Our 2018 National Football League race is run but, before all of the focus shifts to the summer action, there’s still time for a bit of retrospective thinking about what was in every sense and up and down spring campaign for us. Thankfully, one that ended up rather than down.
Last year, in response to the promptings of a number of you, I did a poll on our Player of the League and while there haven’t been any calls from the back benches for a repeat exercise this year I’ve taken it upon myself to organise it. And so here it is.
As I did last year, the shortlist I’ve come up with comes straight from the data you lot have generated, in the form of votes cast in the Man of the Match polls for each of the seven matches we’ve played. It’s not a perfect method, I know, but it’s a good enough approximation as I think the shortlist for this year demonstrates.
So, then, who’s in the frame to follow David Clarke, last year’s inaugural winner of this coveted award? Not David himself, he didn’t make the cut on this occasion. The five who did are, in alphabetical order, Paddy Durcan, Conor Loftus, Kevin McLoughlin, Eoin O’Donoghue and Aidan O’Shea.
Conor, Kevin, Eoin and Aidan appeared in every match in this year’s spring campaign. Conor made two starts, while the other trio lined out from the beginning in all seven games. Paddy would, surely, have been another ever-present player this spring but a quad injury picked up in the Galway match ruled him out of action until the Tyrone game. He featured in five matches, starting four of them.
Three of those shortlisted picked up MOTM awards on the blog over the course of the League – Aidan (three times), Conor (twice) and Eoin (once), though Paddy and Kevin obviously also polled well enough on a consistent basis over the whole League run to make the shortlist. The only player, incidentally, who won a MOTM award but didn’t make the cut for this poll was Diarmuid O’Connor.
Right, then, enough of the preamble – it’s time to vote time. This one is a first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all job. I’ll leave the poll up for a few days and then announce the result in due course. Best of luck to all on the shortlist for the award.
Who was our Player of the League for 2018?
- Eoin O'Donoghue (40%, 436 Votes)
- Aidan O'Shea (30%, 321 Votes)
- Kevin McLoughlin (19%, 204 Votes)
- Conor Loftus (8%, 83 Votes)
- Paddy Durcan (3%, 36 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,080