Allianz Football League Team of the Year

All the football has been completed, the trophies and medals have been handed out.

Roscommon and Cavan relegated. Leitrim promoted. Monaghan and Longford stay as they are. Mayo win first national title in 18 years and Meath return to division one after 13 years.

Shannonside Northern Sound have been monitoring proceedings over the eight weeks and here’s our team of the league.

“Politeness is the poison of collaboration” Shannonside Northern Sound’s sports department have all had their say and come to a consensus.

Here’s the team of the league- compiled by Kevin McDermott.

1Niall Morgan– Tyrone

If Niall Morgan was to pick a Karaoke song-might we suggest “Anything you can do (I can do better)” from the musical “Annie Get your Gun”.

The Towering Tyrone netminder isn’t content with just standing back and occasionally shot stopping and kicking out the ball.

Morgan gets involved in the action- nailing frees and scoring from open play. A leader by example.

Over the last twelve months- the debate has raged who is the best goalkeeper in the country Stephen Cluxton or Rory Beggan. Niall Morgan has put his name on that voting card.

2Eoghan Ban Gallagher – Donegal

There is no truth to the rumour that theres “a Las Vegas in the Hills of Donegal”

There is a Rock that can’t be rolled over in key Donegal defender Eoghan Ban Gallagher. The hard working ball carrier aided Donegal in winning Division two.

It’s tough to win back to back Ulster titles. Gallagher is ready for that challenge.

3Michael McWeeney- Leitrim

Over many years  it’s been written “it’s not glamourous to play for Leitrim”

This year the narrative has changed. Michael McWeeney captained his county with great distinction.

Division three promotion achieved and a division four final appearance in Croke Park followed. No souvenirs were taken by Leitrim people from Croke Park on that day.

The reason is because if McWeeney and his comrade’s keep play the way they have been, it’s a venue the supporters could get used to.

4Killian Clarke- Cavan

Heartbreaking, demoralising, bitter tasting.

In Short-Relegation sucks. Despite a brave competitive campaign- Cavan succumbed to the dreaded drop to division two. Killian Clarke came up against the best full-forward lines in the country.

Clarke didn’t fear them and in the end, his opponents will be glad not to have to face him in the division next season.

Cavan manager Mickey Graham will be glad to have Clarke to glue to the Monaghan attack in the Ulster championship next Month.

5Ray Mulvey–Leitrim

The modern wing-back should have energy, tonnes of ability and capability in attack and defence.

The modern wing-back should watch Ray Mulvey in action. That will teach them the role.

Terry Hyland is building a future for Leitrim football. Mulvey can cement his place in the half-backs.

6Paul Murphy – Kerry

Attacking football is what everyone wants to see. Kerry impressed in reaching the division one final.

If you are going to attack in waves like the Kingdom did. Then you need a mop to soak up the counter attacking opponents.

Peter Keane had one in Paul Murphy. The half-back swept up attacks and set his own forwards in motion.

7Ciaran Corrigan –Fermanagh

Rory Gallagher has built a team with a formidable defence and the Ernesiders can count themselves unlucky not to graduate to division one.

Ciaran Corrigan is quick, defensively sound and an attacking weapon and scoring threat in a side that often play in low-scoring games.

An Ulster final appearance last year and a strong showing in the league. Corrigan and co won’t be defeated easily.

8Darren Gallagher- Longford

Pauric Davis is in his first season in charge of Longford.

Pundits were predicting relegation with the Mullinalaghta contingent missing for most of the league and a lot of new players in the mix.

Talismatic Granard midfielder Darren Gallagher held them together and changed the talk to conversations on promotion hopes.

Gallagher excelled and his free-taking ability dominated the column inches outlining their seven matches.

9Matthew Ruane –Mayo

In 1951 – Mayo won the All-Ireland. It’s 2019 and the county haven’t won it since then.

Everybody knows the story. Mayo manager James Horan is determined to write the ending with championship glory in August.

It’s been a brilliant start to his second tenure as Mayo won their first national title since 2001.

Matthew Ruane has formed a brilliant partnership with Breaffy club mate Aidan O’Shea at centre-field. Ruane scores goals, makes bursting runs and has a never give-up attitude.

10Ger Egan –Westmeath

Jack Cooney played for Westmeath and was part of Paidi O’Se’s backroom team when the Lakeside county won Leinster in 2004.

Cooney masterminded their O’Byrne Cup win and led them to division two football next season.

Westmeath work extremely hard and in Ger Egan the county have a marksman that hits the bullseye with every kick.

11Sean O’Shea – Kerry

Quick get us a dictionary. Find as many superlatives as you can.

The problem is you won’t find one that hasn’t already been used to describe the super and excellent Sean O’Shea. The prolific 20 year old is only in his second year of senior intercounty football.

A long and successful career is mapped in front of him and keys to the kingdom are in his hands and feet!

12Conor Cox –Roscommon

Anthony Cunningham’s side failed to escape the trapdoor. Roscommon ply their trade in division two next year.

Roscommon supporters won’t shed too many tears as the future looks bright. Conor Cox a star for the Kerry Junior team- is now the leading light for the Roscommon attack in his debut season.

13Shane McGuigan- Derry

In 2013, Derry contested the division one final. In 2019, the oak leaf county won the division four title.

Heartbreak and heartache has accompanied their county colours in the intervening seasons.

The rebuilding process has begun as Derry try and find their way back to the division one castle the county were once acquainted with. Shane McGuigan will keep the scoreboard active and ever-changing.

14Conor McManus- Monaghan

Monaghan supporters had two reactions to their league campaign.

1: “phew- we are still in division one”

2: “phew- Thank god, Conor McManus is a Monaghan man”

The Clontibret ace could play blindfolded and still be All-Star worthy!

15Ryan O’Rourke- Leitrim

If you’re in Leitrim and you feel something shining into your eyes. It could be the media spotlight.

National media flocked to Leitrim’s door for the story of the league.  The smallest population in the country-found their way to Division three and to Croke Park.

Ryan O’Rourke was a goal and point scoring phenomenon. Defences all over the country will

Cease to control the phenomenon over the next number of years.