Former Kerry Legend and member of one of the greatest family dynasties in gaelic football Darragh O’Se has this week broken down the 2016 football season and highlighted his outstanding moments, games, scores and players in his regular column in the Irish Times.
The six time All Ireland Champion and four time All Star has worn out the footpath around the block over the years and knows a thing, or three, about the game. Darragh makes the point of emphasising that he enjoyed this year’s championship, saying the game isn’t nearly as bad as people make it out to be.
In his ‘End Of Season’ honourable mentions, he breaks them down into game, score, player, innovation, what he’d change, and of course his team of the year.
Seven of Darragh’s fifteen of the year are from the capital.
In goal he describes Stephen Cluxton as “probably the best there has ever been”.
He praises Jonny Cooper in his new position for never letting Dublin down and still managing to get forward.
Cian O’Sullivan is described as solid, rarely putting a foot wrong.
Despite Kevin McManamon not having a great game in the drawn final, Darragh makes the point that the St. Judes man had been brilliant up to that and clearly had a massive replayed final.
Ciaran Kilkenny carried Gavin’s game plan to the letter and never stopped running.
O’Se describes Diarmuid Connolly as “so gifted and talented but also a real leader”.
But the Kerry legend reserves the highest of praise for the man who was RTÉ’s Player Of The Year, and the man who is tipped to be the GAA/GPA Player Of The Year, Brian Fenton.
Describing the role of a midfielder, O’Se outlines the need to be a good kicker, athletic and a very strong decision maker. Fenton in his opinion is all of these things and more.
“At different times against Kerry and Mayo, he was kicking off his left, he was starting attacks, he was pointing at fellas and telling them where they should be running. He was blocking shots and he was making strip tackles. He’s only 23!”
Darragh rightly points out Fenton’s composure, and promises Dublin fans, if the Raheny man is doing things right, and as consistently at 23, then Brian Fenton is going to be around for a decade to come.
“Dublin will lose guys over the coming years but as long as he stays injury-free, they’ll have a huge asset in the middle of the pitch.”