Kerryman Brendan Kealy has been picked as goalkeeper by one vote from Rory Beggan. A number of top-class saves in the latter stages of the All-Ireland sealed his vote.
Full back line
Philly McMahon was mired in controversy after an eye gouge on Kieran Donaghy in the All-Ireland final but he had a superb year at corner-back as shown by the Kerry backs not getting a sniff in that game.
Rory O’Carroll is a dominant figure at the back for Dublin and he put in some of the most impressively composed full-back performances seen for a while.
Shane Enright completes the full-back line after a solid season with the Kingdom.
Half back line
Jack McCaffrey was a Player of the Year contender with powerful running from the half-back line for Dublin a constant menace.
Lee Keegan was one of Mayo’s best players and topped it off with a virtuoso goal in Croke Park against Donegal in the quarters.
The final position saw a six-way tie between various players. So Monaghan editorial bias sees Karl O’Connell selected in the final half-back position. Speedster O’Connell made several crucial breaks in the tough Ulster Championship that helped Monaghan to the tile. Sorry guys.
Midfield places were eagerly contested. Brian Fenton’s strong performance in the All-Ireland final sees him make the team and Anthony Maher’s great year is rewarded despite a lacklustre final. Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh misses out by one vote.
Tyrone were the surprise package of the summer and a lot of that was down to Mattie Donnelly. His great speed with the ball in hand fitted perfectly with Tyrone’s counter attacking game.
Dublin’s Ciaran Kilkenny had his best season so far and was consistent throughout so he gets the nod in the half-forward line.
Fellow county player Diarmuid Connolly is the final addition to the half-forward line. Connolly is one of the best players in the country and he showed that at various times.
The full forward line begins with the iconic Bernard Brogan. Brogan’s eye for a goal is second to none and his six goals in the Championship were unparalleled this year.
In full-forward is Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea, one of the stars of the game and perhaps the best fielder around. His power destroyed Sligo and Donegal in this year’s Championship.
The final place goes to Monaghan’s Conor McManus who consistently broke tough defensive systems with fantastic shooting. It is doubtful that Monaghan would have won the Ulster Championship without him.
Player of the Year – Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)
Selection team: David Gorman, Marisa Kennedy, William Dunne, Ronan Mullen, Gareth Reynolds, David Smith.