Brian Fenton of Dublin with his PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year award for 2020.
Brian Fenton of Dublin with his PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year award for 2020.

Brian Fenton hopes to play alongside Shane Carthy for Dublin


By John Harrington

2020 PwC Footballer of the Year, Brian Fenton, hopes to be playing alongside Shane Carthy in the Dublin midfield this year.

In a recent appearance on the Late Late Show to talk about his book, ‘Dark Blue’, which details his struggles with mental health issues, Carthy declared his determination to earn a place again on the Dublin panel for the 2021 campaign.

Carthy was part of the 2013 All-Ireland winning Dublin panel as an 18-year-old, but the following year he took a step back from football to seek help for the depression that was weighing ever more heavily on him.

Shortly after he produced a man of the match performance for Dublin in the 2014 U-21 Leinster Final, Carthy left the panel to receive treatment in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.

He was actually replaced in the team for the All-Ireland semi-final and final by Fenton, who made the most of his opportunity. One year later Fenton was on the Dublin senior panel and has now won six All-Ireland titles in a row and is yet to lose a Championship match.

Shane Carthy of DCU Dóchas Éireann in action against Seán Egan of UCD during the 2020 Sigerson Cup Semi-Final match between DCU Dóchas Éireann and UCD.
Shane Carthy of DCU Dóchas Éireann in action against Seán Egan of UCD during the 2020 Sigerson Cup Semi-Final match between DCU Dóchas Éireann and UCD.

By becoming the best midfielder in the country he has followed the path that many perhaps felt was Carthy’s destiny, and now he’s hopeful that the two of them will soon be lining out together for the Sky Blues.

“Yeah, Shane would have been on that U-21 where I found my breakthrough,” Fenton told GAA.ie

“I've gotten to know him very well, he was kind enough to come and do a talk in Raheny GAA two or three years ago when he first mentioned he was writing about his story and writing a book on his journey.

“We know Shane and we know how talented he has been. Despite everything he has been through, to hear him turn around and publicly and openly say that his ambition and goal is to get back playing well and push hard to get on our team, it just reminds you how fortunate and lucky we are.

“Shane has been an incredible inspiration over the last few years. For a lad to go through such difficulties and turmoil personally, to want to come back and be as good as he can be with the Dublin footballers is just amazing.

“That will just drive us all on this year. Shane is a fantastic guy and hopefully we'll be lining out together midfield for Dublin some day soon.”