Belfast Telegraph

Meet the five Ulster stars in the Minor Team of the Year

A strong Ulster representation flavours the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Football Team of the Year, with four players from finalists Derry and one from semi-finalists Cavan.

Both sides fell to a simply astonishing Kerry side that was inspired by the performances of David Clifford.

The team is made up of players who captured Man of the Match and Player of the Week awards over the course of the summer action.

Who are the Ulster players that made the grade?

Conor McCluskey

County: Derry

Club: Magherafelt

Position: Full-back

What Oisín McConville said: "Conor was one of the outstanding defenders of this year's Championship. He was as sticky and difficult to mark as anyone else we saw. Though strong in the tackle, it was McCluskey's reading of the game and where the ball would travel that was the standout feature in much of his play."

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Conor McCluskey (right)

Padraig McGrogan

County: Derry

Club: Newbridge

Position: Centre-half back

What Oisín McConville said: "The centre-half back was an easy decision for the panel. Padraig McGrogan has been in scintillating form all year. His running is direct."

Details: McGrogan claimed the Man of the Match award in the Ulster final.

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Padraig McGrogan has been in scintillating form all year. Photo: Philip Magowan/Presseye

Oisín McWilliams

County: Derry

Club: Swatragh

Position: Midfield

What Oisín McConville said: "Midfield was an incredibly tight one to call for many reasons, but the panel finally couldn't get Oisín McWilliams' displays from our thoughts."

Lorcan McWilliams

County: Derry

Club: Swatragh

Position: Full-forward

Details: Having scored three points in Derry's opener against Tyrone, McWilliams became a staple selection for his management. His dominating display against Dublin in the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Semi-Final saw him awarded Man of the Match.

Oisín Pierson

County: Cavan

Club: Gowna

Position: Right full-forward

What Oisín McConville said: "Being Cavan's only representative is a huge acknowledgement as to how impressive Oisín Pierson has been over the course of this year's Minor Championship and he takes his place at right-full forward."

Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Football Team of the Year

1. Deividas Uosis (Kerry, Dingle), 2. Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Dublin, Cuala), 3. Conor McCluskey (Derry, Magherafelt), 4. Cian Gammell (Kerry, Killarney Legion), 5. Michael Potts (Kerry, Dr Crokes), 6. Padraig McGrogan (Derry, Newbridge), 7. Niall Donohue (Kerry, Firies), 8. Barry Mahony (Kerry, St.Senan's), 9. Oisin McWilliams (Derry, Swatragh), 10. Ross McGarry (Dublin, Ballyboden St Enda's), 11. David Clifford (Kerry, Fossa), 12. Donal O'Sullivan (Kerry, Kilgarvan), 13. Oisin Pierson (Cavan, Gowna), 14. Lorcan McWilliams (Derry, Swatragh), 15. Fiachra Clifford (Kerry, Laune Rangers).

Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Hurling Team of the Year

The Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Hurling Team of the Year features six players from the winners, Galway along with five players from finalists, Cork. The team also features players from Kilkenny, Dublin and Clare. The team was selected by a panel of GAA greats from nominees that included the Electric Ireland Man of the Match and Player of the Week winners throughout the season.

The four-man awards selection panel consisted of legendary former Cork hurler and current Clare hurling selector, Dónal Óg Cusack; former Armagh All Star footballer, Oisín McConville; former Galway hurler and AIB All Ireland Club hurling championship winning manager, Mattie Kenny, and Meath Senior football manager Andy McEntee.

1. Darrach Fahy - Galway (Ardrahan), 2. Caimin Killeen - Galway (Loughrea), 3. Sean O’Leary Hayes- Cork (Midleton), 4. Darren Morrissey - Galway (Sarsfields), . Aidan McCarthy - Clare (Inagh-Kilnamona), 6. James Keating - Cork (Kildorrery), 7. Lee Gannon - Dublin (Whitehall Colmcilles), 8. Daire Connery - Cork (Na Piarsaigh), 9. Conor Fahey - Galway (Padraig Pearses), 10. Brian Roche - Cork (Bride Rovers), 11. Sean Currie - Dublin (Na Fianna), 12. Adrian Mullen - Kilkenny (Ballyhale Shamrocks), 13. Sean Bleahene -Galway (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), 14. Jack Canning - Galway (Portumna), 15. Brian Turnbull - Cork (Douglas)

Awards night

The Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards take place on October 7 in Croke Park.

Oisin McConville, who is one of the Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards Judge, said the awards are a "major event for young players and will stand as a landmark in their playing careers."

"It is a real honour to be named on the Team of the Year, not just for the player themselves but also for their families, counties, schools and clubs who have played a crucial part in these young players careers to date.

"It is just incredible to see such dedication in such young athletes but it really is a testament to them and they should be celebrated and that is what these awards are all about.”

Aogán Ó Fearghail, President, GAA, added: “This has been an outstanding Electric Ireland GAA Minor Football Championship season with some superb moments that will live long in the memory.

"These 15 players have made a huge contribution to the enjoyment of the 2017 Minor football season and they fully deserve the recognition for an excellent year.

"They will be first to acknowledge the roles that their friends, families, clubs and communities played in their support and development and no doubt this will be a huge honour, not only for the player but for everyone connected to them and hopefully it will inspire them and their team mates to go on to great things in the GAA.”

Jim Dollard, Executive Director, Electric Ireland, said Electric Ireland was "delighted to have been a part of this year’s Minor Championship".

"These 15 players have provided some amazing football this year and we are delighted to be able to honour them and all those who support them at this year’s inaugural Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards.

"I’ve no doubt these players will be stars of the future.  We hope this will also inspire Minor Star Award winners of the future as we continue to support the Championships in the coming years.”

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