Player of the Year award – the nominees

Mayo team AISF replay 2015

Sadly, it’s that time of the year again where, with our inter-county season over (and the results archive updated to include 2015), we can start to think about saluting those lads who performed best for us over the year as a whole. Last year was the first where a Player of the Year poll was held here on the site, with Cillian O’Connor securing the votes to win the inaugural Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year award. Now it’s time to consider the 2016 award.

Like last year, I want to run this year’s award on the basis of a poll containing a shortlist of nominees. Last time that list was a long enough one, stretching to ten players, and I think a list of a similar length would be okay this time too.

This year I’ve tried to be a bit more scientific in drawing up the shortlist. What I’ve done is collate all of the votes cast for every player that featured for us this year (37 in all) in all of the League and Championship matches we played. Because there were more League games than Championship ones and also because what happens in the summer is of greater importance than in the spring, I decided to add weights to the respective total votes cast in the League and Championship polls. This meant that appearances and strong performances in the latter were given more emphasis compared to in the former.

Totting all the figures up on this basis yields the following ten players (whose names I’m listing in alphabetical order – telling you the total weighted votes number for each would spoil the fun) whom I’m now nominating for the Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year 2016 award:

  • Colm Boyle
  • Jason Doherty
  • Keith Higgins
  • Kevin Keane
  • Lee Keegan
  • Barry Moran
  • Cillian O’Connor
  • Diarmuid O’Connor
  • Aidan O’Shea
  • Tom Parsons

Six players included in the above list were also on last year’s shortlist. The four new additions are Kevin Keane, Diarmuid O’Connor, Barry Moran and Tom Parsons and they replace Tom Cunniffe, Kevin McLoughlin, Seamus O’Shea and Donal Vaughan.

The above is just for info – I’ll stick up a poll on the award later on this evening and then leave the voting open on it until Sunday evening, following which the winner will be announced.

Our 2015 season may be over but the lads still need your support: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.

45 thoughts on “Player of the Year award – the nominees

  1. Up until Saturday I would have said Tom parsons, but Diarmuid’s consistency, for a young man, has been phenomenal. What a player.

  2. Have to say my player of the year has to be Tom Parsons. From his opening game in the league in Cork (where he was magnificent) he has hardly put a foot wrong.If he can stay injury free (broken thumb notwithstanding) then he can be key for us next year.

    Now as Con Houlihan would say, read on;

    Darragh O’Shea in his piece singles out Rob Hennelly for criticism for the way we managed the last 15 minutes of the replay against Dublin.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/darragh-%C3%B3-s%C3%A9-it-s-hard-to-feel-sympathy-for-mayo-1.2344699
    it’s only natural that we (for the last 15 minutes of the replay) and Dublin for the last 10 minutes of the drawn game will come under scrutiny however for 55 minutes of that game we did a lot right to manage the game. Jim McGuinness in yesterday’s piece advocated putting 15 men behind the ball at that point and defending the 4 point lead with your lives. Last year in the drawn game against Kerry we could have done something similar, a simple pre rehearsed call by the line sees us bring 15 men behind the ball and attack them on the counter attack.
    I have sympathy for Rob in that if we were substituting Barry Moran could we not have got a runner to Rob to say Barry has been substituted this ball has to go to X?
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, if we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past then we are bound to repeat them.

    Ironically I think we could become the most exciting counter attacking team in the Country.

  3. Lee Keegan player of the year for me. Displays against Donegal and Dublin were awesome. Kept Connolly virtually scoreless and played well especially in replay when all the spotlight was on him. Outscored him I think over 2 games from play.

    Diarmuid O’Connor young player of the year for me. (And YPOTY nationally as well)

  4. The simple fact that Diarmuid almost never gave away the ball all season and used it really well was incredible consistency. I think in championship was something like 2 balls he gave away? One against Galway and one against Donegal. Unbelievable.
    Great shooting as well.

  5. Can we keep points on this thread to just the Player of the year. There’s enough pouring over the wet ashes of defeat on the other thread. Not being a backseat mod but just the other thread is covering that area in full.

  6. Player of the year for me has to be Aidan O Shea always gives 110% and leaves everything on the field he was the difference against Galway (remember we were level at half time) beat Sligo on his own and was again the difference against Donegal plus was black and blue after the first Dublin game

  7. My player of the year, is without doubt Tom Parsons, My other nominees would be Lee Keegan & Diarmod O’Connor. No doubt that Diarmod s should be Ireland’s young player of year Any ideas on who in Mayo will get All Stars?

  8. diarmuid o connor is player of the year for me. He will only improve, lets hope our game management improves along with him.

  9. I would have to go with Backdoor Sam here – Aidan O’Shea should be nailed on for player of the year and here’s why.

    1. I honestly believe it wasn’t for O’Shea in Salthill Mayo would have been experiencing the backdoor for the first time in a long time and 5 in a row would not have happened. He was unmarkable that day – funny when you get to September, June July days quickly forgotten….Contrary to the “Mayo walked Connacht” narrative in the media generally – Mayo were in genuine trouble on a couple of occasions in that game and O’Shea dragged them back to get over the line relatively easy in the end.

    2. The Sligo display should not be consigned as irrelevant – Sligo had beaten a strongly fancied Roscommon team and what O’Shea did to Sligo was extraordinary – even if Sligo were naive. Without O’Shea i believe the winning margin in that game would have been no more than 6 or 7 points. He scored or had his finger prints on 6-15 in the game according to the statisticians….even to get 21 possessions in a game is no mean feat.

    3. Donegal – his goal was the score of the championship for me not just aesthetically but in the context of it being a quarter final and the game very much in the balance…it was THE crucial score in the game and his play throughout the remember of the match was also excellent.

    4. Dublin 1 – despite being completely isolated and overtly not having the same impact as earlier games there is no way Mayo would have drawn the game without him. He won a lot of key frees and provided crucial hard won assists totally 0-6 out of 1-14 total.

    5. In the replay he was very isolted again and seemed out on his feet at the end of the game. But Diarmad O’Connor was the only player to really outshine anyone on in this game in the Mayo ranks on the day. He kicked a fine point in the first half.

    I think the only alternative to O’Shea would be Keegan, followed in third by Tom Parsons. Diarmad O’Connor had a fine year and deserving of young player of the year but you can’t be making allowances for peoples age and experience against their actual peformance in picking a player of the year – in horseracing parlance – that is called handicapping. A player of the year award should be treated as a grade one with no ‘weight allowances’.

  10. Tom Parsons for me with Lee and Diarmuid a very close second. Lee should collect his 3rd All Star this year and Diarmuid nailed on for YPotY. I think the local cabinet maker in Ballintuber is going to have a lucrative future building the O’Connor family trophy cabinet to house the silverware the boys will collect in their careers.

  11. Diarmuid for me, followed by Aidan, followed by Tom, followed by Lee. Very slim margins separating all four and I’d be hard pushed to put them in order.

    If Diarmuid doesn’t win YPOTY I will be physically sick – I think that would be the last straw for me!

  12. Tom Parsons had an outstanding season he may not have won any mom awards but he played consistently well all season. Diarmuid had two good games against dubs and is clearly one for the future but Tom would get my vote.

  13. Its unlikely that these posts every make it to the eyes of the all powerful and all knowing Darragh O’Shea but just for the record Darragh you might do all amateur players a big service and stick your over the top personal criticisms of our gaelic players where the sun don’t shine. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of his article in the Times, there is no room for the personal criticism heaped upon our man Rob, I read the same thrash about Michael Lundy a few months back and felt exactly the same way – does the man have any comprehension of or appreciation for the personalities of these amateur lads – NO. These boys are not on €80,000 per week and not therefore deserving of his pathetic attempt to fill a page in a national broadsheet. On the other hand Darragh is a well heeled pundit and is fully deserving of some constructive criticism – I got my first glimpse of him on SKY for the other football semi – apart from appearing like an over sized Pat Short his attempts to look pensive and ready to contribute something worthwhile whilst sitting beside the far superior and much more articulate and intelligent Jim McGuinness was scary!
    His last three lines are accurate and we should take that little piece from it into 2016 i.e “They have the experience and they have the ability. By now, they should have developed a way to recognise the crucial stages of a big game and worked out how to shut it down. Until they do that, they will always find somebody too good for them.”
    But the rest of the content is the stuff for the local An Gaeltacht echo – if Cluxton or Kealy have a bad day on Sunday week Darragh then do them a favour and let them just go home in peace.

  14. It’s off topic but Richardmg: that is by far the most important thing that has been said on this thread so far. O’Se has a national platform and a lot of people read him. His article, while just opinion at the end of the day, is a load of shite. As others have said the real analysis comes from McGuinness, and at least he has the grace to admit he doesn’t always know what’s right. The Micheal Lundy article is a great example.

    Hennelly wasn’t even close to being the reason for Mayo losing the game. O’Se thinks he does this cool little thing where he takes a minor moment, adds in some old annecdote from back in the day for illustration, and then elevates it way above it’s overall importance. He has funny stories but his overall analysis is so poor. Hopefully Hennelly doesn’t take a blind bit of notice.

  15. AoS for me but followed closely by Lee, Tom Parsons and DOC.

    That Darragh O’Se article really annoyed me. Much easier for the Kerry bo**** to be having a go at Mayo players than talking up the Dubs

  16. AoS, Parson’s, Diarmuid O’Connor, Keegan all been excellent and all in different areas of the pitch which provides strong skeleton for the team in the future. Any of the above would be worthy winners.

  17. The Hennelly article was nonsense. He had a good look up before he kicked it. it was a poor kick but was not that rushed. DOS fancies himself as a bit of a Billy Keane. Don’t rate him as am analyst. Like George Hook, he needs to include himself in every story or article.

  18. Keego player of the year. No doubt. Could we get him cloned??????? As for DOS article. Typical oul Kerry shite. Up the dubs for the final

  19. D o Connor for me a class player no one mentioned c o c he scored 2 16 against the dubs hopefully he will be captain next year.

  20. Without wishing to cop out here I’m finding it very hard to make my own decision

    I didn’t see any FBD match, and for the league I was out of the county for the home Donegal one and the Cork away game wasn’t on tv. didn’t see Derry either

    So could only judge the Tyrone, Dublin (which i think we’d all like to forget) defeats, and the Kerry and Monaghan wins- the former against a team just back training and the latter a bit of a funny game, where we benefitted from a few sending offs iirc

    In saying that Keane was probably our overall player of the league

    All in all it’s probably better for me to mainly consider Championship

    It’s very difficult pick one. AOS was outstanding v Galway and Sligo but then well held in all 3 Croke Park games. But his level in the former 2 were above anyone else’s in any game all year. Keegan was probably the opposite, really came into his own in CP, even if he was underrated v galway, in what was a man marking role. COC- by his standards- was pretty much a non-entity from open play until the two Dublin matches.

    I’m struggling between Tom Parsons and DOC. Both to me were our most consistent players of the campaign. I’ll probably go with DOC though. I always rated Parsons and knew what he could potentially bring, but the way Diarmuid lit up the Championship, worked his ass off every game and contributed some wonderful assists and scores was a welcome surprise for many of us and came a few years ahead of schedule! I think his performances were probably our high point of the year for me. Lets hope he has many even better years ahead!

    FWIW, I think we’ll be starved of All Stars this year, in what will be our lowest return of the last few campaigns. Diarmuid mightn’t even get one, and AOS probably ruled himself out after Saturday.

    I think Tom will pick one up beside Davy Moran and maybe keegan to join him. But I’d still have DOC as our main man

  21. Keenan maybe coc really improved in the games against Dublin and could push a o Shea out. What your opinions on it

  22. Diarmuid o Connor for me.he was very good in all the games.had a good game v Galway was better v Sligo and outstanding in the 3 games he played in croke park.great strength and speed and can take a score and a great team player.if I was going for number 2 aidan o Shea followed by number 3 lee Keegan.

  23. Lee Keegan for me. His best performances on the biggest stage in the biggest games and takes no shit from anybody.

  24. I know I said I wouldn’t be back again but I had to, to highlight the infamous Keegan point attempt (I’ve been looking for it all week) when he kicked it into Cluxton’s hands. Now watch closely as he’s just about to kick, I think he gets a little nudge in the back and anybody who plays gaelic or soccer should know that the slightest little nudge can make you completely mess up your shot, especially when you’re taking the shot in your stride. It’s just one of those dark arts in football and I’m not saying it should have been a free, even though technically it should have been – you very rarely see frees for these types of incidents. I just wanted to highlight it because I think Keegan gets some unfair abuse from some people for missing it. Watch here from about 17:55 on and let me know what you think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRFKveaTmyQ

  25. keegan miss was the turning point in Mayo defeat to Dublin I not having a go at him but that miss could cost him a all star.

  26. Aidan for me followed by Lee then Cillian then Colm how Aidan O Shea keeps a cool head I’ll never know felt sorry for him the last day seemed he played in every position except goals … Yip Aidan for me !

  27. Id be tied between Tom p and diarmuid, both had excellent seasons. It’s by a nose I’d give it to parsons, simply because of a better league campaign!

  28. Has to be COC, all well and good for players going through Connacht, but the level headness and maturity he showed in the 2 Dublin games was immense, free kicks, penalty in the first game and the goal in the second.

    come on has to be Cillian

  29. Cait, i would agree about Keegans miss.

    When that ball dropped into Cluxtons paws a voice in my head said ” that is the losing of the match right there”. Had it gone over as Jim McGuinness said “Dublin would have gone away”. I am convinced of that.

    Keegan is still my favourite player though. No question.

    I could not give a hoot about the all star award.

  30. Player of the year has to be about consistency so It has to be Diarmuid for me followed by Lee. Both performed equally as well against second rate opposition as they did against the top teams.
    Others mentioned above like Aiden or Tom were not at their best when it really mattered, this may have been due to injury in Tom’s case, or a positional thing in Aidens, either way Diarmuid and Lee were streets ahead for me.

  31. Daragh o Shea won’t be laughing when the dubs beat Kerry but he does make a point though diarmuid player of the year for me.

  32. For me it has to be Diarmuid. What an engine and also a cool head. If we talk about the league then it has to be Kevin Keane. He also got most of the MOM awards, but in the championship when we met the heavy weights Donegal and Dublin young O Connor was the leading light. He covered loads of ground and if Andy had [deleted] laid on the pass to Diarmuid we would not require a replay. We can talk all we like about Aido.Tom P, Keegan, etc , but when we met the Dubs those boys were lacking pace and vision. As for All Stars we may be lucky with 3. One back, and two forwards.

  33. Aidan O’Shea gets my vote. Diarmuid would be a close second with Cillian.

    WJ, shouldn’t that be the 2015 award, not 2016.

  34. I’d have to go for Diarmuid, the mentality of the O’Connor boys is unbelievable. They just show no fear. He also lost his teammate from the 2013 minor team and maybe that inspired him a bit as well. I heard him say in an interview after the Dublin game that he would watch the game the day after the match to see where he went wrong and what he can improve on. With players like him in our team our future should still be bright.

  35. I totally agree swipes at Andy are out of order .Andy is a full hearted player with a lot of skill and scored some terrific points this year.If our own supporters cannot respect this man who has received the cup in Connacht as captain I truly despair.
    I think Aidan and Keith are class acts and super footballers.I am surprised by some nominations

  36. Tom Parsons for me – added a whole new dimension to this team this year. Freed up Aiden to help out other areas and made a positive impact on most games he played in.

    Just looking at that Keegan miss again – when he broke through the cover he turned on to his right foot but I think he is more reliable shooting with his left. Would love to know his stats on that L v R finishing for him. Also if he had broke left and drawn the defender Andy would have been the out ball and he was sure feeling pretty good about things just at that moment.

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