Munster GAA Awards
Written by Emma Sweeney, Kerry GAA PRO, for Munster GAA
William Shine – Under 20 Footballer of the Year
Kerry GAA was delighted to hear that William Shine was selected as Munster Under 20 Footballer of the Year. This year William and his teammates offered some impressive performances under the management of Tomás Ó Sé and showcased the energy, passion and skill of our county players at all age grades. William himself had some particularly emphatic displays, showing his strength in the forwards to win ball, his agility when rounding defenders and turning on the ball and his prowess with kicking from both play and placed balls off the left and right boot. William is a fantastic role model for young gaelic games players in the county and is always focussed on the team as a whole rather than his own tally which is a great mark of the man that he is. It is certainly a proud day for William, his family and of course his club Killarney Legion. We wish to send William our warmest congratulations and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this young player.
Ben Murphy – Minor Footballer of the Year
Kerry GAA was delighted once again to hear that Ben Murphy has been selected as Munster Minor Footballer of the Year. This year was a very successful year for the Kerry Minor Footballers who demonstrated huge courage, skill and resilience under the management of Wayne Quillinan. Ben is of course being recognised for fantastic individual displays this year, where his work rate was always exemplary. In every game, Ben produced powerful attacking runs from the backs or midfield and was on the end of many scores, or the contributory factor in top class finishes by his team mates. These charges up the pitch making huge ground for the Kerry attack became customary when Ben Murphy was playing and make Ben a fantastic role model for younger players. This is of course a hugely proud day for Ben, his family and of course his club Austin Stacks. We send sincere congratulations to Ben and await to see what the future holds for this young player.
Paudie and David Clifford: Joint Senior Footballers of the Year
In what has been a huge year on and off the pitch for the Clifford family, it is only right that these brothers be recognised for the fantastic ambassadors they are for us here at Kerry GAA. Coming off a dream run with Fossa GAA in early January when they claimed their first All-Ireland Club title and then straight back into the senior set up, there is certainly no lack of work ethic here. Of course it would be remiss of us not to mention and remember with fondness their fabulous mother Ellen who passed away in May, but her love of GAA was passed on to all three of her children and every time they play, the heart and passion that they show speaks to her memory.
For Paudie, known for his powerful running through the field, his ability to pin point the most accurate of passes and of course the sense that when he is on the ball he is almost conducting the game – pointing to fellow players where to run and finding the smallest pockets of space, this year saw massive performances from him and earned him his third consecutive All Star Award. His passion and drive knows no bounds and he is always there to encourage team mates and give momentum when it is most needed. Paudie rises when there are scores needed for Kerry and can kick off both feet, however, his fingerprints can be found on many of the team’s scores this year as he works the ball up the pitch and finds players with his passes. Off the pitch, Paudie is extremely humble and always willing to give his time to fans both young and old and is a shining example for all young gaelic games players. We wish to congratulate Paudie on all that he has achieved this year and wish him every success in all his endeavours for 2024.
David is another powerhouse of the GAA and produced heroic performances for Kerry this year. When David attacks it seems as though the football is just an extension of him and he doesn’t need to break stride to solo or hop the ball as he bypasses defenders. From high fielding and almost uncatchable marks to top class finishes in the back of the net, David’s skillset knows no bounds. Scoring huge points from outside the ’45 metre line to managing to squeeze kicks over the black spot through numerous defenders, the most striking thing about David is his selflessness and how for him it’s always about the team. David will rise when Kerry need him to, but he will also win ball and pass it off to teammates in better scoring positions. This year being named as PWC/GPA Footballer of the Year for the second year in a row really validates the ability of this young man. His skill can only be matched by his humility and David is always willing to give his time and attention to fans and to be the amazing ambassador that he is for Kerry GAA. We want to congratulate David on all of his achievements this year and wish his all the best for his 2024.