Poll: who was our Player of the League for 2017?

The Divisional finals in this year’s National Football League are on this weekend but our 2017 spring campaign ended with that rumbustious tie against Donegal at MacHale Park last Sunday. Since then, a number of you have put forward the idea of doing a poll on our Player of the League and, sure, I’m all for democracy so here it is.

I mentioned earlier on that I’d drawn up a shortlist for this poll. This was done all nice and scientifically, using the votes cast in the Man of the Match polls conducted after each of our seven League matches.

The shortlist derived from the numbers comprises (in alphabetical order) Fergal Boland, David Clarke, Paddy Durcan, Cillian O’Connor and Tom Parsons. All of this quintet played significant parts in this year’s League campaign, with all of them – bar Tom – lining out from the start in all seven games.

David Clarke is, of course, the odds-on favourite to scoop the prize. Why shouldn’t he be? He was voted our MOTM here on the site in three out of our first four League games and he featured prominently in all of the polls. Tom, meanwhile, was voted MOTM in the Round 6 game against Tyrone. Although the other three nominees didn’t top the poll in the votes conducted for the other matches (Andy Moran, Danny Kirby and Aidan O’Shea won those), they did all poll consistently well over the seven games.

Right, that’s enough of a preamble to the vote – have at it. I’ll leave the poll up for a few days and then post the result afterwards.

Who was our Player of the League for 2017?

  • David Clarke (64%, 632 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (16%, 163 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (10%, 102 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (6%, 58 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (3%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 989

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46 thoughts on “Poll: who was our Player of the League for 2017?

  1. Has to be Clarke for me.Thought Cillian had poor league by his standards.McLaughlin better in my view.A lot of guys need to find form before the summer.
    Glad to see Fitzmaurice doing what should have been done long ago re Keegan.Think we all were …including you Willie Joe…way too slow to make our voices heard on that one.Cost us bigtime.

  2. Come off it, Huey 2016 – I’m not taking that allegation! I was shouting about the anti-Lee campaign from the rooftops for days on end before the replay. So were others: by midweek there was a stream of ex-Mayo players calling out the Dublin smear campaign for what it was, a development, by the way, that didn’t just occur by accident. Relevant posts here and here.

  3. Huey Do you not remember the #thingsleedid hashtag your allegation against Willie Joe and Mayo fans in general is just so ridiculous that I’m not going to waste my time thinking of typing about it.

  4. Clarke is the man that deserves the accolade in my opinion, he is a wonderful shot stopper and has that loose discipline that makes the heart quicken and swell with pride in one mixed but excited collection of seconds.

    Thing is that when your keeper makes the top of the pole it asks questions of the team and their set up to guard him, I would far prefer to see one of your half backs or forwards making the top of of the opinion pole. Last Sunday showed that Mayo have all the necessary tools and equipment to have a tilt at lifting the canister. In reality the mix will have to be measured and prepared well, but it’s there I have no doubt.

    I think we may well meet in the coliseum in August and the bookies will spend money on cigarettes and coffee before that one. Good luck to you all and I hope ye have a wonderful championship and I hope ye have great days and safe traveling.

    I think sunday will be a cracking game and the petals could blow either way but the Dubs look the smart money especially with Enright, Young and O Donoghue out.
    Anyway I look forward to it as with the added hype it will be a battle of either good football or attrition, either way it’s a much watch. Ciarraí Abú 2017.

  5. David Clarke had a great campaign his crucial saves are the main reason we achieved our division one status, each player too many to mention had their good and some not so good moments but overall I’m feeling very optimistic heading into championship season
    Thanks willie joe for your podcasts it makes my journey home every Tuesday on the BQE a bit easier

  6. Went with DC – though all those boys deserved praise for various reasons. I didn’t get to see all the games but I actually think Kev Mc did alright in the league and love watching him carry in the forwards – not to mention THAT winner.

  7. I like your shortlist WJ as it captures players who: started the league well, finished the league well, played well through-out and played better when back in their natural position. It gives a good snapshot of our league campaign overall. It’ll be interesting now to see if any announcement will be made soon in relation to the players retained in the panel for the championship.

  8. 100% has to be Clarke, he has been superb for us in the league

    the saves for the penalty v the Dubs were World class,

  9. D Clarke, the man from way down the field. Thought McL and K Higgins were consistent throughout even though the latter had early problems with no 3 position.
    Here’s to many more of the players clicking into gear as the summer comes by.

  10. your trash talking Huey 2016 , will Joe campaigned v the dubs Media plan v keegan

  11. I voted for Tom Parsons myself he played very well 2nd half in our win in Tralee got the goal in Tyrone and played in midfield with a novice partner throughout the league.
    There was a time where Tom used to pick up a lot of injuries thankfully that has passed….
    Well done David Clarke well deserved…..

  12. I really enjoyed watching cillian in this league campaign. you can see how he is constantly fine tuning so he is at his peak for the summer. he put in some shift and started every game I think. as the frees went wide or fell short he never went hiding. you could see him shaking off the cobwebs each game… he’s our go to man this summer and no doubt the frees will be flying over after all his hard work between February and May. that’s why he got my vote 🙂

  13. Well deserved D Clarke
    The focus is on big game on sunday now. Maybe we will learn something. Most interesting point for me is what difference croke park makes to the dubs. Also the dubs use of panel of players.
    Prediction?dubs by 7 or more for me.

  14. Had to vote for Clarke myself. He kept us in a lot of games early on in the league. Hopefully the rest will step up come summer.

  15. Only for David Clarke’s string of top class saves we would be heading off to places like Clare, Tipperary and Louth to play our league 2 football next February and March. Enough said.

  16. Interesting article by Colm keyes on Dublin in 2013 final and the high foul count against them. What was fascinating was how Gavin directly after the game had a go at the ref and said Dublin had to beat the ref too. He wasn’t caught up in celebrating, he was already thinking of any negative reaction to their display. Hopefully Sunday’s game will have more controversy and this myth that Dublin are a clean honest team will be further eroded.
    It’s a final Kerry did not want, and if the dubs give them a hiding it will be hard for Fitz to convince them they have a chance of beating the dubs in the championship. A big Dublin win is required, keep the blue wave unbeaten all the way to the AI final!

  17. Clarke was outstanding.. His kickout is going to be targetted by other teams. I am not for one minute suggesting he be dropped! But its an area to be worked on…

  18. David Clarke by a country mile. His saves kept Mayo reasonably competitive in games where we could have been hammered and for that he won’t see the bench again in 2017 bar injury.
    On this weekends game, Kerry will need to defend en masse and hope they get enough from breakaway chances because another trimming won’t do them any favors. I expect we will see some serious physical stuff and a few red cards and a dublin win.

  19. David Clarke well deserving given his consistent high class performances.

    With regards to the Lee Keegan smear campaign I think the important and crucial thing to remember is how the message is delivered.

    Dublin were on the front foot with the accusations and were measured in how this message was delivered, All former players/pundits sang from the one hymn sheet. Calm, concise, pointed.

    Mayo came in on the back foot shouting and roaring about the injustice of it all and followed it up with a things Lee did campaign. No cohesion.

    Dublin acted, Mayo reacted. Its as important to win the battles off the pitch as on it.

    We are that bit wiser I would hope this year and the small signs of things to come this summer have me believing Rochford has a plan for the Dubs.

  20. Enjoy your posts Gamechanger – sounds like you’re heading off into sunset till next Sept – hope to hear from you over summer months. Maigheo Go Deo.

  21. Laughable allegation there Huey 2016. But I would strongly agree with St Pat’s Oldie – we were always on the back foot and if we reach the heights of a final again this year I would hope that a bit of thought is put into this aspect of the battle.

    Not sure what supporters could have done apart from react and challenge it, and the #thingsLeedid campaign wasn’t a planned one – it just happened. It also heaped ridicule upon what Dublin were doing which in my view was probably the best outcome. Mind you, the effort was ultimately futile so it doesn’t really matter.

    In reality Clarke was the best player in the league; he didn’t have a flawless league by any means but what you really want in a goalkeeper is confidence in his ability to boss the square and stop shots. Much like Cillian stepping up to take a penalty, when Clarkie faces one, you know the odds are pretty good.

    Fergal Boland deserves a very honourable mention I think – while he suffered a bit in the last couple of games when things got really physical, he proved to me that he has a bright future in the green and red. He has the smarts, the skill and the attitude to claim a place, and I’d say we’ll see a bit of him come the summer, too.

    And while we may not have blooded as many new players as we’d have liked, keep faith; it wouldn’t be unheard of for a young gun to burst onto the scene come championship.

  22. Puckout I am amassed at that post. The Kerry team I know, set out to get to a League Final as they did last year. It did nor happen accidentally as you suggest. They were always heading for the final. It was their stated goal since the new year. I am looking forward to it, in fact compulsive viewing for the weekend. I went for Clarke, but I was tempted to go for Boland. One of the more exciting new Mayo footballers I have had the pleasure to watch. I hope things work out for him in future. He epitomizes ambition on the ball, plays a simple game and works to the plan. My wish for the future is that we see more like this going forward.

  23. Disappointing to see Neil Douglas our top scorer in county chamionship for 2016 not get a chance yet again and now dropped again surely that’s his last chance in the green and red.Been very disappointed in Rochford in that he didn’t try more of our best finishers in the county.We are very short on options bar Andy and Cillian when it comes to inside men that can score .Alan Freeman now gone from panel and Evan Regan who struggled seems to lack strength and good ball winning ability.I was hoping Brian Reape and Conor Loftus would have got more game time but didn’t ,was also hoping Enda Varley would have got a second chance as he has much improved playing football with St Vincent’s in Dublin and is our best forward in my opinion operating outside county panel and is a left footed kicker a thing we lack in our forward division especially in Aston years All Ireland final replay.Alot of people saying Boland has been a success in the league, been honest he was off the pace against Tyrone and Donegal in the last 2 matches.Shane Nally has been a huge positive but is not a out an out inside forward. We will probably end up with the same forward line as last years All Ireland final replay.

  24. Mayo 87,what do you want Stephen to do,we want to stay in the top division we want to rest players we want to see new players,I am pretty sure the management team had a right good look at a lot of players in training surely we must expect that they can judgel,and would not leave out a player who would improve our chances in the championship, I don’t believe we will see many newcomers hopefully a few for the panel, C O Shea,F Boland,S Coen, S Nally,D Kirby, C Loftus may well add strength to our panel but I feel that will be it,we stayed in the top division which is positive, so hopefully we can progress in the championship

  25. On the Mayo news sport it said Neil Douglas and Michael Hall had been released in recent weeks. [Deleted]

  26. Mayo 87 – you should know by now that you can’t name a specific player here and make a bald claim that he’s not good enough (regardless of how mangled you spell those words). Please bear in mind for future reference.

  27. One thing this management team can do is judge a footballer. I don’t think any of us thought Boland was ready but they could see it.

  28. While Clarke is a great goalie his restarts are poor—surely we can come up with a strategy to overcome this.

  29. Its the manner in which we stayed in the top tier which concerns me losing home games to monaghan and cavan. The Donegal Democrat are quite chuffed that mayo beat them last sunday as they are no where near ready to size up to dublin at croke park.
    What level of responsibility must the management take for indifferent performances in the league. Many contributors here cried out for Durcan to be restored to half back line and when he was we win.
    To the managements credit our use of the subs bench improved as games went on, our first game v Monaghan ee used 4 subs given average of 15 mins playing time. By the time we got to Donegal we were using 5 subs with average game time of over 20 minutes.

  30. Fair play to the lads and management for retaining Division 1 status. The nature of the final two matches was quite encouraging. The ability to grind out results against tough opposition is also heartening. It just needs to built upon now.
    i concur that We were on the back foot in relation to the targeting of Lee Keegan in the run up to last years final. It wasn’t for the love of Mayo that Fitzmaurice made his comments this week.
    Per capita, we have more than our fair share of the media pundits. These fellows over the course of the summer should draw attention to the behaviour of the Dubs in a subtle way. As ham fisted as the Dub s character assignation of Lee was, it was very effective. It was only a matter of time before Deegan was going to succumb. The Dubs are playing the refs and it is working. Fitzmaurice seems to have concluded if you can’t beat them join them on that front.

  31. In my opinion we have an excellent management team,Stephen won an all Ireland title as a player and a manager, Tony won as a player and manager, so I believe we are in good hands we were just a kick of a ball away last year against what is as good a team as ever played the game so I think they deserve some slack and let them prepare for summe

  32. I started off being very worried about our management team. However I have changed my mind completely over the last 2 years. Our retaining our Div 1 status over the last 2 years has proved to me that we are on the right track. There is great unity in the squad now. Our movement of the ball around the field has been transformed. There has been continuous improvement in the ability of some of the players. Strategy now plays an important part of what this team is about. Risk taking and making big calls are signals of trust and empowerment whether they work out or not. All this and more since Stephen R came along, not a bad start in my opinion.

  33. Thought the Charlestown blog would be the wrong place to put this… anyway, with the beginning of the county leagues when the county players get to play with their clubs, let’s hope the said players put in stand out performances and show why they are on the county panel.

  34. I wonder what the plan is for the next few weeks do the players get a break and just play and train with their clubs….I work with one of the Galway players and they were allowed to have a night out Sunday night he was a bit shook Monday morning but i think well deserved after clinching promotion of course they have a leaguefinal on Sunday too.
    I think after such intense div 1 games the Mayo players could do with a break and maybe have a pre season 4 weeks before Sligo game…let them play with their clubs to keep up the fitness let the
    returning Aiden Sheamie Caff and fringe players get plenty of action in competitive club games….

  35. First round of championship is down for the 6/7th of May. Hopefully none of the lads get injured.

  36. On the Ditch – it depends which part of the Donegal Democrat you are reading. I’ve been enjoying their take on things – they have Brian MacEniff who bemoaned the mouthing that led to Cillian’s frees being moved forward. He’s dead right there.

    But Peter Campbell moves it up a notch. Just to show that paranoia is not confined to our neck of the woods, he reckons Mayo pulled not one but two fast ones (if that makes sense). Firstly, moving the match forward to 2:15 was a tactic designed to ensure Mayo players knew exactly what they had to do, because they knew in advance how the Rossies were getting on with Cavan. Secondly the gates were opened and the kids let loose a minute from the end to smother any chance of a Donegal comeback. Not to mention of course that Cormac Reilly owed us plenty from the Kerry match of 2014.

  37. We have cover for a lot of positions but there are a few fellas that we really can’t afford to have crocked for the summer. But that’s the risk these fellas are willing to take for their clubs and good for them…their clubs need them too!
    Still, I hate to hear of one of our sharpest getting dulled by a blunt object with a point to prove…or maybe that doesn’t happen anymore?

  38. @catcol. Interesting take on game. I think it was Donegal supporters arriving late or finding they had to park a long way out the Dublin road that got the game postponed. Dont know if the powers would have put the starting time back for us local lads.
    I feel the game is now very much about a panel, keeping the tempo up, and every substitution is made at the right time and strengthens a team.
    We have to start believing we have a panel, and start introducing our subs once a player is starting to fade or become innefective.
    How many times have we witnessed players being left on for too long. We need to sharpen our pencils and start trusting in our young lads.

  39. On the Keegan thing, it should be remembered that the Dublin campaign to portray themselves as a victim didn’t start in the build up to the replay. Jim Gavin was playing that card from very early on in the season, trying to influence refs and paint a whiter than white image of his team as a group of players who are just trying to play the game “the right way” and big bad Mayo/Kerry/Donegal just won’t let them. As absolutely every word uttered from Dublin players and management is planned, we can assume this was orchestrated from the get-go.

    Fitzmaurice set the ball rolling with a very well thought-out statement that picked apart this concerted effort by Dublin, but other people need to start following suit to get the point home. Dublin aren’t and never have been a clean team and they shouldn’t get away with portraying themselves as such without any challenge.

  40. Dreamy, of course its orchestrated. Most top teams nowhave a press officer, everything said is well thought out.

    Fitzmaurice put out a very clever, well thought out statement (which im sure a few heads were involved in crafting). As a result I think the narrative is changing, Newstalk on Friday night did a lengthy slot on the issue and highlighted at length that Dublin do take part in the dark arts but the focus is always on the attacking football thry play. Thomas OSe in the independent also highlighted this. I think this is the start of the backlash on the Dublin media machine, we will see throughout the year that more and more people eill be highlighting the negative, cynical aspects of Dublins game.

  41. Reasonably impressive performance there by Galway. 18 points, most from play, Croker duck broken, Division II title in the bag – that’s not a bad list of boxes ticked.

    They’ll go in to Connaught very confident and they are a confidence team.

  42. Running game and scoring forwards , caused the dubs some about of trouble …hon the kingdom

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