Six minor footballers to look out for in the Munster championship 5 years ago

Six minor footballers to look out for in the Munster championship

The Munster minor football championship tends to be a lot more competitive than its big brother.

The lack of a seeding system means Tipperary have run Kerry and Cork close over the last number of years, reaching three successive provincial deciders at the start of this decade.

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Clare and Limerick also have the quality to produce a shock and will be confident of making the latter stages this term.

Kerry begin the championship as favourites, naturally, having annexed Munster and All-Ireland honours in the last two campaigns.

However, with the back door, and two Munster sides guaranteed action until late July at least, there is plenty of opportunity for the teenagers on all six teams to make names for themselves in the provincial series and beyond.

Kerry - Dara Moynihan

Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Hogan Cup Final, Croke Park, Dublin 2/4/2015 St Brendans, Killarney vs St Patricks, Maghera Dara Moynihan in action for St Brendans Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

One of four St Brendan's College players to make the starting team for the defending champions, the Spa club man is a devastating wing-forward.

He played a key role in the comeback win for his school over St Pat's Maghera last month, and his powerful runs were a massive factor in the win.

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Pacey, and crucially for a minor, possessing the ability to break the first tackle, Moynihan is highly rated in a group of Kerry minors that are regarded as just as good as the county's double All-Ireland winning side.

Limerick - Diarmuid Kelly

The Newcastlewest midfielder is an imposing figure at six foot and, in his second year at the grade, is regarded as the team's natural leader.

Well-balanced and a fine kicker off both feet, he was named the best minor footballer in Limerick in 2015, and has been a much talked about prospect in the county since his Under-14 days.

He will provide plenty of ammunition for his forward colleagues, and if he added a score or two to his all-round ability, he would be among the best in his position in the province.

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Tipperary - Paudie Feehan

Electric Ireland GAA Football All Ireland Minor Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 20/9/2015.Kerry vs Tipperary.Tipperary players wear black arm bands in memory of Ediie Connolly who died during the week.Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The Killenaule man emerged in the Leinster spring league series to become a key player for new manager Michael O'Sullivan as an attacking half-back.

Named at full-back for their championship opener, the defender is an imposing presence on the edge of the square thanks to his rugby background.

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Like Alan Tynan in last year's panel, the Rockwell College student is a developing oval ball prospect and has the physique to match his football skills.

Waterford - Shane O'Meara

The Nire man scored three goals in last year's Munster championship and will be hungry to add to his reputation this week. He impressed in the Munster Senior Colleges' competition for High School Clonmel, but was held scoreless by a St Brendan's side in the Munster final.

Named at full-forward, O'Meara's mobility is likely to make him a nightmare for any aspiring defender.

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Manager David Nugent has backed the teenager for a big season, and O'Meara has all the attributes to prove him right.

Clare - Damien O'Loughlin

damo Conor O'Loughlin and Damien O'Loughlin

The Corofin teenager is hoping for a busy spring as he has already featured for the Clare minor hurlers.

The Ennistymon CBS man played full-back last week in the loss to Limerick, and will also be looking for an extended run with the Banner footballers.

Unusually he is a defender in hurling, but more used to life as a forward while playing football.

Clare will be hoping his dual commitments will be a benefit to his physical conditioning, and he is likely to feature at either wing, or corner forward, in their championship opener.

Cork - Nathan Walsh

natahn walsh

Nathan Walsh, from Douglas, is this year's team captain and, along with Mark White, one of only two players to survive from the 2015 panel.

The Rebels are looking for a first All-Ireland minor title since 2000, and Walsh will be expected to lead the charge from centre-back.

The teenager suffered from injury in last year's championship, but impressive performances especially for his club at minor and Under-21 grade, have seen his football develop significantly.

Any Cork success will be based on how well he performs from the anchor role.

Munster Minor football championship quarter-finals:

Kerry V Waterford, Fraher Field, Dungarvan, 7pm, 

Clare V Limerick,  Miltown-Malbay, 7pm

Tipperary V Cork, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7pm

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