WITH THE FINAL looming into view, the 2018 All-Ireland senior football championship is set to conclude and the last opportunity arises to make the case for the star footballer from this season.
It looks set to be a player from next Sunday’s finalists Dublin and Tyrone, breaking the winning run enjoyed by Mayo players for the last two seasons.
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A Dublin figure last triumphed in 2015 when Jack McCaffrey was crowned while Sean Cavanagh in 2008 is the last Tyrone victor.
McCaffrey’s resurgent form this season, after he has rebounded from the snapped cruciate he suffered in the early stages of last September’s decider, puts him in the frame. Newcomer Brian Howard has been a shining light for Dublin this season, moving seamlessly into the senior grade and catapulting himself into contention.
The two favourites are their Dublin team-mates Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Fenton. It is a recognition of the significant roles they now both fill for the champions. Kilkenny has orchestrated the attack, scoring 2-21 from play in the process, while Fenton has controlled the midfield, contributing 1-9 along the way.
For Tyrone the pair best placed appear to be Colm Cavanagh and Niall Sludden. Cavanagh is the last remaining playing link from Tyrone’s previous foray into All-Ireland final action back in 2008 and gave a towering display to claim the man-of-the-match award in their semi-final success over Monaghan.
Sludden scored the solitary goal of that game, a vital score for his side, and has bagged 3-13 in total during this summer’s championship.
They are some of the leading contenders but who do you think should get the nod or have we omitted someone?
Let us know.
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