Home GAA Dublin Dominate Pundit Arena Football Team Of The Year

Dublin Dominate Pundit Arena Football Team Of The Year

Another football season has come to a close and while many would have predicted the outcome, the championship provided us with some outstanding performers, all of whom are named in the PA Football Team of the Year.

1. Rory Beggan (Monaghan)

Rory Beggan had a fantastic season for Monaghan and was a key part of the reason why they got as far as the All Ireland semi-final. His kick-outs have been phenomenal for the most part while he also chipped in with a number of scores from frees. One of the best readers of the game.

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2. Jonny Cooper (Dublin)

Jonny Cooper has barely put a foot wrong for Dublin all year and is so versatile in where he can play, popping up at corner-back, full-back or wing-back. Some of his tackles are often borderline but they only add to his effectiveness as a physical defender.

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3. Pádraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

A group of Tyrone legends named Hampsey as their man-of-the-match at the Tyrone banquet and for good reason. His work rate in the final was exceptional and got Tyrone out of trouble on more than one occasion, with numerous turnovers to his name. As he has done all year for the Red Hand.

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4. Eoghan Bán Gallagher (Donegal)

One of the players of the championships during its early stages. Gallagher has been such a consistent player for Donegal this summer. Not only is he a ferocious defender but he also loves getting forward as he proved in the Ulster final where he got Donegal’s first goal from a team move.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers 3A, Pairc Tailteann, County Meath 8/7/2017 Meath vs Donegal Donegal's Eoghan Ban Gallagher celebrates Ryan McHugh scoring their first goal of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

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5. James McCarthy (Dublin)

Another player who leaves it all out on the field for Dublin on a consistent basis. Well deserving of his sixth All Ireland title last Sunday. The Ballymun-Kickhams man showed how much it meant to him afterward with an emotive and heartfelt interview. Outstanding midfielder as well.

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6. Karl O’Connell (Monaghan)

O’ Connell has been one of Monaghan’s great leaders and talismanic players during this championship. He is one of the country’s best attacking centre-backs and would have been nominated for footballer of the year had Monaghan reached the final.

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7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)

The unquestionable man-of-the-match from Sunday’s final. His blistering pace is one of his strongest assets and one which Tyrone were not equipped to deal with. The Clontarf man loves making runs forward and has the confidence to try for his own score as well.

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8. Brian Fenton (Dublin)

At 25 years of age, this is Fenton’s fourth All Ireland medal, having never lost a championship match with the Dubs. His height is a huge advantage at midfield but add to that his pace and physicality and he is almost impossible to stop and a nightmare to defend.

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9. Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone)

Colm Cavanagh seemed to roll back the years with the manner of his performances for Tyrone this year. He is one of their great leaders and will be stung by this loss. He was also in the mix for footballer of the year prior to the final. Tyrone fans will be hoping he will stay on for another year.

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10. Niall Scully (Dublin)

One of Dublin’s most impressive breakout players this summer. He had a great game in the final, topped with a goal, though it may not be one for the “spectacular showreel”. Shane Walsh was unlucky not to make this team but Scully’s consistency levels earn him a spot.

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11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin)

What more needs to be said about this man? The 25-year-old has always been a key playmaker for the Dubs but this year he has added a scoring element to his game that has made him into the finished product. The Castleknock man has 2-24 from play this season

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12. Brian Howard (Dublin) 

The discovery and effectiveness of Brian Howard this year has to be a highlight for Jim Gavin. He is a very physical forward, well able to win his own ball but it was the scoring element of his game that impressed this summer as displayed in the final with an outstanding point.

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13. Paul Mannion (Dublin)

Paul Mannion has been such an impressive player for Dublin this year, culminating in him winning his fourth All Ireland medal. He is clever on the ball, unselfish and wonderfully clinical in his finishing. At only 25, there is plenty more to come from the Kilmacud Croke’s man.

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14. David Clifford (Kerry)

David Clifford was a talking point after every game Kerry played this summer. You’d be forgiven if you thought he has been around this team for years but this was his first championship season at senior level. Even when Kerry were playing poorly, he was racking up countless points from play.

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15. Conor McManus (Monaghan) 

Conor McManus was back to his best for Monaghan this summer, causing chaos among every opposition defence. Showed his outrageous skill and ability against Kerry in the Super 8s and also against Tyrone in Ulster. A well-regarded leader in the team.

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About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter