Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Fourteen schools represented on McKeever Sports QUB Future Stars football select

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NO fewer than 14 schools are represented in the eighth McKeever Sports Queen’s University Future Stars football team announced at a gala dinner in the Whitla Hall on Tuesday evening.

The only school with two players included is Abbey Vocational from Donegal town and both are in the forward line.

Conor McCahill’s goals were key to Four Masters collecting the fonaCAB-sponsored Ulster club minor tournament on New Years Day as well as to his school team collecting a first ever Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup, and subsequently the All-Ireland Paddy Drummond title.

The other Abbey forward included is Eoghan Gallagher, while there is a third Donegal player included in defence – Cathal Ó Gallchóir from Pobalscoil, Ghaoth Dóbhair.

The only county to top that total is Down with players spread across four different schools.

St Malachy’s, Castlewellan and Down minor goalkeeper Callum Travers pulled off a number of important saves on the school’s senior team’s run to the All-Ireland final that they lost in extra-time.

There are two more Down under-age players in defence – Oisin Murphy from St Colman’s, Newry at full-back and Eoin McCaffrey of St Mark’s, Warrenpoint – while midfielder Owen McHugh is the first footballer from Our Lady & St Patrick’s, Knock to make the cut over the eight years of the Queen’s Future Stars scheme.

McHugh’s mother Jenny Braniff won All-Ireland and national league camogie titles with Down.

There are two awards each for Derry, Armagh and Tyrone players as well as Paddy Brines from St Patrick’s, Cavan and Niall Flynn from St Michael’s, Enniskillen.

Ruairí Taylor, performance sport development officer with Queen’s, congratulated the footballers who had made it through to the Future Stars final team.

“We at Queen’s are delighted to continue to support and celebrate the work carried out within Ulster Schools for the promotion of all codes of gaelic games.

“The level of skill and commitment shown by all those who took part in the trials is a tribute to the work being done right across the province and the final 15 have really earned their jersey.”

“There were outstanding candidates all over the field, especially in the final trial and there was plenty of evidence on show that Ulster Schools’ football is in a very strong place in 2024.”

McKeever Sports Queen’s University Future Stars football team

1 Callum Travers (St Malachy’s, Castlewellan)

2 Gavin O’Rourke (St Paul’s, Bessbrook)

3 Oisín Murphy (St Colman’s Newry

4 Niall Flynn (St Michael’s, Enniskillen)

5 Cathal Ó Gallchóir (PS, Gaoth Dobhair)

6 Diarmaid O’Rourke (Abbey CBS)

7 Eoin McCaffrey (St Mark’s, Warrenpoint)

8 Michael Higgins (St Mary’s, Magherafelt)

9 Owen McHugh Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock

10 Paul McNicholl (St Colm’s, Draperstown)

11 Paddy Brines (St Patrick’s, Cavan)

12 Eoghan Gallagher (Abbey VS, Donegal)

13 Shea McDermott (St Ciaran’s, Ballygawley)

14 Conor McCahill (Abbey VS Donegal)

15 Darragh Devlin (St Patrick’s, Dungannon)

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