Saturday 24 February 2018

Five players to watch in this year's All Ireland senior football Championship

Con O'Callaghan and (inset) Michael Daly
Con O'Callaghan and (inset) Michael Daly

Donnchadh Boyle picks out five young stars you need to keep your eye on in this year's football championship.

Michael Daly (Galway)

Part of Galway’s impressive U-21 side, Daly is a rangey, accurate forward. Manager Kevin Walsh sprung him from the bench in the Division 2 league final win over Kildare to kick two important points. The son of former Tribe star Val, Daly isn’t afraid to shoot, and he is another option for a potential-laden Galway attack.

Michael Daly of Galway is fouled by Niall Keenan of Derry and a penalty is awarded. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Jason Foley (Kerry)

Most observers reckon that a handful of Kerry’s much-vaunted U-21 team will see championship action for Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s senior side this summer, though that might have changed after their disappointing All-Ireland semi-final defeat. Foley, who generally operates in the full-back line, is highly thought of and he could force his way in.

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Kerry's Jason Foley under pressure from Alan McLoughlin

Ciaran Thompson (Donegal)

Brendan Devenney reckons Thompson is the owner of the best left foot he has seen, which is high praise indeed. There’s no doubt he has talent as he showed when kicking some classy points in Donegal’s league campaign. Injury robbed him of much of his 2016 season, but he looks ready to make an impact for Rory Gallagher’s new-look side.

Donegal's Ciaran Thompson in action against Mayo's Tom Parsons. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jack McCarron (Monaghan)

Not too many out there can claim to have had a better league than Jack McCarron. His potential was always well known within Monaghan but after an injury-free run, he showed the rest of the country what he can do. He was in top form all spring and managed 1-9 (1-5 from play) against Dublin to give Monaghan another threat along with Conor McManus in the inside line. 

Monaghan sharpshooter Jack McCarron. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Con O’Callaghan (Dublin)

The Cuala man faces the arduous task of forcing his way into the Dublin forward line, a not insignificant ask considering last year’s All-Ireland final match-winner Cormac Costello hasn’t had the spring that was expected from him. However, those close to the set-up reckon that it is more than within his capabilities.  

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Star-in-the-making Con O’Callaghan is expected to be on duty. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

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