Seven up for Kerry, five Galway, two Derry, and Dublin's Kilkenny in 2022 Football Allstars

All-Ireland SFC champions Kerry have been awarded seven PwC Football Allstars. Pic Philip Walsh.
All-Ireland SFC champions Kerry have been awarded seven PwC Football Allstars. Pic Philip Walsh. All-Ireland SFC champions Kerry have been awarded seven PwC Football Allstars. Pic Philip Walsh.

1: Shane Ryan (Kerry)

Armagh's Ethan Rafferty may have caught many eyes with his forays forward, his point-scoring, and his assists, but Rathmore man Ryan was an overwhelming choice.

A much more traditional goalkeeper, the Kingdom custodian conceded only one goal during the championship, and that an absolute cracker from Dublin forward Cormac Costello in the All-Ireland semi-final.

He made a sharp save from Dublin's James McCarthy early in that match, preventing a quick response to Kerry's goal, and his kick-outs brought calmness and kept possession when matches were in the balance. Mostly strong under high balls too.

2: Chrissy McKaigue (Derry)

The Derry captain was the defensive rock on which the Oak Leafers' first Ulster SFC triumph for 24 years was built. The Slaughtneil stalwart was almost always handed the toughest man-marking task – Darren McCurry, Jack McCarron, Paddy McBrearty, and Keelan Sexton. Kept Galway's previously excellent Rob Finnerty quiet in the All-Ireland semi-final. Only McCurry and McCarron gave him any real bother. However, Derry might regret not putting Chrissy on Galway's Damien Comer rather than Rob Finnerty… Still, they'll always have the extra special, extra time win over Donegal, with McKaigue an inspirational leader.

3: Jason Foley (Kerry)

The Ballydonoghue clubman seemed to get better as the Championship went on – first by holding Dublin's Dean Rock scoreless from play in the All-Ireland semi-final, then by doing likewise against Galway's Damien Comer in the decider.

Comer's power had overcome Derry in the last four but Foley stood up to his physicality and stuck closely to him, eventually forcing the Tribe full-forward to be switched out around midfield.

4: Liam Silke (Galway)

A nephew of former Galway defensive star Ray Silke, the Corofin man is a similar sort of player – solid defensively and also excellent aiding his attack. Did a great job on Sean O'Shea in the All-Ireland Final, holding him scoreless and restricting his influence until very late on. Bottled up Derry's Shane McGuigan in the semi-final too, and showed a quick mind and feet to launch the precise kick-pass for Galway's second goal that day. Had an important influence in the huge Connacht clash against Mayo with a late block to deny Jason Doherty.

5: Tadhg Morley (Kerry)

The Kingdom's sweeper, he sorted out most of the Kingdom's defensive problems of recent seasons, mostly by the very traditional role of sitting tight in the centre half-back area. Kerry conceded just three goals in 13 matches in League and Championship, and the only one in the latter was a stunning effort from Dublin's Cormac Costello. Might have done more to help Tom O'Sullivan contain and close down Shane Walsh in the All-Ireland Final, but played his 'stopper' role superbly for the most part.

6: John Daly (Galway)

The swing of the Mountbellew/ Moylough man's kick-passing was almost as long as - and more accurate than - his golfing namesake's efforts. His best one only ended up with a point, early on against Kerry, delivered into the run of Johnny Heaney, but that was one of five scores he was involved in, either from play or ending up in a converted free. His creativity led to Damien Comer's first goal against Derry, his turnover to the second. Also did his defensive work admirably, breaking up opposition attacks; a classy all-round footballer.

7: Gavin White (Kerry)

A powerhouse up and down the left flank for Kerry throughout the Championship, notably in attack in the Munster Final destruction of Limerick. It was he who popped up in the Dublin square to catch and rebound and be fouled for a penalty, and he scored a crucial point late in the final. Yet his pace was also and ability to cover ground were also important in defence for the Kingdom.

There were arguments in favour of his county colleague Tom O'Sullivan and Derry's Conor McCluskey – who didn't concede a point from play, but the Dr Croke's, Killarney clubman got the nod.

8: Conor Glass (Derry)

The Glen, Maghera man, having returned from Aussie Rules football, was a throwback to Gaelic football midfielders of old. Excellent in the air, he was also extremely defensively disciplined, doing so much work to cover for colleague and offer then an outlet under pressure.

Had his moments going forward too, including a sealing score in extra time in the Ulster Final, and a fiercely struck goal against Clare in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Did as well as anyone against Galway's Cillian McDaid in the semi-final and didn't deserve to have a late dispossession leading to the Tribe's second goal overshadow a brilliant body of work.

9: Cillian McDaid (Galway)

The Monivea Abbey man really stood up when his county needed him, driving forward to make and take scores in tight matches. Struck three points in the second half of the All-Ireland Final, adding to one in the first, keeping Galway's hopes alive despite the attentions of Jack Barry – who has negated Brian Fenton on occasions.

Did so much to take Galway into the decider, including a wonderful goal in extra time and a point to force the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against Armagh.

10: Paudie Clifford (Kerry)

A third consecutive strong season from the Fossa man, and a second Allstar in a row. Chipped in with a couple of scores on four occasions, including in the All-Ireland final, when he came strong when Kerry really required a lift, having also been influential in the second half of the semi-final when Dublin's drive and determination seemed set to force a comeback victory. Rarely spectacular but always industrious, and never gives up no matter how the game is going.

11: Sean O'Shea (Kerry)

The Kenmare Shamrock will always be remembered for his stunning long range free kick conversion to see off Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final, but Kerry might have been seeking an equaliser at best at that stage if not for his early goal. Showed real cleverness and coolness to bamboozle the Dublin defence and net that and he added 26 points over the entire campaign to finish as Kerry's top scorer in the Championship.

12: Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

The Castleknock man could hardly have done more to get the Dubs back into an All-Ireland Final with a superb second half showing against Kerry and his influence on the Leinster champs remains remarkable. Six points down, he drove Dublin forward, scoring three points from play as they really rattled Kerry. Still the man who makes an evolving Dubs side tick in attack and earned his sixth Allstar.

13: David Clifford (Kerry)

The boy prince will surely be crowned King, when the verdict of the GPA membership on Footballer of the Year is delivered tomorrow night. Shane Walsh was slightly better than him in the All-Ireland Final, but 'Ogie' undoubtedly delivered on his exceptional promise this year. Once again, weirdly, he was quiet against Cork, and didn't even bother playing against Limerick, but he showed his awesome class on the big stage, Croke Park. Scoring 1-3 against Mayo, 0-6 against Dublin, and 0-8 in the decider against Galway, his movement, aerial prowess, and finishing – from play and from frees and marks – is exceptional. Galway's excellent captain Sean Kelly simply could not contain the Fossa star.

14: Damien Comer (Galway)

The Annaghdown bull broke Derry's defences, and their hearts, in the All-Ireland semi-final with a match-winning tally of 2-2 when Shane Walsh was held scoreless from play, capping off an excellent season for him. Galway's inability to get him into the Final, with Jason Foley sticking tight to him and Tadhg Morley in front to cut out any attempted kick-passes, was a major factor in the Kingdom's win. More effective when dropping deeper, as he had been against Mayo – a handful for any defence.

15: Shane Walsh (Galway)

It's debatable whether the Galway forward should be listed as a Kilmacud Croke's player or Kilkerrin/Clonberne, having transferred from the latter, his home club to the Dublin side after the All-Ireland Final – but there's no doubt he was fabulous in that decider. Scored 0-9, 0-4 from play, in a mesmerising performance which cost his supposed marker Tom O'Sullivan an Allstar. That brought his season's Championship tally to 1-36, making him overall top scorer – and even when held scoreless from play, as Derry managed to do, he was still influential from placed balls – as against Mayo too.

2022 PwC Football Allstars:

Shane Ryan (Kerry);

Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Jason Foley (Kerry), Liam Silke (Galway);

Tadhg Morley (Kerry), John Daly (Galway), Gavin White (Kerry);

Conor Glass (Derry), Cillian McDaid (Galway);

Paudie Clifford (Kerry), Sean O'Shea (Kerry), Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin);

David Clifford (Kerry), Damien Comer (Galway), Shane Walsh (Galway).

Winners by county:

Kerry 7; Galway 5; Derry 2; Dublin 1.