This year’s Senior All Ireland championship has thrown up few shocks as Dublin prove to be the favourites to march on to their fifth title in a row.
Jim Gavin’s side conquered Leinster with ease, despite being pushed by Cork, Kerry triumphed in the Munster championship and Ulster was as competitive as ever though Donegal were crowned back-to-back champions.
In Connacht, Anthony Cunningham led Roscommon to the provincial title in his first year in charge and Galway have since been knocked out of the competition after losing to rivals Mayo in the qualifiers.
While surprise results in the championship have been few and far between, we have seen some stand out performances and a number of players have emerged as the early contenders for Footballer of the Year.
Ryan McHugh has been one of Donegal’s most consistent performers over the past number of seasons and he has been in phenomenal form in 2019 once again. McHugh was man-of-the-match in their Super 8s draw with Kerry and was an inspirational leader on the field, dragging them back into contention every time the Kingdom threatened to pull away.
Jack McCaffrey is quickly becoming the most unmarkable player in the country given his speed, agility and superb skill. In a team overrun with talent, the Clontarf man stands a foot above the rest. He has been their main playmaker during the championship, especially against Cork in the first Super 8s game when the Rebels went toe-to-toe with the rest of the team for the majority of the game.
Michael Murphy is a player who only seems to be getting better with age. He is Donegal’s leader and go-to man which he proved against Kerry when he coolly slotted over the equalising score to force a draw. The Donegal forwards have been seriously impressive this year, especially with Jamie Brennan and the return of Paddy McBrearty but Murphy remains key to all of their positive play.
Kerry have a forward pack that are equally as impressive as Donegal’s and Stephen O’Brien has been the key component to what makes them tick. His awareness and quick-thinking on the ball are crucial aspects of his game while his direct-running style has made him a terror among defences throughout the championship. He is also a vital contributor on the scoreboard for Peter Keane’s side.
With a break in play following the second round of the Super 8s, we want you to choose who you feel should win the accolade in our poll below.