The Player of the Year accolade usually goes to a footballer from the All-Ireland winning team. We are not sticking our necks too far out by suggesting that the same will apply in 2016. Not since 2010 in football (Bernard Brogan) and 2007 in hurling (Dan Shanahan) has there been a player to win the prize who did not collect a celtic cross the same year.
This year it is in the balance, with several players from both Dublin and Mayo in contention. However, there is no stand-out, so a big performance will be vital today.
Barring perhaps Michael Quinlivan (at a push), there is no player outside Dublin and Mayo in the picture.
To limit it to three from each team, the good people over at Sure’s Season of Statistics chose Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor and Lee Keegan of Mayo, and Ciarán Kilkenny, Kevin McManamon and Brian Fenton of Dublin.
Kilkenny leads the way on possessions, with a whopping 281 throughout the year. However, many have argued that he has regressed this year, posing less of a threat and moving laterally with the ball.
Cillian O’Connor, as the sole free-taker on the list, leads the scoring charts, with 2-35.
Meanwhile Aidan O’Shea has won 10 turnovers throughout the season.
Brian Fenton, described as the Rui Costa of gaelic football on this week’s 16th Man GAA podcast, is also a strong contender.
Read More About: 2016, aidan o'shea, Brian fenton, ciaran kilkenny, cillian o'connor, Dublin, Footballer of the Year, GAA, Gaelic Football, kevin mcmanamon, lee keegan, mayo, player of the year, possessions, stats