instigator’ remarks on the Sunday Game also. Whatever about one such article, the fact that 3 ex-Dublin players targeted Lee was unforgivable – it had the look of an orchestrated campaign to target our best player. At the end of the day he’s just a young lad – an amateur for God’s sake – and he did not deserve to be singled out in that manner by those Dublin players who used the national media to put pressure on Lee and more importantly of course, the ref. I think if a similar occurrence happens next year Mayo’s football community must act ‘hard and fast’ to show that no such targeting of our players will be tolerated next year.

    One other gripe which I’m not sure was picked up on this forum after the final. Did you notice that for the drawn match the Mayo supporters were put into the Cusack Stand corner of the Hill i.e. stewards directed them there so that the Dubs would have the prime spots behind the goal. Since when did one set of supporters have a right of way over another set of supporters as to where to stand/sit in a particular section of a ground when both sets of supporters had access to that section? It would be interesting to hear the views of any persons that were in the Hill for the drawn game on this matter. A lot of Dublin fans before the drawn game were giving out about access to the Hill by Mayo fans. This ‘Hill 16 is Dublin only’ attitude is alright up to a point…..but not when officials acquiesce to Dubs supporters sense of entitlement at the expense of other fans who are perfectly entitled to stand in the same part of the Hill.

  24. Well done Lee, recognition if it were needed of another great season in the Gree and Red. We can only hope that 2017 will bring the rewards that Lee and his Mayo team mates truely deserve.

    A good point already made above, Lee Keegan should be given more freedom to push further up the field, rather than having him tied up doing a marking job. With Lee’s pace and footballing abality he would surely be a real threat to any defence.

  25. Spotlight.

    That is an absolutely excellent post. Very valid points raised.

    The same thing will happen next year if we meet Dublin in the final. Unless somebody from the County takes a stand.

    A Leinster referee and 6 of the 8 officials from Leinster i believe.

    Mayo supporters directed to the side of the Hill with poor view.

    A “Dub” as the warm up entertainment before the replay.

    A media out of control in a campaign against Keegan.

    A referee who was influenced by that campaign and who was clearly “gone” after 6 minutes when he would not issue a black card for a foul which was the most clear cut black card offence since the black card was introduced.

    Something needs to be done but i wouldn’t hold my breath. Some might call it sour grapes but i call it facts.

  26. Bj Padden thinks that Mayo need to rest our players because they won’t be able to be flying in April and again in September! Oddly enough dublin are flying year round and nobody seems to wonder how it’s done? Or am I missing something?

  27. Dublin dont have 7-8 hour round trips of travel once or twice a week depending on time of year. So it is harder for all our guys to be flying year round. Also both teams will likely rest players next year.

  28. Hope Deegan reads Mayo Blog and gets the message that he is not to come down to Mayo again….ha ha Maurice, Trick or Treat, you Stradbally Donkey…

  29. I agree Leantimes. I wouldn’t play Aidan at midfield in place of either of the other two lads the way the game has developed over the last few years. The modern midfielder it seems has to be more agile and mobile than was the case in the past where size strength and a great catch were the hallmarks. Now it is more about movement, stamina and less about being able to field high balls. We need to adapt quickly to this changing environment and indeed also prepare for the mark which comes in next year.
    I have thought for a long time that DOC would be one of our midfielders and indeed he might well be. He is already doing more of that type of work than out and out attacking. Maybe the day has come when every player on the field has to be able to do everything and that positions don’t really matter that much. It would actually be a brave and a bold decision to go entirely down that road and not get caught dithering between the two stools of tradition on the one hand and modern structures on the other.

  30. Congrats to Lee and also to Paddy Durcan on being named player of the month for Sept. I am very optimistic about the prospects for next year. with Ger Caff hopefully back in action [how we missed him this year] and maybe Jason Gibbons getting a bit of luck along with some of the U21’s coming into the picture things are looking bright.

    Incidentally, would somebody at home in Mayo remind our two feeling discriminated against Senators [Burke and Mulherin] about Cairde Maigh Eo’s ability to solve their ticket problems.

  31. We need second team for league sure some stars will emerge Rest our warriors and get them psyched up ready for battle in September Was never more confident

  32. FDBinashui, you appear to be a little mixed up.

    Last year plan A worked and we beat both Galway and Sligo convincingly to win the Connacht Title. This year neither plan A or B or C worked, and we ended up beaten at home by Galway to lose in Connacht for the first time in 6 years.

    Last year, plan A worked fabulously against Donegal, and was working really well against Dublin the first day, and in the replay, until SOS and Robert Hennelly had their moments. I’m not sure what plan they were using this year for the replay, and neither do most people, just bewilderment.

    With regard to the tightening up of the defence, Dublin also had four goal chances the first day, two own goals scored and two brilliant saves by Clarke – and we all know how he got rewarded for this excellence – demotion to the bench! Four goal chances is hardly water tight defending.

    We also conceded heavily against much inferior opposition during the qualifiers.

  33. Spotlight, I pointed out those very facts about Hill 16 discrimination several before the drawn match,. It seems to me that section’s in the corner of the Cusack Stand are reserved for Mayo season ticket holders, time and time again. Where one section of the GAA support is positively discriminated for, another section must be discriminated against. The word used for discrimination in South Africa was’Apherthied’…. I also refer to the privileged given to politicians by the GAA, whether it be ‘Free (that means paid for by the paying supporters) or privileged locations of seating, never mind the’ Right ‘to buy All Ireland tickets, while genuine fan’s cannot get a ticket. The GAA made a great deal out of their, 1916 centenary commerations. I think it’s time for them to reread the’ Proclamation ‘and have a good look in the mirror at themselves!

  34. Nicely articulated Leantimes, I was raging when I saw our Senator demanding a free ticket when she had not been to a single game all year.

  35. I’m heading to Westport myself this weekend and will genuflect at the home of the great man.

    He’s just a superb footballer. Everything you’d want or need from a modern player. And most important of all – he’s one of our own.

  36. Perhaps The Dubs ease of getting together as against the scattered nature of our forces might explain somewhat why they can be ‘flyin’ in April.

    Anyways , let’s put an end to their flyin days!

  37. The Great Senators gripe is an inhouse affair……taobh thiar den doras!!….why the TD and not the Seanadoiri ? We ll solve that for them….a referendum !!..foregone conclusion!

  38. Trying to catch up here on all the great posts! Would have to agree that midfield requires more a combination of traits than in former times…..a composite player! And I doubt that the mark will change things any bit because smart teams will realise that the all rounder will prevail against the big fetcher! With the dawning of the pin pointing kick outs and the hardening of the offensive defence, mid field has become a less determining position. Still important to have the appropriate types there…SOS + Parsons + DOC + M Ruane + rejuvenated JG should suffice well moving on!
    I see that the black card is going to remain an issue into the next century!!!

  39. This is a kinda `happy and sad` post because I am delighted that Lee got the award

    but ……… sad that I nearly ran out of ink on this blog warning about the history of our

    best players getting sent off in important replays. Sadly my worst fears were realized

    and the auld history book repeated itself.

  40. Well deserved Lee – our best player. Loosing him was huge.

    Look lads we can talk and moan about referee’s all winter but facts are all teams get decisions for and against them. EVERYTHING needed to go right for us on the day against Dublin and nothing did, both days.

    Fact is we are not getting enough scores from play in finals. Only Andy Moran and James Horan have scored more then two points from play in the 10 finals since 1989.

    When things are going wrong as they will do at some stage you need someone who will bloody well hit a few vital scores and sadly we have been left wanting in this regard.

    When I think toward next year I am thinking about of forward unit and what needs to be improved:

    Movement, Pace, Decision-Making

  41. Man what a great goal, just so good! Goal of the season – the execution of it from O’Shea’s turn to the finish coming on the biggest stage of all, great,great stuff!

  42. Sure Yew tree….that’s bang on cept on this occasion we was robbed by imbalanced reffing or maybe I should say unbalanced!!
    Like yer last line and that we ll be working on!

  43. Well done lee, without a doubt the best player in Ireland and gets better every year. The emergence of Stephen Coen as a serious man marker in the final will hopefully allow us to use lee in a more attacking role next summer. NOT as a forward though, he is a half back and I don’t believe in converting players in their mid 20’s. I’m surprised Donie Vaughan hasn’t got much of a mention. I thought he was amazing this year and really is the epitome of that all round player that the game requires now.

    Really expect our forward play to improve next season, hopefully regan and maybe another can’t cement a position. Still amazing to see Andy Moran putting up huge scores every week in the club game. Looking forward to the club quarter finals this weekend.

  44. DB9 Just threw Ros in to show how bad things could be. You are entitled to your opinion. A Hennigan is entitled to his and I am entitled to mine. I simply don’t buy in to the statement that we had a bad year. I was in Castlebar for Galway match and was disappointed, but after that our team gave everything. Yes we had a handy draw but the performances v Tyrone and Dublin were excellent. Sadly it was not good enough to land Sam and about that I am gutted. Now maybe you were around in 1951 to see Mayo win Sam but I have never had that pleasure despite having attended most games since the 1970s I am proud of this team and their efforts and my point was that we could be followers of far poorer counties than Mayo. This team has given us some fantastic days since 2011 I am well aware of the disappointment made worse by the self inflicted wounds, but this team ran the great dubs to within a kick of the ball.and gave everything they had in pursuit of the great prize. Maybe I am a loser if I can find it in myself to praise a team that does not win the ultimate prize but “my way of thinking” will not impact one bit on whether we ever win a final or not.

  45. Fully agree Clonee Man, best player to wear Green and Red for past 50 years, no question in my mind.

    On a lighter note, how about Maurice the Donkey Deegan for POTY……

  46. Listening to that prick Joe Brolly on the championship draw last night maddened me . Saying AOS should have been taken off . I would challenge him or any of the other idiots withen our own county who are of the same view to closely study the match ( like I did ) . Also Seamie had a massive game . Having now watched it four times I would say without doubt SOS was our most influential player . The amount of tackling and breaking their play he got thru was immense . Also DOC put in a huge shift . . And honestly while my heart goes out to there is no way back for Robbie . Confidence is the main factor for goalies and it will take huge soul searching for him to get back .

  47. Well done Lee. There were many outstanding performances by Mayo players this year but really there could only be one winner. By a mile the best player in the country though I doubt if he will beat the 2 beloved Dubs for POTY. Ciaran McDonald is the most skilful player I ever saw in a Mayo jersey but I think Lee is the best. ( I attended my first Mayo game in 1968)

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