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Kildare footballer Jimmy Hyland being presented with his EirGrid U20 GAA Football All-Ireland Championship Player of The Year award by Valerie Hedin, External Communications Manager at EirGrid.
Kildare footballer Jimmy Hyland being presented with his EirGrid U20 GAA Football All-Ireland Championship Player of The Year award by Valerie Hedin, External Communications Manager at EirGrid.

Top 20 players from the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship honoured


EirGrid, proud sponsors of the U20 All-Ireland Football Championship, can today reveal through the ‘EirGrid 20 U20 Awards’ details of the top 20 players of this year’s competition. In addition, Jimmy Hyland of Kildare GAA has been awarded the 2018 EirGrid U20 Player of the Year.

These awards, now in their fourth year, are run by EirGrid to recognise the outstanding talent at this age grade. The Gaelic Writers Association selected the top 20 players of the Championship with the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year chosen through a public vote.

This year, the three nominees for the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year were Kildare duo Jimmy Hyland and Aaron Masterson and Mayo’s Ryan O’ Donoghue. Fans casted their vote on the official GAA Twitter page. Jimmy Hyland from Kildare took the title, receiving a total of 593 votes. 

Kildare made history this year by not only claiming the EirGrid U20 Leinster title, but by capturing the inaugural U20 All-Ireland title. Their efforts have been reflected with six players (Aaron O’Neil, Mark Dempsey, Mark Barrett, Aaron Masterson, Jimmy Hyland and Brian McLoughlin) from this panel selected as recipients of the ‘EirGrid 20 U20 Awards’

All-Ireland finalists Mayo have four players included (Patrick O’Malley, Paul Lambert, Cathal Horan and Ryan O’Donoghue) with three coming from Ulster champions Derry (Oisin McWilliams, Callum Brown and Ben McCarron). Kerry also have three recipients (Stefan Okunbor, Daniel O’Brien and Diarmuid O’Connor) of the award. Dublin, who reached the Leinster final, are represented by Nathan Doran, while Roscommon’s Cian McKeon, Armagh’s Ross McQuillan and Cork’s Chris Óg Jones have received an award for their impressive efforts in the provincial Championship. 

Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan said: “This is a unique honour in what was a unique year. To be chosen as one of the 20 top performers from the inaugural staging of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship is particularly special and I commend all of those who have been selected.

“Kildare were the champions after a thrilling All-Ireland final with Mayo, but there were many teams who enjoyed a positive campaign. This is reflected in the fact that eight different counties are represented in the final selection, and I want to thank all of the coaches and players who contributed to the success of this EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship. 

“I congratulate Kildare’s Jimmy Hyland on his overall award. He is a young talent who had a great reputation in advance of this season and saw it enhanced over the course of the summer through his exploits for the Lilywhites. This competition has a crucial role to play in the development of our senior stars and I am delighted that we saw so much to make us confident for the future of the game.

Valerie Hedin, External Communications Manager at EirGrid commented: “We are delighted to honour the top 20 performers of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship and extend our congratulations to Kildare GAA’s Jimmy Hyland who has been awarded the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year. While we were blown away by the character and effort of many team performances this year, it is always nice to be able to recognise the individual feats throughout the campaign.

Well done to all our winners and thank you for making the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship such an outstanding competition.” 

*EirGrid 20 U20’s *

Goalkeepers

• Aaron O'Neill (Kildare)

• Patrick O'Malley (Mayo)

Defenders

• Mark Dempsey (Kildare)

• Mark Barrett (Kildare)

• Paul Lambert (Mayo)

• Cathal Horan (Mayo)

• Stefan Okunbor (Kerry)

• Daniel O'Brien (Kerry)

• Nathan Doran (Dublin)

Midfielders

• Aaron Masterson (Kildare)

• Diarmuid O'Connor (Kerry)

• Oisin McWilliams (Derry)

Forwards

• Jimmy Hyland (Kildare)

• Brian McLoughlin (Kildare)

• Ryan O'Donoghue (Mayo)

• Callum Brown (Derry)

• Ben McCarron (Derry)

• Ross McQuillan (Armagh)

• Chris Óg Jones (Cork)

• Cian McKeon (Roscommon)

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