Kerry’s Paul Walsh and Galway’s Donal O’Shea named Electric Ireland Footballer and Hurler of the Year, respectively.
The Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards Hurler and Footballer of the Year were announced at the second annual Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards in Croke Park. Kerry’s All-Ireland Minor winning forward, Paul Walsh was named as Electric Ireland Minor Footballer of the Year, with Galway Minor full forward Donal O’Shea securing the Electric Ireland Minor Hurler of the Year award.
Walsh was a key figure as Kerry secured their fifth Minor All-Ireland title. The Brosna clubman was the scorer of 1-7 in the Munster Minor Football final win over Clare and notched three points in the All-Ireland semi-final against Monaghan and another four as Galway were seen off in the All-Ireland decider.
Donal O’Shea had an equally impressive season for Galway’s Minor Hurlers. A tally of 1-37 across four wins en-route to the All-Ireland title is proof of the Salthill-Knocknacarra man's impact, but his influence spread beyond the bare numbers. Metronomic from frees, his full-forward play was central to what was a well-oiled Tribesmen attacking unit. Man of the Match in the semi-final win over Dublin, he scored ten points as Kilkenny were beaten in the final to crown Galway back to back Minor All-Ireland Hurling Champions.
Walsh and O’Shea were announced as part of this year’s Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards. 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.
Galway legend Mattie Murphy was also honoured with the Electric Ireland Special Merit Award, presented to him by Minor Star Awards judge and former Galway hurler Ollie Canning, for his significant contribution to Minor Hurling having led Galway to six All-Ireland Minor titles during his reign as Manager with the county.
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 former All-Star winning Tyrone football captain, Sean Cavanagh, All-Star winning former Cork footballer, Daniel Goulding, eight-time All-Ireland winning former Kilkenny hurler Michael Fennelly and four-time All-Star former Galway defender, Ollie Canning.
Ollie Canning, Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards Judge said: “Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards are a reflection of a great Electric Ireland Minor Championship season. The Football and Hurling Teams of the Year along with Paul (Walsh) and Donal (O’Shea) as Players of the Year highlight the quality of players that are coming through the ranks. It was also an honour for me to award the former Galway Minor coach, Mattie Murphy with the Special Merit Award. Mattie played such a major role in my career as well as so many other’s careers so to have him here today and recognise him was something particularly special for me personally.”
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Footballer of the Year
2018: Paul Walsh, Kerry (Brosna)
2017: David Clifford, Kerry (Fossa)
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Hurler of the Year
2018: Donal O’Shea, Galway (Salthill/Knocknacarra)
2017: Brian Turnbull, Cork (Douglas)
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Special Merit Award
2018: Mattie Murphy (Galway Minor All-Ireland Winning Manager x 6 - 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011)
2017: Jack O’Connor (Kerry Minor All-Ireland Winning Manager 2014 & 2015)
Electric Ireland 2018 GAA Minor Star Football Team of the Year
- John Ball – Kildare, (Clane)
- Ronan Grimes – Monaghan, (Killanny)
- Owen Fitzgerald – Kerry, (Gneeveguilla)
- Tiarnan Woods – Derry, (Drumsurn)
- Colm Moriarty – Kerry, (Annascaul)
- Tony Gill – Galway, (Corofin)
- Mark Lavin – Dublin, (Lucan Sarsfields)
- Darragh Rahilly – Kerry, (Rathmore)
- Conor Raftery – Galway, (Northern Gaels)
- Paul Walsh – Kerry, (Brosna)
- Mathew Costello – Meath, (Dunshaughlin)
- Aaron Mulligan – Monaghan, (Latton)
- Luke Mitchell – Meath, (Dunshaughlin)
- Eoin Darcy – Wicklow, (Tinahely)
- Matthew Cooley – Galway, (Corofin)
Electric Ireland 2018 GAA Minor Star Hurling Team of the Year
- Patrick Rabbitte – Galway, (St. Mary’s)
- Conor Whelan – Tipperary, (CJ Kickhams)
- Shane Jennings – Galway, (Ballinasloe)
- Jamie Young – Kilkenny, (O’Loughlin Gaels)
- Darragh Maher – Kilkenny, (St. Lachtain’s)
- Seán Neary – Galway, (Castlegar)
- Seán Phelan – Tipperary, (Nenagh Eire OG)
- Conor Kelly – Kilkenny, (O’Loughlin Gaels)
- Donal Leavy – Dublin, (Naomh Olaf)
- James Devaney – Tipperary, (Borris-Ileigh)
- Cathal O’Neill – Limerick, (Crecora-Manister)
- Ciarán Brennan – Kilkenny, (Bennettsbridge)
- Luke Swan – Dublin, (Castleknock)
- Donal O’Shea – Galway, (Salthill/Knocknacarra)
- Dean Reilly – Galway, (Pádraig Pearses)
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