John Fogarty picks out five players who are set to make their mark on the Allianz Football League.
Seán Ó Sé (Kerry)
It was in the middle third more than in the full-forward line where Kerry had difficulties last season so, while David Clifford’s progress these coming weeks will be monitored closely, the more educated eye may be diverted to how Ó Sé gets on.
Known for his playmaking ability, Ó Sé will be given time to prove himself although there is a real onus on Kerry to improve their half-forward line this year.
Steven O’Brien (Tipperary)
After two seasons with the hurlers, the Ballina man is back with the footballers, much to the delight of everyone involved in Tipperary football.
Liam Kearns will enjoy being able to call on him for the first time in his tenure and his presence will offset the continuing absence of Peter Acheson. Whether it’s with George Hannigan or Jack Kennedy, O’Brien should be prominent.
Brian Howard (Dublin)
A Raheny club-mate of Brian Fenton’s, he couldn’t but have caught the eye during the county’s run to an All-Ireland U21 last year.
His advance is timely too as Denis Bastick steps away. Michael Darragh Macauley will be on a mission after injury affected his 2017 season but Howard will go close to be included in the first team.
Stephen Sherlock (Cork)
Michael Hurley, who Sherlock came on for in the 2016 U21 final, can make a name for himself this year although Sherlock is currently the one turning heads after a fine McGrath Cup campaign in which he scored 2-10 in two matches.
The St Finbarr’s man’s cool temperament and eye for goal may ensure Cork stay in the promotion race until the Nemo Rangers men return.
Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh (Galway)
Galway might have lost last year’s U21 All-Ireland final to Dublin but Ó Ceallaigh’s positive full-back play earned him rave reviews and but for spending the summer in the States he surely would have been counted on by Kevin Walsh.
The fearlessness he brings to his game would only improve a Galway line that has answered few questions after being exposed by Tipperary in 2016.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved