Cork’s Conor Corbett and Galway’s Seán McDonagh named Electric Ireland Footballer and Hurler of the Year, respectively
The Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards Hurler and Footballer of the Year were announced on Saturday 28th September at the third annual Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards in Croke Park. Cork’s All-Ireland Minor winning captain, Conor Corbett was named as Electric Ireland Minor Footballer of the Year, with Galway Minor centre-forward Seán McDonagh named Electric Ireland Minor Hurler of the Year.
Corbett played a key role for Cork as they claimed their first All-Ireland Minor Football title since 2000 with a stunning victory over Galway. The Clyda Rovers clubman finished with a haul of 1-7 in the final, which included a last-minute strike to bring the game to extra time. Corbett played an influential role as captain throughout the 2019 campaign, as the Rebels overcame heartbreak in the Munster Minor Football Championship in May to win the Tom Markham Cup.
Seán McDonagh played an equally vital role for Galway Minor Hurlers this year, as Brian Hanley’s men marched to a third straight All-Ireland title. McDonagh was central to the Tribesmen’s success, shooting an astonishing 2-8 in the victory over Kilkenny. The Mountbellew-Moylough youngster, who finished with a total of 4-38 over the course of the 2019 Championship, was selected as Man of the Match an incredible four times, showcasing his talismanic role in his second year with the team.
Corbett and McDonagh were announced as part of this year’s Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards today. The event celebrated the Minor Football and Hurling Teams of the Year, who were joined by their families and representatives from their County Boards and Management teams in Croke Park.
Roscommon legend Fergal O’Donnell was also honoured with the Electric Ireland Special Merit Award, presented to him by Minor Star Awards judge and former Galway dual-star Alan Kerins, for his significant contribution to Minor Football having led Roscommon to victory over Kerry in the 2006 All-Ireland Minor Football Final, a win which has been coined as one of the greatest in the history of the Minor Championships.
The Awards emphasise that there is ‘nothing minor about playing Minor’ and honour the best individual performers from the entire season. They also recognise the crucial and admirable part played by the families, club members and communities of players who have helped them to get to this point in their sporting career.
The four-man awards selection panel who chose the awardees, was unveiled in May, consisting of Donegal’s most decorated Footballer, Karl Lacey, former Galway dual-star, Alan Kerins, former Waterford Hurling Manager, Derek McGrath and former Dublin footballer, Tomás Quinn.
Derek McGrath, Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards Judge said; “The 2019 Minor Championship season was a special one, and it is only right that the players’ commitment and hard work is recognised at the awards. The Minor Football and Hurling Teams of the Year are a showcase of the talent at this age grade, and Conor (Corbett) and Seán (McDonagh) certainly highlight the elite skill level on display throughout the Championships. It was a pleasure to be involved in honouring Fergal O’Donnell with the Special Merit Award too with such a landmark victory with Roscommon in 2006, inspiring Minor teams across the country.
Liam Lenihan, Munster Council GAA Chairman, said;
“The Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards provides an opportunity for everyone to celebrate not just these Minor players but recognises those behind the scenes, including their communities and families as well as the clubs that they are involved with. It’s a testament to the players’ mentors and families who provide incredible support to Minor players country-wide. With that support, these young players have developed into fantastic young men, and they are deservedly named as part of the 2019 Teams of the Year. A special congratulations also goes to Conor and Seán, two magnificent players who really lead from the front for their counties this year and have seen their efforts justly rewarded.”
Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, ESB, said;
“It is a pleasure to be back in Croke Park for the third annual Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards. 2019 was another amazing showcase of the talent at Minor level and Electric Ireland was delighted to be able to bring a number of the Minor Championship games to homes across the country through the live streaming of fixtures, further elevating the Championships. As title sponsors of the Minor Championships, Electric Ireland understands that Minor players give just as much of themselves to the game as their senior counterparts. We at Electric Ireland are delighted to be able to celebrate these players and their support circles at the Minor Star Awards and to recognise the commitment that they put in, day in and day out.”