HS football team of the year

September 05, 2018

Dublin players stand for the national anthem before the All-Ireland SFC final victory over Tyrone at Croke Park. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Now that the curtain has come down on the 2018 All-Ireland SFC, we select our football team of the year...


1. Rory Beggan (Monaghan)

The free-scoring Farney County netminder shades the vote ahead of Stephen Cluxton and Graham Brody of Laois.

2. Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

The versatile 24-year-old was one of the standout performers in the Red Hands march to the Sam Maguire Cup decider.

3. Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone)

Another midfielder by number but the Moy man did most of his best work protecting the Tyrone ‘D’ and restricting opponents to low percentage shots.

4. Jonny Cooper (Dublin)

There are no forwards that recall being marked by the Na Fianna stalwart with fondness and he sets high standards on the field of play.

5. Karl O’Connell (Monaghan)

The speedy O’Connell excelled in both defence and attack for Malachy O’Rourke’s side and his runs from deep caused plenty of problems for opposition teams.

6. James McCarthy (Dublin)

At 28, the ever-reliable McCarthy is one of the elder statesmen of the Dublin team and he was a model of consistency throughout their successful four-in-a-row bid.

7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)

The 24-year-old bounced back from a cruciate ligament injury to produce ‘man-of-the-match’ performances in both the semi-final and final.

8. Brian Fenton (Dublin)

The Raheny clubman’s high fielding is a joy to behold and his athleticism marks him out as the game’s top midfielder. 

9. Brian Howard (Dublin)

Fenton’s clubmate announced his arrival on the big stage with a string of top class displays that belied his tender years throughout the summer. 

10. Paul Mannion (Dublin)

The lightning quick Mannion registered 2-9 from his seven championship appearances and was never shy when it came to tracking back.

11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

The orchestrator of the Sky Blues attack, his constant probing broke down many a defence and he contributed 2-24 to his team’s cause.

12. Ryan McHugh (Donegal)

The Kilcar livewire added a second Ulster SFC medal to his collection and his finger prints were all over many of Donegal’s best moments.

13. David Clifford (Kerry)

The 19-year-old prodigy made a seamless transition from the minor to senior ranks and his performances augur well for the future of Kerry football.

14. Damien Comer (Galway)

Captain Comer led by example as the Tribesmen got their hands on the Nestor Cup and used his strength, skill and accuracy to telling effect.

15. Conor McManus (Monaghan)

Finished as the championship’s top scorer with 2-47 and embellished his reputation as one of the greats of the modern game.


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