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24 Jan 2022

CDP Team of the Year 2021: Junior football

Who has made the cut for the junior football final XV?

CDP Team of the Year 2021: Junior football

Double county champions Desertmartin account for seven players on the junior football Team of the Year, while runners-up Sean Dolan's have four players in the final selection.

McGuigan returned to the squad for the deputising Chrissy Scullion and made a number of crucial saves in the Ulster campaign. McGuigan did not concede a single goal until Desertmartin's Ulster semi final defeat to eventual champions Denn of Cavan, and his kick outs provided ample opportunity for the young side in front of him to get at the opposition. Pic by Mary K Burke.

Thompson's pace and running ability saw him constantly encouraged to drive forward from his corner back position into the Dolan's attack. He was particularly strong as his side regrouped in the semi final to overturn Moneymore's lead, streaming forward at the encouragement of his team-mates to cause the opposition defence a number of problems. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Monaghan is another of the new breed of corner back who is equally comfortable joining in his side's attacks, along with numerous other defenders. The corner back is more than adept at the less glamorous nature of the position too, tenacious in the tackle, intense in his press and has the controlled aggression required to unsettle opposition attackers. Pic by Seamus McQuillan/Mono Pix.

An old-school, sticky corner back, Walker was superb as Moneymore defeated Drum in the quarter final, and kept tabs on Dolan's Kevin Nixon for much of the semi final. Walker was strong too in the quarter final win over Drum, producing some fine blocks and interventions to showcase his technical defending ability. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Hitting 1-2 in their semi final win over Craigbane, McElhennon has sickened defenders all year from deep. He also netted in their Ulster win over Donagh, and has shown a knack for attacking from deep with the poise and devastation of a heat-seeking missile. A key cog in Desertmartin's running machine and a large part of their success this season. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Prone to a solo burst into the opposition half, he was particularly good against Drum, drawing an early save from their goalkeeper. Adept at sitting deep and playing the pivot as the men in front of him probe for a defensive opening, Moran has the game intelligence to know when to join the attack to create the overload and give the best opportunity for a score. Pic by Mary K Burke.

At the other side, Desertmartin had a mirror image of McElhennon in McEldowney, who was able to apply pressure on the opposite flank as St Martin's hit teams with their speedy runners. Thrived in the space afforded to Desertmartin in their Ulster win over Donagh, and was a strong presence in their semi final defeat to Denn as well. Pic by Tom Heaney/nwpresspics.

With his midfield partner Oran Kelly popping up in attacking positions, McGovern was the organiser, sitting back into the hole and looking for the opportunity to hurt the opposition. A calm head during the 2020 final in June, he helped pave the way for that breakthrough success, using all his experience to see his side through a tough patch.

McGinley's experience and physical presence around the midfield area was a big boost for Dolan's as they made their first JFC final since 2009. An experienced head in the middle, he helped orchestrate their come-from-behind semi final win over Moneymore in Ballinascreen, and was a vocal organiser to have at centre field as he drove his team into the final. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Torturer-in-chief of a weary Moneymore defence in the semi final, McCosker hit two points and was named man of the match. His ball-carrying ability was key to that turnaround against Henry Joy McCracken's, not only resulting in his own scores, but yielding a number of frees for corner forward Odhran McKane to convert. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

McGuckin was a key link man in the St Martin's side, choosing the correct option consistently and helping to probe opposition defences. Another experienced head to guide the younger players around him, the half forward's relentless movement helped create openings for the men around him, while he chipped in with crucial score of his own. Pic by Mary K Burke.

A threat all season, there was an excitement among the Moneymore side when Crozier received the ball. Comfortable running at defenders, he was a threat throughout their junior championship campaign, and was key in helping his side open up a lead in the semi final before a determined Sean Dolan's side reeled them in. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Bloomer hit 0-3 against Sean Dolan's in the semi final and 1-5 in a man of the match display against Drum in the quarter final. Showing a dogged determination to threaten the goal, he turned down marks on two occasions, opting to put the head down and go for the net. Both decisions resulted in a collective 1-1 as Bloomer showed a ruthlessness in front of the posts. Pic by Mary K Burke.

Murray's breakthrough season has seen him torment opposition defences with ceaseless energy and clinical finishing. His free-taking has also been a feature, and the precocious forward has been rewarded for a fine debut season at adult level with a call-up to Rory Gallagher's provisional Derry squad for the upcoming McKenna Cup. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

Had a slow start in the semi final win over Moneymore, but was clinical in the pressure of the closing stages, finishing the game with four points. His free-taking, while errant in the early stages, was slick and composed when it mattered, with the game in the proverbial melting pot as his side chased down and overturned the Moneymore lead. Pic by Cathal McOscar.

#CDPTeamOfTheYear2021

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