All-Ireland U20 football winners Cork have seven of the 20 players named as the top performers in this year’s championship.
The EirGrid 20 U20 awards were unveiled yesterday, with Cork, who overturned a nine-point deficit to secure All-Ireland glory at Dublin’s expense earlier this month, dominating the selection.
Cork goalkeeper Josh O’Keeffe, who was beaten just twice across their four games, is one of two goalkeepers selected. Paul Ring, Maurice Shanley, and captain Peter O’Driscoll are among the seven defenders honoured, while Douglas’s Brian Harnett is chosen at midfield.
Mark Cronin and Cathal O’Mahony, who contributed 3-14 and 2-20 respectively during Cork’s all-conquering campaign, are two of the eight forwards selected, a group which also includes U20 footballer of the year Ciarán Archer. Cork’s Damien Gore, who kicked four points from play in their 3-16 to 1-14 final win over Dublin, is a surprise omission.
All-Ireland finalists Dublin have four players included (Kieran Kennedy, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, Archer, and James Doran), as do Ulster champions Tyrone (Conal Grimes, Conor Quinn, Darragh Canavan, and Sean Óg McAleer).
Connacht champions Galway have three players on the panel (Oran Burke, Matthias Bairead and Liam Costello).Cork boss Keith Ricken was earlier this month named EirGrid U20 manager of the year.
EirGrid 20 U20s Goalkeepers: Josh O’Keeffe (Cork), Oran Burke (Galway); Defenders: Paul Ring (Cork), Peter O’Driscoll (Cork), Maurice Shanley (Cork), Kieran Kennedy (Dublin), Oisin Mullin (Mayo), Conal Grimes (Tyrone), Conor Quinn (Tyrone);
Midfielders: Brian Hartnett (Cork), Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Dublin), Matthias Bairead (Galway);
Forwards: Cathal O’Mahony (Cork), Mark Cronin (Cork), Ciaran Archer (Dublin), James Doran (Dublin), Liam Costello (Galway), Darragh Canavan (Tyrone), Sean Óg McAleer (Tyrone), Diarmuid Whelan (Laois).