Last week, we looked at the hurling fixtures and picked out six players who could make a difference in their National Hurling League matches.
Now, we look at the young footballers in league action over the weekend to keep a watchful eye on.
Josh Keane (Tipperary)
The 21-year-old Golden-Kilfeacle native came to national prominence during last year’s championship after he emerged as one of Tipperary’s finest dual players. At 19, Keane played an influential role in the successful Tipperary U-21 football team winning the Munster final and losing by the minimum in the All-Ireland against Tyrone.
Starting at wing forward against Laois this weekend, he will prove a threat to their defence with his speed, vision, and skill.
Conor McCarthy (Monaghan)
On Sunday, Kerry host Monaghan, which will prove a huge test for the visitors. However, McCarthy and his side will be hoping that they can put it up to the Kingdom.
The UCD student displayed some immense performances in the Sigerson Cup and previously the rising Monaghan star has been influential in the county’s underage teams. Now, he will be hoping to continue his form at senior inter-county level.
Stephen Coen (Mayo)
With a large number of injured and missing players, Stephen Coen once again gets the nod for Stephen Rochford’s Mayo team. Last year, Coen captained Mayo to their first U-21 football title in ten years after they defeated Cork with a spree of goals.
The Hollymount-Carramore local starts at wing back against Roscommon and will be out to lay down a marker.
Kevin Crowley (Cork)
With Cork having only gained one point in their previous two games, they will be hoping for a big performance in their Division 2 clash against Fermanagh. The Rebels have named a new-look side but 22-year-old Crowley has kept his place at corner-back.
The Millstreet clubman will be hoping to establish his position in the Cork senior football team this year after making his inter-county debut for the Rebels during the McGrath Cup in 2014.
Frank Burns (Tyrone)
Although the current Tyrone U-21 football captain is not named in the starting 15, he may still prove influential in their game against Cavan on Saturday.
Burns came to prominence in 2013, displaying pure skill and talent on the national stage throughout their All-Ireland Minor Championship campaign. Without a doubt Burns possesses a footballing brain and unbelievable vision on the pitch, certainly making him one to watch.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena