Wednesday 23 August 2017

Five young footballers to watch in Championship 2016

There is plenty of young talent coming off the assembly line
There is plenty of young talent coming off the assembly line
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Here are some of the youngsters that could light up the football championship in 2016.

Barry McGinn (Monaghan)

McGinn was part of the Monaghan U-21 team that secured Ulster honours this year and is currently in with Malachy O’Rourke’s seniors, having seen some action earlier in the year. A talented forward, he gives the Farney another option in attack and can help take some of the scoring responsibility off Conor McManus’s shoulders.

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Barry McGinn, Monaghan, scores his side's first goal despite the best efforts of Michael McSweeney, Cork. Eirgrid GAA Football Under 21 All-Ireland Championship semi-final, Cork v Monaghan. O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Conor Loftus (Mayo)

Admittedly, Loftus has a job forcing his way into the Mayo side but having had a run without injury, he has found form and was excellent in Mayo’s run to the All-Ireland U21 title. A star minor in 2013, his background in basketball means he has excellent hands and he looks to be a natural in front of goal, as witnessed by his brace in the U21 final. He can help ease the burden on Cillian O’Connor.

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Conor Loftus, Mayo, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal. Photo: Sportsfile

Davey Byrne (Dublin)

Looks to be the one chosen to replace Rory O’Carroll in the Dublin full -back line, which places enormous responsibility on the young Naomh Olaf’s man. Based on his league performances, the All-Ireland minor winning captain of 2012 looks to have both the personality and the skill-set to fill some very big boots.  

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Peter Kelleher (Cork)

One of the few Cork players to emerge from the Rebels’ hammering at the hands of Roscommon with any credit, Kelleher is an imposing full-forward blessed with excellent hands and a nose for a goal. He was superb in the Rebels’ All-Ireland U21 final defeat to Mayo and offers the seniors a different kind of threat in front of goal.

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Peter Kelleher, Cork, takes a shot at goal but sees the ball rebound off the post Photo: Sportsfile

Neil Flynn (Kildare)

Flynn was part of an well-heralded Kildare U21 team that lost out to Dublin. Looks to have everything in his locker to make an impact at senior level this term. A reliable free-taker,

Kildare missed him last year when he opted to spend the summer in the US but is back on board for 2016 and shot 1-5 in the league final defeat to Clare.

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Kildare's Neil Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile

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