Eight young players to watch in the 2021 All-Ireland Football Championship

John Fogarty picks out eight footballers you might be hearing a lot more about by the end of 2021
Eight young players to watch in the 2021 All-Ireland Football Championship

Three to watch: Daniel Dineen, Mike Breen, and Matthew Tierney.

Rory Brickenden (Mayo)

Rory Brickenden. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Rory Brickenden. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Even as Mayo advanced to last year’s All-Ireland final fuelled by other outstanding tyros, there was talk of this Westport footballer. Athletic and physical, he could slot in at wing-back against Sligo.

Mike Breen (Kerry)

Mike Breen. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr
Mike Breen. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

Making his senior debut against Roscommon, the Beaufort defender has been given the chance to stake a claim in the absence of injured captain Paul Murphy. Might end up losing out on a spot but has been composed in his displays.

Daniel Dineen (Cork)

Daniel Dineen
Daniel Dineen

A minor as far back as 2015, the Cill na Martra forward took his chance with both hands against Westmeath, helping himself to three points including a mark. In Cathail O’Mahony’s absence, Ronan McCarthy’s need for another attacking option has increased.

Paul Donaghy (Tyrone)

Paul Donaghy
Paul Donaghy

The top scorer in last year’s senior county championship, the 22-year-old Dungannon Thomas Clarkes man was one of the best things to come out of Tyrone’s league this year. Possesses an x-factor.

Darragh Kirwan (Kildare)

Darragh Kirwan
Darragh Kirwan

The Naas forward played a prominent role in Kildare’s ascension to Division 1, scoring three points against Meath in the semi-final earlier this month. After some positive signs in his debut season in 2020.

Seán McMahon (Dublin)

Seán McMahon
Seán McMahon

McMahon was catching the eye for Raheny a few years ago but it was last month that he began to make his presence felt in the team. Defence is the one area of the field where the champions need fresh blood and McMahon looks almost ready-made.

Jordan Morris (Meath)

Jordan Morris
Jordan Morris

One of the most blessed footballers to emerge from the Royal County in a long time, the Nobber man gave teasers of his brilliance in a couple of Meath’s games in Division 2 North. Will be marked closely.

Matthew Tierney (Galway)

Matthew Tierney
Matthew Tierney

A star in the U20 All-Ireland winning team last year, Oughterard’s Tierney oozes talent and should feature in the team against Roscommon. A marksman of note, he can kick off both feet with confidence.

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