TENACIOUS and all-action Kerry footballer Micheál Burns has been named senior player of the year by Dr Crokes GAA Club.
The stylish wing forward was honoured at a virtual awards ceremony and the trophy was presented to Micheál by his father, Mickey Joe Burns, a native of Sneem and a legend in rowing circles.
Crokes Chairman, Matt O’Neill, said there are reports that the secret to Micheal’s great stamina and energy on the field is Sneem black pudding.
“This man can only be described as a warrior. He wears his heart on his sleeve and you are never in doubt about how he is feeling after a game. He is one of those people that you are always thankful that he is on your side,” said Matt.
“There are no half-measures, no half-heartedness, no let-up. It is always full throttle, full intensity and full commitment,” the chairman added.
The ladies’ footballer of the year award was presented to Rheanne O`Shea who returned to play in 2020 having recovered from a serious injury.
“On her return to full training, this player was a leader on the field and helped push our senior ladies to a junior championship final,” said Matt.
“In the dying seconds of that final game and with Dr Crokes a goal down, all seemed lost but this lady stood up and took responsibility,” he added.
Rheanne rattled the net and the game went to extra time and she showed great leadership to inspire her teammates to a tremendous and well-deserved victory.
Other award winners on the night included young hurler of the year Tom Doyle who was a key player with Dr Crokes/Kenmare/Kilgarvan under 18 minor team and was called up to the under 20 Kerry hurling squad. He was called into the club’s intermediate hurling championship winning squad.
Young footballer of the year was Cian McMahon who has excelled at every age group and has honed and improved his footballing skills with each year. He has been a constant on Kerry development squads through the years and it was no surprise, when he was called into the Kerry minor panel where he certainly availed of the opportunity to shine, scoring vital goals and points at vital times in each game.
The young ladies’ footballer of the year Holly Power. In 2019, when she was about to break on to the Kerry minor squad, an illness halted her progress but her perseverance, resilience and heart were truly demonstrated and she returned to play in 2020. She was soon back to her brilliant, self-confident and self-assured presence within the squad and her performance with the ladies’ senior team was heroic.
Junior footballer of the year was Adam O’Shea who played a major role in the limited number of games played at that level due to the lockdown.
Matt O’Neill described Adam as a slick forward player and a keen marksman whose free-taking is up with the best of them.
Senior hurler of the year was Jack Lenihan, an accomplished footballer as well as a hurler. He has been called up to many county teams and has two All-Ireland Minor B hurling medals among his many accomplishments. While he moved to Dublin, attending college there, this young man remained loyal to Dr Crokes and has served the club well.
The supporter of the year and club person of the year accolades were awarded to two club stalwarts, Donie O`Leary and PJ O`Brien who are long-serving delegates to East Kerry Board.
A special sward was made to former chairman and current Central Council Delegate Patirck O`Sullivan for his tremendous commitment to the club.