Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly says he feels lucky to land second Allstar award
WINNING back-to-back Allstars is no mean feat, but Mattie Donnelly says he feels “lucky” to have got the nod in the last two years ahead of Friday’s awards ceremony at Dublin’s Convention Centre.
The Tyrone ace was named among the half-forwards in 2015 after the Red Hands’ run to the All-Ireland semi-final, and was included at midfield alongside Dublin powerhouse and player of the year contender Brian Fenton in this year’s 15.
Donnelly produced man-of-the-match showings in Tyrone’s Ulster Championship opener against Derry and in the drawn semi-final with Cavan. An early black card curtailed his involvement in the provincial final win over Donegal, but the Trillick ace bounced back to produce an impressive performance in Tyrone’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Mayo.
“I’m delighted, of course, and I was glad Petey [Harte] got one,” said the 25-year-old.
“I could easily have been sitting with none - I’m just lucky, both years were close calls. In midfield, if Gary Brennan, Peter Acheson, Paul Conroy or Collie [Cavanagh] had got it you wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.
“It’s always nice to be recognised but I wouldn’t set out to get them [awards] because if someone decided I wasn’t in the team, it wouldn’t mean I had a bad season.
“My performance levels were a lot more clear-cut and consistent than last year. I had a very poor League last year and had a slow start to the Championship, but I kind of came into it then when the sun came out.
“But I was more consistent this year - I was happier with my performances.”