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Promising Kildare forward Jimmy Hyland won the EirGrid Under 20 Leinster award.
Promising Kildare forward Jimmy Hyland won the EirGrid Under 20 Leinster award.

EirGrid GAA Football U20 Championship Player of the Provinces

After fantastic displays in the EirGrid GAA Football U20 Championship this year, EirGrid have revealed the winners of the EirGrid GAA U20 Player of the Province Award. Derry GAA’s Callum Brown has been selected for Ulster, Kildare GAA’s Jimmy Hyland has been highlighted as the winner in Leinster, Mayo GAA’s Ross Egan for Connacht and Kerry GAA’s Stefan Okunbor has been chosen for Munster.

In Derry, Callum Brown landed this award for the role he played in getting his team to the Ulster final against Armagh and going on to lift the Danny Murphy Cup. Derry exited the All-Ireland Series after losing a thriller against Mayo at the semi-final stage by 3 points with the final score 2-14 to 2-11. Brown will be best remembered in this year’s championship for his performance against the Westerners after hitting the net in dramatic fashion in the first half. 

In Kildare, Jimmy Hyland has been crowned as the provincial winner for Leinster. The young Ballyteague man secured this award for his super contribution throughout the Leinster campaign. Hyland put in a man of the match performance in helping Kildare to their first provincial title scoring 8 points. Kildare then went on to face Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final and defeated them by 1 point. Jimmy scored 1-8 on this day and claimed the EirGrid U20 Man of the Match award. Kildare then went onto defeat Mayo in a thrilling EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Final. Yet again, Hyland put on a phenomenal display of football and he picked up his third Man of the match award of the championship.  

Connacht’s provincial player of the province is Mayo GAA’s Ross Egan. Ross played an integral role in helping Mayo book their place in the Connacht final by scoring 12 points, 6 from frees. Egan then went onto display great leadership and scoring abilities in the Connacht final in Dr. Hyde Park final converting 6 points.  

Kerry’s Stefan Okunbor has been selected as the winner in Munster. Hailing from Na Gaeil club, Okunbor has been selected for helping secure Kerry’s second Munster title. In the Munster semi-final, Kerry had a comprehensive win defeating Limerick 1-30 – 0-5. Okunbor then delivered a man of the match display from the back line in the Munster final against Cork defeating them 3-11 to 0-14. 

This is the second year of the EirGrid GAA U20 Player of the Province initiative. This award was put in place to recognise and reward outstanding performances throughout each of the four provinces at U20 level. Each recipient has been carefully selected by the Gaelic Writers Association.  

Director of External Affairs at EirGrid, Rosemary Steen, commented: “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Callum, Jimmy, Ross and Stefan for their performances in this season’s EirGrid U20 Football Championship. Each winner has produced some amazing sporting moments, and we are delighted to acknowledge their achievements with these Player of the Province awards”.

Uachtarán Chumann Luthchleas Gael John Horan said: “The recent EirGrid U20 GAA Football All-Ireland final was a high quality affair, and a fitting end to a fantastic competition which showcased the depth of the exciting talent that is emerging in Gaelic Football. Given the high standard of the matches in all four provinces, to be selected as the marquee performers is a major achievement and I salute Callum, Jimmy, Ross and Stefan on their awards and I look forward to seeing this crop of players make their mark on the game in the years to come at senior club and county level.”

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