Monday 20 November 2017

Five players to watch this year

Tadhg de Búrca of Waterford.
Tadhg de Búrca of Waterford.
Cian Lynch of Limerick.
Cork's Cormac Murphy.
John McGrath of Tipperary.
Liam Ryan of Wexford.


Tadhg de Búrca


Filled some big shoes when taking over from Michael 'Brick' Walsh at centre-back for Waterford, but he has been superb thus far. Perhaps overshadowed at times by the style of Austin Gleeson beside him, but the 20-year-old De Búrca played every minute as Waterford went through the League unbeaten.

Cian Lynch


A nephew of Ciarán and Pa Carey, Lynch was part of the side that work back-to-back Munster minor titles for the county and made his League debut earlier this year. A pacey operator, who is also a noted soccer player, he could see action when the Championship comes in the forward line, though he could develop into a midfielder in years to come.

Cormac Murphy


A regular for Cork throughout the League at wing-back, Murphy has settled in well to a rearguard that has been badly disrupted by injury. With a keen eye for a score, Murphy is likely to make his Championship debut against Waterford.

John McGrath


A brother of Noel, McGrath has struggled with injury this term, but managed a couple of appearances off the bench during the league for Eamon O'Shea's side, while he also made a late cameo for the county's U-21 footballers in the All-Ireland final. Highly talented, if his injuries clear up, he can force his way into the hurling side.

Liam Ryan


Put in a very effective year at corner-back last year, but the Rapparees clubman is highly regarded in Wexford and could grow into a more central figure for Liam Dunne's emerging side.


Cathal McShane


McShane scored the decisive goal in this year's All-Ireland U-21 final, but was handed his first senior start by Mickey Harte back in January. A powerful and dynamic midfielder who possesses plenty of footballing nous, McShane is likely to feature in this year's Championship for the senior side.

Cathal McShane of Tyrone.
Cathal McShane of Tyrone.
David Comer of Galway
Tipperary's Steven O'Brien.
Cork's Brian O'Driscoll.
Dublin's Brian Fenton.

David Comer


Has already tasted Championship action this term when delivering a man-of-the-match performance against New York. Comer was one of the leading lights for the county's U-21 side. A powerful player, he has all the tools to make an impact this summer.

Steven O'Brien


Colin O'Riordan earned much of the plaudits during the Tipperary U-21s' run to the All-Ireland final but his midfield partner O'Brien is just as significant a figure. Like O'Riordan, he is also a talented hurler but goes into this campaign with some valuable experience having played in that U-21 decider and won a Sigerson Cup medal with DCU.

Brian O'Driscoll


A holder of four Munster U-21 medals, O'Driscoll is a Cork footballer who is well used to getting one over Kerry teams and winning titles. The early part of his season has been dogged by injury, but he's highly thought of on Leeside and, should he get a clear run, he could yet be a significant figure for them.

Brian Fenton


Faces the unenviable task of trying to break into the Dublin team, but is highly-rated by management and could force his way into the side in the half-forward/midfield areas after some promising displays in the National League.

Irish Independent

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