The Minor Star Hurler and Footballer of the Year were announced today at the inaugural Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards lunch in Croke Park. Kerry’s All-Ireland Minor winning forward, David Clifford, was named as Electric Ireland Minor Star Footballer of the Year, with Cork Minor corner forward Brian Turnbull securing the Electric Ireland Minor Star Hurler of the Year award.
Clifford was a key figure as Kerry secured their fourth Minor All-Ireland title in four years. The Fossa clubman scored 1-10 in the semi-final win over Cavan and 4-4 as Kerry defeated Derry in the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Football Final.
Brian Turnbull had an equally impressive season for Cork’s Minors. While they lost out to Galway in the All-Ireland Minor Final, Turnbull scored 1-07 in the Croke Park showpiece. The Douglas star also scored 13 points in a Man of the Match display in the semi-final win over Dublin for a total of 1-51 for the Championship season.
Clifford and Turnbull were announced as part of the first Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards today. The event celebrated the Minor Footballing and Hurling Teams of the Year who were joined by their families and county managers in Croke Park.
Kerry legend Jack O’Connor was also honoured with the Minor Star Special Merit Award, presented to him by Mícheál Ó’Muircheartaigh, for his significant contribution to Minor football in Kerry.
The inaugural awards emphasise that there is ‘nothing minor about playing Minor’ and so honour the best individual performers from the entire season, also recognising the crucial and admirable part played by the families, clubs and communities of players which allowed them to get to this point in their sporting career.
The four-man awards selection panel which was unveiled back in March, consisted of Meath Senior football manager Andy McEntee, legendary former Cork hurler and current Clare hurling selector, Dónal Óg Cusack; former Armagh All Star footballer, Oisín McConville and former Galway hurler and AIB All Ireland Club hurling championship winning manager, Mattie Kenny.
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Hurling Team of the Year
1. Darrach Fahy – Galway (Ardrahan)
2. Caimin Killeen – Galway (Loughrea)
3. Sean O’Leary Hayes- Cork (Midleton)
4. Darren Morrissey – Galway (Sarsfields)
5. Aidan McCarthy – Clare (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6. James Keating – Cork (Kildorrery)
7. Lee Gannon – Dublin (Whitehall Colmcilles)
8. Daire Connery – Cork (Na Piarsaigh)
9. Conor Fahey – Galway (Padraig Pearses)
10. Brian Roche – Cork (Bride Rovers)
11. Sean Currie – Dublin (Na Fianna)
12. Adrian Mullen – Kilkenny (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
13. Sean Bleahene -Galway (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
14. Jack Canning – Galway (Portumna)
15. Brian Turnbull – Cork (Douglas)
Dónal Óg Cusack, Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards Judge: “Today’s awards really are a reflection on a great Minor Championship season. The Football and Hurling Teams of the Year along with Brian (Turnbull) and David (Clifford) as Players of the Year highlights the quality of players that are coming through the ranks.
These awards are a proud day for everyone from the players themselves through to their parents, siblings, county and club team mates and their wider communities. It’s a day of celebration and recognition for all the hard work and dedication put in by the players and their parents and families to get to this point. This is a significant milestone for them all as players and this will no doubt inspire them to go on to greater things within the GAA.”
Aogán Ó Fearghail, President, GAA, said; “It’s fantastic to see all these players, managers and families together in one room to celebrate this year’s Minor Championship.
“For the GAA it’s rewarding to see so many proud people here supporting the Football and Hurling Teams of the Year because without that support these players would not be able to reach their potential.
“For every player named it is a huge honour for them and we want to congratulate them and of course Brian Turnbull and David Clifford for their individual awards. I am sure they will be the first to acknowledge the role their team mates and families played in their success and will be key to their future success.”
Jim Dollard, Executive Director, Electric Ireland, said: “This has been another great year for Electric Ireland as sponsor of the GAA Minor Championship. This year has thrown up some riveting games that these players have played a part in and for Electric Ireland to be able to honour these players today is a huge privilege as no doubt they will become stars of future Championships. They are a credit to their parents, families, clubs and communities and no doubt an inspiration to them all.”
Having been sponsor of the GAA All-Ireland Minor Championships since 2012, Electric Ireland has committed to continuing the partnership until 2021. Throughout the course of the partnership, Electric Ireland has been re-defining what it means to be a Minor in GAA with the This Is Major campaign, designed to empower young players, ensuring they feel driven to compete, improve and to strive for more in their sporting lives.