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Paddy Tierney

Down trio named in EirGrid U20 selection after semi-final loss to champions Kildare

U20 champions Kildare have dominated a selection of the leading 20 players from this year’s All-Ireland series.

The worthy recipients of the awards were selected in conjunction with the Gaelic Writers Association.

Kildare defender James McGrath has been named EirGrid U20 Player of the Year. The Athy man, part of the U20 Kildare team who narrowly lost last year’s final, marshalled Kildare’s defence helping the Lilywhites win their second EirGrid U20 title in five years after a hard-fought victory over a spirited Sligo side at Breffni Park.

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Recognising the strength, depth, and skill of Kildare’s side they are rewarded with seven players making the EirGrid 20 Under 20 list which includes Cormac Barker, Harry O’Neill, Ryan Burke, James McGrath, Shane Farrell, Callum Bolton, and Colm Dalton.

Ulster champions Down, who were beaten by a last-gasp point in a pulsating semi-final clash against U20 Championships Kildare at Parnell Park, have three players selected on this year’s list which includes the Ulster U20 Player of the Province Oisin Savage, Odhran Murdock, and Patrick McCarthy.

Beaten finalists Sligo have five players included on this year’s list with Connacht Player of the Province and Sligo captain Canice Mulligan joining Daire O’Boyle, Dylan Walsh, Rossa Sloyan, and Luke Marren.

Munster champions Kerry have two players included on the year’s list including U20 Munster Player of the Province William Shine, and Cillian Burke.

The remaining three places on this year’s list go to Cillian Ó’Curraoin of Galway, Theo Clancy of Dublin and Brian McNamara of Clare.

Speaking about the partnership EirGrid Chief Executive Mark Foley said: “On behalf of everyone at EirGrid, I would like to congratulate all the players named in the EirGrid 20 Under 20 list today.

"The competition continues to transform the possibilities for the next generation of footballers. It is important to recognise the key players that enabled their team, and the competition, to power forward this year.

"I would like to also congratulate EirGrid U20 Player of the Year James McGrath who helped Kildare achieve All-Ireland glory. We look forward to seeing these exciting footballers excel in the senior ranks in the coming years.”

EirGrid 20 Under 20: Cormac Barker (Kildare), Harry O’Neill (Kildare), Ryan Burke (Kildare), James McGrath (Kildare), Dylan Walsh (Sligo), Rossa Sloyan (Sligo), Theo Clancy (Dublin), Patrick McCarthy (Down), Canice Mulligan (Sligo), Odhran Murdock (Down), Brian McNamara (Clare), Shane Farrell (Kildare), Cillian Burke (Kerry), William Shine (Kerry), Daire O’Boyle (Sligo), Luke Marren (Sligo), Callum Bolton (Kildare), Colm Dalton (Kildare), Oisin Savage (Down), Cillian Ó’Curraoin (Galway).

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