Six of the best for Glen on GAA's Club Team of the Year

Glen number six Ciaran McFaul is one of half-a-dozen from the Derry, Ulster and All-Ireland champions named on the AIB/GAA Team of the Year. Picture: Mark Marlow
1. Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

HAVING taken part in the NFL Combine on Sunday evening, Rory Beggan’s kicking talents might be put to higher use before too long. The Monaghan stopper had a huge influence on Scotstown’s run to the Ulster final, not least with his match-winning free at the death to stun Kilcoo. Two of his five points in Ulster came from play, but he also had big goalkeeping moments, including a big save from Eunan Mulholland in the final.

2. Ryan Dougan (Glen)

IT was the switch of Dougan on to Ben O’Carroll that held Glen together long enough to win the All-Ireland final. Having gotten the better of Jack McCarron and been good in the air against Naomh Conaill, Dougan was brilliant against Paul Mannion and the game almost fell apart when he went off. For a man that lived abroad for almost six months at the start of the year, his form was incredible.

3. Brian Stack (St Brigid’s)

CARRYING on from his terrific form for Roscommon, Brian Stack’s big display was in the Connacht final where he clamped down on Corofin’s Gary Sice, who was in the middle of a great spell himself. Did enough to curtail the difficult Brian Hurley sufficiently against Castlehaven and kept Danny Tallon scoreless in the final.

4. Pearse Frost (St Brigid’s)

A CORNER-back’s corner-back, Frost’s tight-marking jobs throughout the year were central to St Brigid’s run. He’d been excellent against Coolera-Strandhill before going in against Jack McCabe in the Corofin game. McCabe had been man of the match in the Connacht semi-final but Frost completely shut him out. Further solid displays against Castlehaven and Glen, where he picked up Alex Doherty, earned him his spot.

5. Ruaidhri Fallon (St Brigid’s)

FALLON’S constant incisions from deep were a huge part of why the Roscommon champions went as close to an All-Ireland as they did. Had a terrific Connacht final against Corofin and was arguably behind only Ben O’Carroll as his team’s best player in the final.

6. Ciaran McFaul (Glen)

HAVING missed last year’s campaign, McFaul took a while to warm up in Derry but by the time Glen really needed him, he was back close to his best. Outstanding performances in all three of their biggest games, particularly the Ulster final. Excellent against Kilmacud and had his shooting not been a bit off in the final, you were looking at close to man-of-the-match territory otherwise.

7. Michael Warnock (Glen)

FOR the second year running Michael Warnock went up against Shane Walsh and for the second year running, more than held his own. Warnock had made a huge late block on a goalbound effort in the Ulster final to keep Glen’s noses in front. Even when the final didn’t look to be going his way, he steadied up and came up with a huge score from in front of the Hogan Stand when they desperately needed it.

8. Conor Glass (Glen)

THE All-Ireland final alone would have more than justified Conor Glass’ selection but generally his form for Glen was at a higher level than it had been the previous season. He looked fresher and came up with big plays in every game, from his late score from out wide to push them ahead of Scotstown to the turnover for the crucial late goal against Kilmacud.

9. Emmett Bradley (Glen)

THE Bonnie to their Clyde, the Ant to their Dec. Whereas Conor Glass takes so much of the plaudits on a national level, none of it would work without Emmett Bradley alongside him. He has continually produced huge displays of leadership throughout and was at his best against Kilmacud and in the first half of the final.

10. Eunan Mulholland (Glen)

MULHOLLAND has made huge strides under Malachy O’Rourke’s tutelage to the point of making his first start for Derry at the weekend against Dublin. Throughout the Derry and Ulster Club championships, whether from wing-forward or wing-back, he regularly chipped in with two, three, four points a game. Man of the match in the Ulster final, big second half against Kilmacud, it was a pity that he went off injured early in the final.

11.Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)

WHEN Kilmacud’s chip-stack had almost run out, it was Mannion who stepped up to almost claw it back. His last 20 minutes against Glen was superb. He’d hit 0-5 from play in the Leinster semi-final win over St Mary’s as well and while maybe not quite at the height of previous club campaigns before he’d gotten injured, Mannion was instrumental nonetheless.

12. Shane Walsh (Kilmacud Crokes)

CAME to the club amid a furore and has since admitted how much that affected his form. With the noise died down, he had such a good season this time around. From his flick-up and left-footed finish into an empty net against Naas to his brilliant assist in the fog for Hugh Kenny’s goal in the semi-final, his class was indisputable. Scored 3-17 from the first round of Leinster on, of which 2-17 was from play.

13. Ben O’Carroll (St Brigid’s)

A TRULY outstanding year from O’Carroll, whose jinking movement and dead-eye finishing were the cornerstone of the Roscommon champions coming so close. Got the better of Liam Silke in the Connacht final, hitting 1-7 that afternoon and was unmarkable for 35 minutes of the final, tormenting Glen, a hand in every score including laying on their goal until Ryan Dougan moved across.

14. Darragh Kirwan (Naas)

THE big Naas man wasn’t long back from injury but showed no ill-effects in a fine Leinster campaign, hitting a brilliant 1-6 from play in their semi-final win over St Loman’s. Gave Theo Clancy more than enough bother in the provincial final, hitting a couple from play that afternoon as well.

15. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

THE archetypal full-forward, Brian Hurley pulled Castlehaven very close to an All-Ireland final with his powerful attacking displays. Hit big scores against Cratloe (0-7), Rathgormack (1-6), Dingle (0-7) and then St Brigid’s, where he took another 0-7, including three from play off Brian Stack.

Footballer of the Year nominees

Conor Glass (Glen)

Ben O’Carroll (St Brigid’s)

Shane Walsh (Kilmacud Crokes)