Home Features Five Players To Watch In The Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup

Five Players To Watch In The Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup

The Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup kicks into gear this weekend with a feast of college action taking place up and down the country.

The highly prestigious third-level competition brings together talent from all over the country who set their county rivalries aside in pursuit of silverware alongside their fellow alumni.

Throughout the years the Sigerson Cup has featured the game’s top talent. From stars of the future to household names. Indeed there are a few of the latter expected to be on show over the next couple of weeks as David Clifford (Tralee IT) and Con O’Callaghan (UCD) have both been named as part of their respective squads.

Here are five other inter-county players to watch out for in the first round of the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup.

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Shaun Patton – Garda/Donegal

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Shaun Patton was arguably the form goalkeeper in 2019 and had it not been for the exploits of Stephen Cluxton, he may well have finished it with a highly coveted All-Star award.

The Donegal shot-stopper looks set to man the sticks for Garda College as they look to upset the odds when they travel to Glasnevin to take on DCU on Sunday.

With not a whole pile of top inter-county players in their squad, the Tipperary outfit will look to the big game experience of Patton at the weekend.

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Garda College have never won the Sigerson Cup with their last final appearance coming in 2008.

Electric Ireland HE GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1: DCU Dóchas Éireann v Garda College on Sunday, January 12 in Dublin City University Sportsgrounds at 3.00pm.

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Mark Plunkett – DCU/Leitrim

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Mark Plunkett was in sparkling form at midfield for Leitrim as they gained a long-awaited promotion from the basement division of the Allianz Leagues in 2019.

The Aughawillan man has also put in starring performances for his club over the past number of years, winning three county championships in five years.

It’ll be interesting to see where Plunkett lines up in a DCU outfit containing several top-class talents including Eire Og and Carlow’s Jordan Morrissey, Roscommon’s Brian Stack, Dubliner’s Evan Comerford, Sean Bugler and Stephen Smith as well as his club and county colleague, Pearse Dolan.

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DCU are in search of their fourth title and first since 2015.

Electric Ireland HE GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1: DCU Dóchas Éireann v Garda College on Sunday, January 12 in Dublin City University Sportsgrounds at 3.00pm.

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James Carr – UL/Mayo

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James Carr made headlines not just in Ireland but the world over when his stunning goal in Mayo’s qualifier win over Galway broke the internet, garnering over eight million views.

The Ardagh man is the first player from the junior club to represent Mayo at senior level and will be looking to add to his burgeoning reputation when he features for the University of Limerick in this season’s Sigerson Cup campaign.

The inside forward has a huge frame and is a strong ball-carrier. Carr should form a potent full-forward line alongside Clare’s Keelan Sexton. They will be hoping to receive quality ball from the middle third area where UL boasts players such as Kerry duo Gavin White and Brian O Beaglaoich.

The Limerick college have never won the Sigerson Cup and reached their last final in 1997.

Electric Ireland HE GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1: Institute of Technology Sligo v University of Limerick on Sunday, January 12 in IT Sligo Grounds at 2.00pm.

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Jimmy Hyland – Maynooth/Kildare

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Jimmy Hyland bounced back from a devastating knee injury to kick 0-10 on hallowed ground in the first-ever All-Ireland U20 final back in 2018.

His performance in Croke Park, as well as his 1-8 in the semi-final win over Kerry, helped the Ballyteague youngster pick up the Eir Grid U20 Player of the Year award.

Hyland was part of the Kildare set up under Cian O’Neill last season but failed to make much of an impact. With Jack O’Connor on board for 2019 he will be looking to use the prestigious competition as a springboard towards full-time inter-county action.

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With eye-catching quality such as Hyland and Naoise O’Baoill from Gaoth Dobhair in their forward line, the Kildare college could be a dark house in 2020. Provided they can score a win over 2017 champions St. Mary’s Belfast on Sunday.

Maynooth’s only Sigerson Cup triumph came in 1976.

Electric Ireland HE GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1: Maynooth University v St Mary’s University College on Sunday, January 12 in Maynooth University North Campus at 2.00pm.

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Paeder Ó Cofaigh Byrne – UCD/Dublin

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Paeder Ó Cofaigh Byrne is an intriguing figure who many will have their eyes on over the coming weeks.

Whilst he hasn’t been seen much on the inter-county scene, the Cuala midfielder has long been talked about as someone who is ready to step up to the plate for the All-Ireland champions. Having been tasked with patrolling Brian Fenton in training games this year, the 2018 Footballer of the Year described his teammate as an “absolute beast”.

The 6’6″ midfielder will be looking to make a case to Dessie Farrell for improved game time in 2020 when he takes to field for UCD in the Sigerson Cup.

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The Dublin college will look to the Sigerson experience of Stephen Coen (Mayo), Con O’Callaghan (Dublin) and Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry) when they face Ulster University this weekend.

The Belfield outfit hold the record for most Sigerson Cup wins with 34 with their last coming in 2018.

Electric Ireland HE GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1: University College Dublin v Ulster University on Sunday, January 12 in Belfield at 2.15pm.

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Electric Ireland’s Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championship campaign, FirstClassRivals, showcases the unique trait of these historic GAA competitions that sees unexpected alliances form when fierce county rivals put aside their differences to play together, challenge together, and win together.
Electric Ireland is proud to support the Higher Education Championships and will live stream a selection of Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup games. Watch the games and follow the Championship at www.electricireland.ie/hec and be a part of the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #FirstClassRivals or visit @ElectricIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Michael Corry

Sports Journalist based in Dublin. Hit me up if you have a unique story to tell. Email: michael@punditarena.com Twitter: @Corry_10 Instagram: @Corry_10