Home Sport GAA Introducing the 2019 LaoisToday Senior football Team of the Year

Introducing the 2019 LaoisToday Senior football Team of the Year

The SFC came to a conclusion back in October as Portlaoise defeated Killenshin to defend the Jack Delaney cup.

The Town have now won 12 of the last 13 Laois championships but the challengers did get a lot closer to them this year than in most of their previous wins.

They lead the way on our Team of the Year with five spots while defeated first time finalists Killeshin have three.

In total, six of the sixteen clubs who competed have representation on the team.

There are players like Ross Munnelly, Evan Lowry, Evan O’Carroll, Michael Nolan, James Moore, Jason Moore, Brian Glynn, Mark Timmons, Donie Kingston and Kevin Ryan who can consider themselves unlucky to miss out – but we could only pick 15.

1 – Danny Bolger (Graiguecullen)

Danny Bolger – Photo Paul Dargan

With Graham Brody not playing any part in the Laois championship this year, the door was open for someone else to claim this spot for the first time.

And Graiguecullen’s Danny Bolger just gets the nod ahead of Michael Nolan. They are on a par on kick-outs and shot stopping but it is Bolger’s ability to score from frees that sets him apart.

2 – Stephen Attride (Killeshin)

Stephen Attride’s decision to spend a year in Australia will hurt the Laois senior footballers in 2020 – and his performances in the club championship showed just why.

His versatility is his key skill and he shackled some very impressive forwards on Killeshin’s run to their first ever final this year.

3 – David Seale (Portlaoise)

David Seale is one of just two players who retain their position in the team from last year.

The Portlaoise captain was solid as a rock this year in a full back line that came under more pressure than usual.

4 – Brian Mulligan (Portlaoise)

Brian Mulligan

Brian Mulligan spent 2018 hurling and, with Cahir Healy suffering a season ending injury, his return to the footballers in 2019 was crucial for Portlaoise.

He slotted into defence in a range of different positions over the course of the championship and always stood out.

5 – Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington)

Paddy O’Sullivan Portarlington – Photo Paul Dargan

Unquestionably the most improved footballer in the county and he has carried his form from this season into the O’Byrne Cup.

The first of three Portarlington men on the team, O’Sullivan’s strong running and fierce tackling was to the fore as his side came very close to beating Portlaoise in the semi final.

6 – Robbie Pigott (Portarlington)

Robbie Pigott – Photo Paul Dargan

As combative defenders go, Robbie Pigott is right up there with the best of them.

He is tough as nails but a very good footballer too who can create as well as destruct.

7 – Darragh Connolly (Ballyfin)

After Kieran Lillis, this man was certainly the next best player in the championship this year.

Connolly can pivot on a sixpence and has a class left foot. He has rightly been called into the Laois panel and it will be interesting to see how far he can go.

8 – Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)

And here is the undisputed Player of the Year who has been consitently putting in brilliant performances for the last two or three seasons now.

He was titanic for Portlaoise this year and he has added a real scoring power to his game in recent times which makes him really dangerous.

9 – James Finn (Ballyfin)

James Finn of Ballyfin Gaels is the subject of our My Club and I piece today
James Finn of Ballyfin

James Finn spent the majority of the last two years in the Middle East but his full time return for this season was certainly a turning point for Ballyfin.

He was excellent in midfield as Ballyfin reached their first ever semi final at senior level.

10 – David Aston (Killeshin)

David Aston, Killeshin in an earlier round of the SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Captain fantastic David Aston led Killeshin to their first ever final this year and he performed in a range of different positions from wing back to wing forward.

His dead-ball striking is glorious and he has also gotten a place in the Laois panel since – earning his debut against Offaly.

11 – Eoin Lowry (Killeshin)

Eoin Lowry

Eoin Lowry really shone this year for Killeshin with his hard-working style earning him plenty of plaudits throughout.

In the absence of the Kingston brothers in 2020, there is a big opportunity for him to nail down a starting position with Laois too.

12 – Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise)

11 November 2018; Gareth Dillon of Portlaoise in action against Ian Meehan of Moorefield during the AIB Leinster GAA Football Senior Club Championship quarter-final match between Moorefield and Portlaoise at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Gareth Dillon popped up with three very important points in the Laois senior final win for Portlaoise over Killeshin.

His pace allows him to operate comfortably in defence and attack – with his ability to score being something that he really improved upon this year.

13 – Sean Moore (Ballyfin)

Sean Moore was excellent for Ballyfin this afternoon
Sean Moore

Sean Moore formed part of a deadly Ballyfin full forward line along with Louis Duff and Jack Priestley.

But he was once again the scorer-in-chief and he rattled the back of the net on more occasions than anyone else in 2019.

14 – Colm Murphy (Portarlington)

After making huge strides at county level, Colm Murphy carried that form into the club game for Portarlington this year.

He scored freely in all of the games that he played and Laois will be hoping for more of the same from him in 2020.

15 – Brian ‘Bruno’ McCormack (Portlaoise)

Brian Bruno McCormack

The final spot on the team goes to a Portlaoise footballer who shortly after the end of the season, decided to hang up his boots.

Brian ‘Bruno’ McCormack will be remembered as one of the greatest club players ever in Laois and he is very worthy of a place here.

SEE ALSO – Introducing the 2018 LaoisToday Senior football Team of the Year

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