Who was our Player of the League for 2024?

With today’s formal launch at Bekan of the Connacht Championship and with our trip to the Big Apple for our provincial quarter-final against New York at Gaelic Park coming up next week, our National League campaign of 2024 is already disappearing rapidly in the rearview mirror.

Before it’s gone altogether, though, there’s one bit of business to conclude here on the blog. For the last number of years we’ve run a Mayo Player of the League poll, the shortlist for which is decided on by summing data from the individual MOTM polls. A separate poll is then held to decide the winner each year.

Previous winners of the Player of the League award here on the blog were David Clarke (2017), Eoin O’Donoghue (2018), Aidan O’Shea (2019 and 2023) and Ryan O’Donoghue (2022). There were no votes held in the Covid years of 2020 and 2021.

Running the numbers for this year yields an obvious three-player shortlist, with Fergal Boland, Sam Callinan and Ryan O’Donoghue all making the cut. But which one of them deserves to be recognised as our Player of the League for 2024? It’s over to you to decide that.

Who was our Player of the League for 2024?

  • Ryan O'Donoghue (47%, 659 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (46%, 649 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (7%, 97 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,405

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34 thoughts on “Who was our Player of the League for 2024?

  1. Boland and Callinan were very good but Ryan has been consistently excellent.we would be completely lost without him

  2. Ryan o D for me , hes become our most important player and his level of consistency has been impressive .

  3. @Paddyjoejohntom .. Agree ferocious work rate tracking back !!
    Seriously tho , hard pick between Ryan and Fergal.
    Ryan just shades it for me

  4. Lookin back on previous MOTM results, and see players that got over 10% of vote for individual matches. I would give it to Fergal Boland, followed by ROD. But in fairness Paddy Durcan was flying it at begining of league before injury, and imagine he would have been up there as well. We need more consistant players, one day players MOTM, next day below average. But better news, I think TC begining to get more consistant as league went on

  5. Callinan was playing his best football until McBrien got injured in Kerry then he was put into a role i don’t like seeing him play.

    Boland had involvement in some big scores throughout the league but it feels like he goes missing for large parts of games and then pops up with a big score. Ryan is Mr Consistent and does a lot of the dirty work, to me Ryan is as important to Mayo as Clifford or O’Callaghan is to Kerry and Dublin.

    It’s hard to look past Ryan or Fergal as only for their quick thinking and execution against Dublin we could well have found ourselves in a relegation battle on the final day.

  6. Has to be Boland for me.

    Our top scorer from play in the league (feel free to correct me there if I’m wrong.) Drew plenty of fouls which must’ve added another 8-10 points for us in terms of frees. Excellent link-up play to create chances, like McLaughlin’s goal vs. Galway.

    He was consistently voted in the top 3 in a lot of our matches, and was always one of our top 5 performers on the day.

    Ryan and Sam had great campaigns too, but Boland was coming into the league with a lot of expectation and he exceeded them greatly.

  7. Voted for Ryan our top player by a mile , only Mayo player who might make best team in Country at present.

  8. @Mayo 92 Sam had a very poor campaign.
    On league form he won’t make the Championship team.

  9. Its hard to define – “player of the league”. You could say Ruane was our best player in last 2 games. Boland made a massive impact in first 2 games with big scores, but faded a bit as the league wore on. Donnacha had a great league imo and showed glimpses he could develop into a seirious IC player.

    If their was “assists” in GAA then Tommy and Aido’s stats would be off the charts. Ryan though is our consistent “Marquee” forward, most valuable player on the team. Some of us on here get constant jibes for questioning managment, but I and others were saying Ryan and a few should be rested for the dead rubber in clones, but what happens? Ryan plays a full game and limps off holding his hamstring, our best damn forward by the way. He looked just like Diarmuid up in Omagh who hasn’t been since….McStay gets too much of a free pass on this blog. Horan was chastised for a lot less on here.

  10. @Jr: Ehhh? The same Sam who’s nominated as one of our 3 players of the league based on MOTM votes, won MOTM against a solid Kerry side and was asked to mark the key danger men on nearly every team we’ve faced so far? He’ll absolutely make the Championship team and be one of the first names on it.

    He nullified a poor Walsh, MOTM against a flying O’Shea, took on Canavan in the form of his life and took a McGuigan in equally hot form. You don’t go from being asked to detail stars like that to not making a Championship team. Drop him from marking their star men in those games and give him the second or third best forward and suddenly he’s MOTM in every game (though we’d probably lose those games by a margin as the star men pop off on someone else wherever David and Paddy weren’t available).

  11. Sam won’t make it in the Full Back line, that should be obvious from last by years quarter final.
    Like a lot of our backs he is a good reader of the game and good going forward.
    We need backs that can defend first.

  12. Boland was player of the league. Ryan, by his standards, had an OK league. 9 points from play given all his minutes played is not great at all.

  13. Ryan O’Donoghue for me. By far our most valuable player and proved that numerous times during the league.

  14. Boland for me. Just really hope he can keep it up with the step up to championship, and chip in with 2/3 points a game.

  15. Ryan O D the player for me we would be lost without him boland a close second behind. Think paddy durcan probably would have gotten it if he didn’t get injured he was flying it at start.

    And to the league final I think Dubs will beat derry well on Sunday they are just on another level to the rest of us atm.

  16. JR Sam is 21. Keith Higgins wasn’t the finished article at 21. I think Sam did fantastically well last season. He got some good lessons this year, he’ll improve from that. I do think he would be better out the field but management have huge trust in him

  17. @ Mayo Focus yes I think he is a good footballer but corner back is a specialist position and one could see last year that he had no experience in the position and was found on the wrong side of his forward a number of times.

  18. You might well be right JR, but how do you suggest Sam (or anyone else) gets experience in corner back if we don’t play them there?
    For what it’s worth, I don’t think he’s suited to half back either. I think he’s incredibly similar to Keegan, and that means wing back for me.

  19. Corner backs there’s just a certain build and eye test of how a player plays and moves. A top corner is rare.

  20. I was disappointed with Callanan and Reape. Reape has now shown on several occasions that he is not able to cope when the opposition push up on kick outs. He makes it easy for this to happen as he is too slow getting his kick outs away and Teams will now have seen this. Callanan started well in the first two games of the league but was pretty poor after that. Canavan cleaned him in both the colleagues All Ireland Final and again a couple of weeks later in the league game . Saying he is young is not an answer as Canavan is also young and if we are to win an AIF then Callanan will have to able to mark the best . i think o Donoghue had a very good League

  21. Sam being put on Dara Canavan was naive stuff from mgmt, it’s also pretty naive confidently broadcasting him as one of our primary man markers. That’s just painting yourself into a corner. He’s a long rangey middle third player. Trying to force him into being a man marker is a misstep. Man markers needs to be quick to change direction over one yard and just have that man marking mindset to their game. No, I don’t believe you can develop it for the full back line. You can improve on it in the half backline.
    Inside line players need a specialist marking them. Remember how badly Leeroy got beaten by Con in the inside line?

  22. @JP Keegan played several league games at corner back but it still did not work in the championship.
    We have to stop putting square pegs in round holes.
    It is fine playing well in first 2 rounds of the league when the opposition are not up to speed.

  23. Agree @mayotillidie, don’t think Callinan is suited to that role he is more effective as a plus one. Big conundrum in Defence is Centre-Back. I like Brickenden a lot but I’m not sure he is the man for Full Back, I sense they are going to try McBrien at 6 for championship which means it’ll be Brickenden at 3. Don’t think we can afford to leave McBrien out of that Full Back line, he is such a big presence in there.

  24. Hard luck to Leitrim but that was expected. Laiois are nearly a top 16 team. Surprising they slipped so low league wise. It will be near impossible or Leitrim to pick themselves up for next week now.

  25. We were years looking for a full back. When we get one in mcBrien – instead of leaving him there – we try to convert him into a half back.
    We have in Callinan a half back in the mould of Keegan and instead of playing him there we try to convert him into a man marking corner back. Can’t understand why we cannot leave players in their best positions and let them settle in there

  26. Couldn’t agree more with Southmayoexile. But should we really be surprised that McStay swaps McBrien and Callinan around, when he played a forward at CB last year?? He has form for these type of mind boggling tactics. Brickenden is undroppable at present no matter how poor he performs. Towey scores 1-1 in 5 minutes against Derry, yet doesnt get any game against Monaghan! We are the most tactically inept team out of the top 6/7 Counties.

  27. Some crazy talk here about Callanan, this guy is going to be a great footballer, for people here that may not have played the game, some half backs can convert to corner back, a totally different position, very fast reactions from the standing position and power, knowing when to follow your man or to wait and make that tackle when a player is bearing down on goal, very strong physically also.

  28. One major requirement for a corner or even fullback, is high concentration levels, a very clever person.

  29. https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/joe-brolly-why-i-am-worried-not-excited-as-derry-try-to-keep-their-dream-alive/a885509414.html

    Brolly just can’t help himself having a dig at mayo & Aido we’re not even on today ha.

    I still think it’s dubs by 7 points or so sure we nearly beat Derry in the end when we weren’t playing our best either.

    Still glad we’re not in the final today would have been a disaster with new York next week.

    As for the calinan debate he’s some player only very young still learning it takes time and age to become consistent and he’s still a future star in the making for us!

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