Ballina Stephenites player Sam Callinan has been selected on the EirGrid U20 All-Ireland football championship top 20 players.
Callinan made his debut, at the age of 18, for the Mayo senior football team while still studying for Leaving Cert in St Muredach’s College.
EirGrid, proud sponsor of the EirGrid GAA U20 All-Ireland football championship, has today announced the top 20 players from this year’s sensational U20 Football Championship with the annual 20 U20 awards.
Despite losing the Connacht final to Sligo, Callinan put in stellar performances against Leitrim and Galway for Maurice Sheridan’s side.
Callinan Callinan came to national prominence in last year’s Mayo GAA Connacht Gold SFC quarter-final with an inspirational performance for his club against Westport in front of the RTÉ cameras.
The outstanding defender got his first outing with James Horan’s charges at the NUIG Air Dome in Bekan in January when he was named at corner-back for the FBD League semi-final.
At the end of the month, Callinan came on as a substitute against Donegal in the Allianz National Football League game at Markievicz Park.
In February, Callinan got his first league start in Round 4 against Armagh at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
Commenting on the award for Sam, Mayo GAA Cathaoirleach Seamus Tuohy said: “I want to congratulate Sam and all the underage players that represent Mayo GAA with such honour and pride every year. Sam is a very talented footballer who has a bright future in the GAA. I have no doubt that Sam and several others from the current Mayo U20 panel will feature for the Mayo seniors in the coming years.”
Commenting on the awards, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy said;
“Firstly, my congratulations to all of those who have been named on this prestigious list and to the families and clubs who they proudly represent. I also congratulate all the players and management who took part in this year’s EirGrid GAA U20 Football Championship. You made it one that will be remembered . Finally, I would like to thank EirGrid for their ongoing support of the GAA. Their creative campaigns have added to the promotion and excitement around the U20 Championship and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
EirGrid 20 U20: Cormac Barker (Kildare), Harry O’Neill (Kildare), Tommy Gill (Kildare), Niall Devlin (Tyrone), Brian Conway (Tyrone), Eoin Corry (Tyrone), Jack Lavin (Sligo), Sam Callinan (Mayo), Cian Reilly (Cavan), Adam Waddick (Dublin), Joseph Keaney (Sligo), Canice Mulligan (Sligo), Sean O’Donnell (Tyrone), Ruairí Canavan (Tyrone), Adam Fanning (Kildare), Darragh Lovett (Cavan), Dylan Geaney (Kerry), Evan Looney (Kerry) , Cillian Burke (Kerry), Luke Breathnach (Dublin).
County Breakdown: Tyrone 5, Kildare 4, Kerry 3, Sligo 3, Dublin 2. Cavan 2, Mayo 1.