Home Gaelic Football Club Football Introducing the updated 2020 LaoisToday Senior football Team of the Year

Introducing the updated 2020 LaoisToday Senior football Team of the Year

The 2020 Laois SFC finally came to an end last Sunday with Portarlington winning their first title since 2001.

It was a championship that took 13 months to complete and even we struggle to remember some of the games that took place more than a year ago.

Back in February, we picked our team of the season based on the games that had been played up to the semi finals.

The performances of some players in the semi finals and final forced us to make changes – which are reflected below.

Portarlington lead the way with nine selections while Graiguecullen have four with Emo and Ballyfin have one each.

As always, there are several players who can consider themselves unlucky to miss out.

Check out the team below:

Danny Bolger – Photo Paul Dargan

1 – Danny Bolger (Graiguecullen)

Laois have a rich recent history of creating top class goalkeepers and this man is certainly up there with the best of them.

The Graiguecullen keeper not only makes saves and is accurate from the kick-out, he is also deadly from placed balls too – scoring in both the semi final and final. A serious asset.

2 – Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen)

The Laois defender showed his inter-county quality with a string of fine performances in Graiguecullen’s games this year.

Did as well as anyone on Colm Murphy in the final and although he was primarily in man marking roles, his use of the ball when he gets up the field is very good too.

3 – Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen)

Laois’s best player for the last few years and undoubtedly Graiguecullen’s most important player.

Timmons is such a calming influence on those around him and as well as being the anchor of a very solid defence, he also kept tabs on the most important forwards on each team.

He was on the two Kingstons at various stages against Arles-Killeen, the in-form Shane Booth against The Heath, Gary Walsh against Ballylinan and Jack Owens against Emo. He rarely gets beaten in one on one situations and continually looks assured.

4 – Cathal Bennett (Portarlington)

The Laois minor vice-captain from 2018 has stepped up to the senior ranks seamlessly and now nailed down a place in the full back line.

Extremely versatile and mobile, Bennett has the potential to be a Laois senior footballer in the future – and that should be in 2022.

5 – Padraig Kirwan (Emo)

Emo had four players on our selection prior to the semi finals and the only one who remains in Padraig Kirwan.

As rampaging defenders go, you will do well to find one better than Padraig Kirwan. He has an unbelievable engine, getting up and down the field at will as he creates and takes scores. Hugely impressive and always seems to have a goal in him.

6 – Robbie Pigott (Portarlington)

In the absence of Paddy O’Sullivan who was away with the army for the first part of the 2020 campaign and then injured for the second, Pigott stood up to lead the defence.

And it was a mean defence too, conceding only one goal and just 36 points across the five games that they played.

7 – Jason Moore (Portarlington)

An army man Jason Moore is as tough as nails and as physically fit as they come.

But he’s also a brilliant footballer – proving just how good he is with a string of fine performances all year as he drove his side forward in every game.

8 – Stuart Mulpeter (Portarlington) 

After dabbling in MMA over the last few years, Stuart Mulpeter’s decision to recommit to Portarlington’s footballers has been a crucial factor in their success.

Like Moore above, he is a seriously tough competitor and he took the goal chance that came his way in the final extremely well.

Sean Byrne Portarlington – Photo Paul Dargan

9 – Sean Byrne (Portarlington)

The next Portarlington player to be named in our selection is Sean Byrne.

He has struggled with injury throughout his career but when he is fit, he is a very important footballer for club and county. His aerial ability helps give this team the platform to attack.

10 – Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen)

Brian Byrne makes the Graiguecullen forward line tick.

His ability to run between the lines, carry ball forward and kick scores saw him make a real impact with the Laois seniors this year and that was something that he did in abundance for Graigue too.

11 – Ronan Coffey (Portarlington)

Laois U-20 captain in 2020, Ronan Coffey’s ability is well known by all who follow GAA in Laois at this stage.

On the half forward line, he is a key link man on this team and is always on the half turn whenever he receives possession. Will surely don the Laois senior jersey in 2022.

12 – Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington)

Teenage sensation Rioghan Murphy was named man of the match in the final and it capped a fine breakthrough year.

Murphy can score and assist – and he has an incredible engine that means he is running as hard in the final minute of a game as he is in the first.

13 – Colm Murphy (Portarlington)

Every good team needs a marque scoring forward – and Portarlington are blessed to have a few of those.

But chief among them is Colm Murphy. He has matured as a player over the last few years and now conducts Portarlington’s attack – be it from full or centre forward.

14 – David Murphy (Portarlington)

On the go a long time and still as important as ever for Portarlington – David Murphy really is their talisman.

Rarely injured, Murphy always chips in with scores and his experience has been crucial in the development of the many young players that are coming through the ranks at the club. Fitting that he should taste glory last weekend after years of service.

15 – Sean Moore (Ballyfin)

If teams wish to stop Ballyfin, they first have to find a way of stopping Moore. And that is easier said than done.

With tallies of 1-7, 0-7 and 0-8 in his three games before the semi final, he’d have been in the mix for player of the year. Portarlington shackled him – but Moore had more than done enough in his previous matches to warrant a place.

SEE ALSO – Don’t miss a thing – download the LaoisToday App!

Previous articleGovernment risks making beef sector ‘a global laughing stock’ says local TD
Next articleLaois GAA club have senior championship opener postponed following Covid-19 cases