Who was our Player of the League for 2022?

Right, it’s time to clear the decks in relation to this year’s National League. One job that still remains to be done in that respect is to hold a poll on our Player of the League.

Looking back on the blog just now, I see the most recent time I ran such a poll was in 2019. Covid interrupted everything in 2020 and, when that year’s League was eventually finished, it ran headlong into the Championship so there was no time to do a poll then. Last year’s League wasn’t a proper League campaign at all and the Championship followed rapidly in its wake then too.

So, Aidan O’Shea in 2019 remains the most recent recipient of this particular award, which went to Eoin O’Donoghue in 2018 and to David Clarke, who was the award’s first winner, back in 2017.

The shortlist below was arrived it in the usual data-driven way I always use for this kind of thing. All I did was collate all of the votes cast in the individual Man of the Match awards for the eight League games we played this spring, totalled them up and then sorted them in descending order.

I find that an obvious shortlist – which can range from three to six – usually presents itself as a result of this exercise. So it was this year too, hence the list below, set out in alphabetical order, which comprises five players who are now all nominees for this year’s Mayo Player of the League award.

Which of them wins it is now up to you, the voters, so take it away. I’ll post the result of the vote on the blog in due course – best of luck to all those nominated for the award.

Who was our Player of the League for 2022?

  • Ryan O'Donoghue (60%, 848 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (17%, 240 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (9%, 132 Votes)
  • Rob Hennelly (7%, 99 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (6%, 85 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,404

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67 thoughts on “Who was our Player of the League for 2022?

  1. It would be RoD,followed by Jordan & Mattie for me too. A few more showed glimses of what they could do. Unfortunately a few more couldn’t seem to find their form. Hopefully everyone finds top form for April 24.

  2. Fine list. Rod, Jordan and Mattie in that order

    Just want to acknowledge some others who can be very happy with their leagues.

    Michael Plunkett – was a quietly reliable presence last year and continued that into this league. He’s very quickly becoming the new Stephen Coen, in terms of career trajectory. Tied top scorer from play at Croke Park

    Rory Byrne – solid and reliable in Robbie’s absence but hadn’t quite Robbie’s influence on games. I don’t think he’s done enough to dislodge Robbie permanently but has given a good account of himself.

    Jack Carney – got himself a jersey for the Galway game IMO. Quietly impressive, without being spectacular. If we’ve a decent season, he could be our next Young Player of the Year (I’m not actually sure how old he is though)

    Donnacha McHugh – didn’t look out of place, got good game time. Probably won’t be involved come championship because of our depth but a very solid start to his Mayo. Should be very pleased with his contribution

  3. Ryan by a country mile. Had a great league up until the last game when he like so many others flopped on the day.
    Says a lot that Jordan looks like coming second. Had some really poor games with rash challenges, getting caught in possession and some woeful passing. He is though definitely our most improved player. Got better as the league went on and was one of our best performers last week. Hopefully rumours of the extent of his injury are exaggerated as I’d always take a player showing constant improvement like he has shown in the league, over inconsistency.
    Speaking of inconsistency, Matthew has shown some this year or maybe some teams are targeting him. Some magnificent performances though. Unfortunately overshadowed by last Sunday.
    Diarmuid, well when he’s good he’s awesome. Saw some of his best performances for a while during the league. Like all the outfield players listed, when on form he just makes things happen.
    Robbie would probably be rivalling Ryan for top spot were it not for injury and the fact that amongst Mayo supporters he’s marmite.
    Didn’t comment myself regarding the debacle on Sunday, read all the comments, was tempted but didn’t even comment on the comments, can’t comment because a lot of what I believed Sunday morning was utterly shattered by Sunday evening.

  4. It’s Ryan O Donoghue as well for me, I think he started and finished all 8 game’s I believe.. At the half way point in the League, I taught that Robbie Hennelly was our stand out player before his injury, where he like Ryan and indeed (Mathew Ruane, after serving his first 2 game ban) continued their excellent 2021 form.. Most improved definitely Jordan Flynn, and Diarmuid before his injury also was back to his best.. Without doing any indepth research into all the player’s, those 5 were definitely our stand out player’s!

  5. Ryan was consistently the standout followed by Jordan.

    Jordan and Michael Plunkett both the most improved players.

    Robbie, Diarmuid and Paddy showed why they are some of the best in the country in the earlier rounds.

    Rory Byrne , Aiden Orme and Jack Carney best of the newcomers.

  6. Ryan for for being consistently great at what none else do near as good
    Jordan for making the jump from outsider to essential
    Diarmuid for having his magic back on top of being always more than solid

    But has to be Ryan

  7. Thanks Chesneychet
    I was living in New York when the attack happened.This guy is a real hero and like you say one of our own.

  8. Jordan Flynn – a young man that has learned and developed his game over the seasons becoming a strong determined brave influential player with spirit and leadership & great work ethic…

  9. It’s a bit of a worrying list as Ahnow says. Ryan was very consistent which is great, but while Jordan was much improved he wasn’t dominant in any games. Robbie only played half the games and Diarmuid was inconsistent. Mattie had some very quiet games as well.

    I think we’re in serious trouble for the Galway game, to be honest. Light in midfield which will include one of Diarmuid or Aidan with Mattie, meaning the HF line is even more weak than it already is. FF line is good (ROD, COC, Carr), and half back line excellent is fit (Mullin, Durcan, Eoghan) with Paddy on Walsh. Full back line is also in trouble but hopefully we put a defensive structure in place that will help. Without doubt the HF line is a major area of concern.

  10. I see Lee, Ryan and Mattie are on the League team of the year picked by the Gooch and Colm O’Rourke.
    They obviously don’t know as much about football as those voting on the blog as Lee is missing from the top 5

  11. @Sticks for the Reek, I think on reflection you would agree that “Football Team Of The League” (Which includes all divisions) and “Our Player of the League” are two completely different things.

  12. @Sticks for the Reek, “Doctors differ and so on”,I recall, Ciaran McDonald in 2006, being nominated for GAA All Star’s Footballer of the Year, and not even getting an All Star, .. same thing happened to Stephen Cluxton one year as well because David Clarke won the All Star and he wasn’t nominated for the PotY award.. 2006.. although Ciaran McDonald didn’t win an All Star, he won the GPA Player of the year award the same year.. Since then the GPA and GAA All Star’s have amalgated;

  13. I can’t understand why Jordan was allowed jump up and try to run off what was clearly a serious injury as soon as it happened against Kerry. How much more damage could this have caused? He had really grown into his midfield role during the league and a big loss for Galway game. Also a very cynical late challenge to cause the injury in the first place.

  14. RIP Michael Lyons. I could be wrong but his face looks familiar. Maybe I seen him at Mayo games down the years or over in Gaelic Park. The FDNY have lost a hero. Condolences to his family and friends.

  15. James will probably be thinking of replacing Jordan with Conor o’shea or Loftus. I think someone like Jack Carney would be a better option, as he’s contributed more positive minutes in this league and overall is playing with confidence. There’s no doubt we’re really short of cover at midfield and even Carney is far from the finished article yet. Might yet be an option to play Oisin there….

    A key player is injured from every single line:

    -FB … Harrison (all star)
    -HB. . Paddy Durcan (all star)
    -MF… jordan … one of our top performers this league
    -HF… Diarmuid…(all star)
    -FF …Tommy…(all star in waiting)
    -FF… Cillian (all star)

    It’s obscene to have that bad of luck.

  16. The whinging and self pity over injuries is tiresome, lads talking about us being cursed is ridiculous nonsense in my opinion. Smacks of making excuses
    Durcan/diarmuid/oisin/cillian will all be ready to go against galway, that should be strong enough team to get past them

  17. Totally agree with you Supermac. This blog made for depressing reading since last Sunday. Let’s all get a bit more optimistic and I’ve no doubt that we’ll beat the Tribesmen even if we have a few missing due to injuries. Remember, we believe , or at least did believe,that this year we have a good bench!!

  18. Exactly michaelincork….it smacks of getting our excuses in early if we lose, real self pity that other counties laugh at. We were raving about our squad strength all league and now we are talking about being cursed again.

    The 4 players I mentioned above durcan/doc/cillian/oisin will all be back for galway, 4 allstars for goodness sake. We should be more then good enough to beat galway with those lads added and if we don’t I certainly won’t be pointing at injuries/curses/bad luck if we lose

  19. Our half-forward line is reckoned to be the weakest link. Yet there are, (nearly), five half-forward options:

    Option 1 (most likely for Galway)

    I’m expecting Diarmuid to be fit for Galway, in the absence of any compelling evidence to the contrary. Carr is a real half-forward, but might be needed also in the corner.

    Option 2

    A line that could easily start against Galway, though not the best option I think.

    Option 3

    Darren McHale’s return gives us real prospects there I reckon. Walsh, I expect to be available for Galway.

    Option 4

    Mark Moran reported to be close. Could be a wild card. OK Irwin with U20s, but if needed…

    Option 5
    Four and two thirds ain’t bad, I think; maybe there’s another I’m forgetting. McDonagh looked in trouble against Tyrone, but every passing day will help. I note he got lots of minutes in the league up to that. McStay apparently was on the 26 last Sunday.

  20. Mayo team last yr v Galway below even with injuries we may still have a better team available looking at the half full glass !

    1. Rob Hennelly

    2. Lee Keegan
    4. Michael Plunkett
    3. Padraig O’Hora

    5. Paddy Durcan
    6. Oisin Mullin
    7. Stephen Coen

    8. Matthew Ruane
    9. Conor Loftus

    10. Bryan Walsh
    14. Darren McHale
    12. Diarmuid O’Connor

    13. Tommy Conroy
    11. Aidan O’Shea
    15. Ryan O’Donoghue

    Eoghan McLaughlin for Darren McHale (half-time)
    Kevin McLoughlin for Bryan Walsh (half-time)
    Jordan Flynn for Conor Loftus (temp – 45th-51st minute)
    Rory Brickenden for Padraig O’Hora (temp – 57th minute)
    Enda Hession for Michael Plunkett (65th minute)
    James Carr for Aidan O’Shea (68th minute)
    Conor O’Shea for Diarmuid O’Connor (76th minute)

  21. Where are you getting your info about the 4 players @supermac to be so confident about them all being ready for the galway game considering there’s no info coming from the camp.

  22. @ Catcol

    Pearse Rutledge featured v Donegal he can make up your last half forward line. Not sure if hes still involved in the panel, hasn’t been seen since.

    Another player who i spotted sitting with the extended panel at the Kildare game is Connell Dempsey, thought he would get a run in the league after starting in midfield for UL throughout their sigerson campaign. He is also a half forward option but unlikely to feature in 2022.

  23. One reason people are so disappointed after last Sunday was the tactics we employed on the day. People have lost faith in James Horans tactical ability at the top level.
    We have been making the same mistakes in terms of tactics in big games in Croke Park for the last 10 years.
    Based on last Sunday – we will make the same mistakes again this year. There was no attempt to try anything different.

  24. Thanks JKeL. I thought of Pearse Ruttledge, but had forgotten he came on against Donegal. Interesting too that Connell Dempsey didn’t get a run. He got a reasonable press from the Sigerson, though I felt in the final he was so so. Worth a run for sure.

  25. Southmayo Exile – nail on head he has done a great job to bring us so far but it has been deeply frustrating the tactical naivety when chances have been there to get us over the line. I like a lot on here hate to see the same mistakes over and over again and no learnings taken or implemented from these and also the perceived unwillingness to change for certain situations…

  26. In fairness Catcol, and I’m not being negative just for the sake of it, that list proves my point. James Carr is absolutely not a wing forward, he doesn’t have the ability to win breaking ball or track a pacy wing back up and down the field. Some of the others like Carney, Walsh, Moran are totally unproven. Towey is an inside forward only. Kevin Mc’s form is so bad I don’t know how he is making match day squads. Loftus is a likely starter but he’s just not a standout player, imo.

    I like a HF line of Boland, DOC, McHale. Though I am unsure of McHale yet, he does stand out much more than Orme for Knockmore. Aidan should be an impact sub, he’s so much better off the bench. But as I said he may be needed to replace Jordan Flynn.

  27. The All-Ireland semi-finals will be played in 3 months time so in old money where we are now is June and not April.

    I’ve looked at all of the key elements in the Mayo or Team Mayo as I like to refer to it set up and there are a lot of things that lead to success, players of course are very important but you can have exceptional players and that still does not guarantee success, it’s only a part of the equation.

    I’m not going to go through all of the elements here because it would take too long but if I compare Mayo to Kerry for example we are stumped in ever element bar one.

    A virtual Easter egg for the first one to tell me what that element is and ironically it’s an element which Kerry just aren’t that bothered about in reality.

    Unless Kerry get a significant amount of injuries then I cannot see them not winning the All-Ireland this year, that’s being realistic and not pessimistic.

    For us we must start at the foundations and not try and build the roof first or at least do some serious underpinning of the foundations we have.

  28. One comment on the James Horan aspect. I think this is a huge year for him. His reputation for building teams is sterling but if Mayo were to get knocked out before the semi final stage or get well beaten at that stage, I think his reputation as a tactician will not be remembered fondly. Donegal 2012, Dublin 2013, Kerry x2 2014, Roscommon 2019, and Tyrone 2021 are all examples of his lack of tactical/in-game nous.

  29. GBXI, Carr did a lot of work last Sunday out around HF. Towey has been selected at CHF. I think Walsh is proven, is tigerish, and did a lot of the spadework in the second half against Donegal, for instance.

    Still, I hear you. All I’m saying is that we have practically fifteen to pick from, and that ain’t nothin.

  30. The way things are at present with injured players, who if fit to play against Galway wont be match fit and with Management not making the right calls on the line I expect Galway to win with ease. However with a big break then till the backdoor comes into play I would expect Mayo to go further than Galway and make semi finals at least.

  31. Culmore – Galway wont win with ease and neither will Mayo. It will be a 1-2 point win and a hard fought battle. I still think we are well set up to beat them, P Joyce is under immense pressure and no matter how fit players are he will have to risk them as he’s on his last chance. We have the backs to shut out the Galway forwards and im not sure if they have the backs to get the better of our forwards. We also have the best midfielder in Ireland at present.

  32. I agree Mattie is the best in the country at the minute but Paul Conroy is playing incredible stuff and always performs against Mayo.

  33. Is it time for Horan to give James McCormick and Conor diskin both claremorris another go

  34. @gbxi not sure about that.Conroy consistently class and Comer,Walsh,and Heaney looked really good Sunday.
    We can only hope but these young lads need time to get better.Kevin Mc owes nothing to Mayo football.
    Aidan also owes us nothing and has been outstanding through the years from minor.They need others to step up now.
    I am not hopeful this year.

  35. Delighted to read your posts Supermac Just hope you are in the know.about all those players being back Alternatively with a name like that you could be a Galway man giving us false confidence As a poster pointed out even if those lads are fit for the Galway game they won’t be match fit. Extremely difficult to step from injury into championship match. If both teams were at full strength I’d call it a 50 / 50 game. If Galway can’t get the better of us now they really are in a bad state. While their Defence may be suspect our forwards will struggle to get the better of them. A midfield shorn of Jordan Flynn will be under pressure v high flying Conroy and Kelly , while Comer and S Walsh are class acts in a forward line that has loads of potential Even their goalie looks good this year

  36. I’ve deleted that original comment re MacHale Park and all replies to it. If it has any basis in fact, then let’s discuss it but if not then there’s no point.

  37. Yep I read the same thing re training at mchale, be some PR disaster if we had to concede home venue at this stage .

  38. @GBXI.. In my opinion, Brian Fenton is still the best Midfielder in the country at the moment. And if Dublin get their act together, he could be very influential in Dublin winning Sam again in 2022… Mathew is beyond doubt the other consistently excellent midfielder in the country at the moment, and COULD if he continues perform and improve, and if Mayo performs and improves one day be considered like Brian Fenton one of all time greats!.. So far only 3 other midfielders could be considered in Fenton’s class, and 2 of them played on 2 of the greatest teams of All time. Jack O Shea of Kerry, 6 All Stars and 3 Player of the year awards,.. Séan Cavanagh, 6 All Stars and a PotY award, and Antony Tohill of Derry 4 All Stars, but the Derry team Anthony played on wouldn’t compare very well with either the Kerry team of Jack O Shea or the Tyrone team of Séan Cavanagh.. If he’s fit my preference would be for Diarmuid O Connor to partner Mathew Ruane in midfield until hopefully Jordan Flynn has recovered, but there is no garuntee of either Jordan or Diarmuid being fit to face Galway. I was talking to an very well known ex Tyrone Player of the naughties during the week. (not Séan Cavanagh) He told me that he would expect Tyrone to beat Kerry in the Championship again if they meet in 2022.. Possibly being kind to me he said that he wouldn’t have the same confidence in Tyrone beating Mayo (if they get their act together, but Mayo getting their act together, was a very good question, and he couldn’t be sure yet ) … If Mayo can overcome Galway and get over Galway , ( who I expect despite the Global warming, will bring the Galway Shawl with them again, in the hope that Mayo set up like we did v Kerry and Tyrone).. So if Mayo can overcome Galway, wherever it’s played and get a few more weeks recovery time for a number of players, anything could be possible, but we need to develop a kicking game to the forwards, and we might also need to go to Foxford and get a blanket of some type for ourselves, it could come in very handy at times!

  39. Willie Joe it is a fact, not speculation like you threw out during week about injuries – which was actually against house rules

  40. Paddy Ban – I don’t know what your is source is but I’m fairly confident of mine as regards what I posted. Plus this is my website, which matters when you get into the topic of house rules.

    If you want to post information like that, I’d expect you to provide some evidence. Saying it’s “fact” isn’t sufficient. It may, of course, turn out to be correct but there’s no indication of any sort as yet that it is.

  41. Am i right in thinking based on the blog comment that Jordan Flynn has a serious injury.

  42. Poor Jordan, after the u20 final he never got a break from refs, but was really coming good.

  43. Just think: this day next week, either Fermanagh or Tyrone will be heading for the qualifiers.

  44. Colm Keys in the Independent says that Jordan Flynn will be out for up to 2 months.

  45. Fermanagh are 12/1 to win it atm. I’m not a gambler but that looks a decent each way to me.
    Tipp at 10/1 looks very generous but then there’s a pretty good chance of them making a Munster final and not being there at all

    Hope the Connacht teams do well. Wouldn’t be tipping any of them to win it out, but all three had decent leagues and were competitive. It’s a little difficult to know how Red Ogs loss will affect Sligo but otherwise I think the Connacht will take it seriously

  46. Looking online the recovery time for most ankle related stuff, dislocation, fracture or break is fairly similar at 6-12 weeks, and that doesn’t really change if surgery is required.

    Not impossible, from what I read, that Jordan might make the Galway game but it’s incredibly unlikely.

    I’d assume though that if Colm Keys is reporting it, that he has a source but I haven’t seen the article and I don’t know what context Jordans injury is mentioned in

  47. @FrostTHammer, depends on the injury, I can verify that a fracture to my teenagers small finger, add in stitching to the Tendon was 6 – 7 months out from All contact Sports.

  48. Two months would not be the end of the world if he were ready to slot back in for the Connacht final or first qualifier, just all depends on how an individual heals and recovers . Best wishes to Jordan Flynn anyway , hope to see you back soon , his efforts over the last 12 months to keep improving his game has been excellent , he is now a recognised vital cog in the Mayo set up . I’d hazard a wild guess that takes some bloody effort .

  49. Sean Burke, I echo that completely. Best wishes for a good and speedy recovery to Jordan. He has been fantastic throughout this League and I admire his development very much. Fair play to him!

  50. The GAA have not confirmed the venue for the Galway game yet which could be an indication that there may be some doubt regarding McHale Park at this moment in time.

    Surely even curses and gifts that keep on giving even have limits.

  51. @viper – I passed mchale park today on a walk and they were erecting the posts to the bacon factory end.

    It looks like the Albany end ones went up earlier in the week.

  52. So they were training on it last week with no posts , scoring is never top of the agenda i suppose .

  53. @sean burke

    Who said they were training on it last week ? according to the connaught telegraph they trained on it Wednesday night and the Albany end posts were up by then. The bacon factory end posts are now in place.

  54. Apologies all if this was asked already but does anyone know when the galway game tickets go on sale? Says ‘available soon’ on gaa.ie.

  55. I’d imagine the tickets won’t be released until the venue is confirmed. As far as I know, that will be this week.

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