• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • The Balls 2022/23 Irish Team Of The Season As Voted By You

The Balls 2022/23 Irish Team Of The Season As Voted By You

The Balls 2022/23 Irish Team Of The Season As Voted By You
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
Share this article

This has been an up and down season from an Irish perspective. Some of our players have taken their games to the next level, a few have rejuvenated their careers, while others have lingering doubts about their future at both club and international level.

In saying that, Republic of Ireland supporters will be pleased with a number of aspects of how the campaign played out. With the English domestic season drawing to a close this weekend, we wanted to give you a say on the Balls 2022/23 Irish Team of the Season.

We asked our followers over on Twitter to decide on the XI, with over 10,000 votes cast. Our readers were given four players to decide from for each spot in the side, with the most popular one making it into the team. You were asked to consider performances at both club and international level when making your decision.

With all of that in mind, here is the team you decided on.

Balls 2022/23 Irish Team of the Season

GK: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton)

Despite his relative struggles for periods over the campaign, Gavin Bazunu was a clear choice here.

The 21-year old featured 32 times in the Premier League, the only player of his age to reach anywhere near that number across Europe's top five leagues. While he would come out of the team towards the end of the season, you would assume he will be first choice once again in the months ahead as Southampton look to achieve promotion back to the top flight.

It was a mixed campaign overall for the Dubliner, although it will no doubt stand to him in the long-term.


Runner-up: Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool)

RB: Seamus Coleman (Everton)

This was another straightforward choice.

Everton may have had a very poor campaign, but it was one where Coleman was without doubt one of their best performers. He put in some brilliant displays, especially since the appointment of Sean Dyche.


On the international front, he missed the majority of Ireland's game but did put in a brilliant performance against France.

Unfortunately, his campaign would be cut short due to injury and he is unlikely to feature for Stephen Kenny's side in the games against Greece and Gibraltar next month.

Runner-up: Matt Doherty (Spurs/Atletico Madrid)



CB: Nathan Collins (Wolves)

This campaign started brilliantly for Nathan Collins on personal level, although the second half of the season was a much more difficult period.

As Wolves eased away from relegation troubles, he found himself out of the side in favour of January signing Craig Dawson. His only start in the league since the beginning of February came in the 1-1 draw against Everton last weekend.


It was probably his showings in a green jersey that earned him this spot over Dara O'Shea.

The Kildare native has been exemplary whenever he has featured for Ireland and will be an automatic starter over the remainder of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

Runner-up: Dara O'Shea (West Brom)


CB: John Egan (Sheffield United)

It has been a brilliant season for John Egan. Captaining Sheffield United, he led the club to promotion with a number of games to spare. He also played a key role in their run to an FA Cup semi-final.

His consistency has been remarkable, starting all but two of their Championship fixtures.

At international level, he started in all but one of Ireland's competitive fixtures since last August and captained the side on a number of occasions.


Runner-up: Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City)

LB: Ryan Manning (Swansea City)

Ryan Manning was one of the best players in the Championship this season.

Whoscored rated him as the third best footballer in the division based on his average match ratings, scoring five goals and registering ten assists from left back. Only three players in the league could better that assist tally.

The Galway native has struggled to get much playing time for Ireland under Stephen Kenny, although his form over the last year certainly justifies a run in the team.

Runner-up: James McClean (Wigan Athletic)

CM: Josh Cullen (Burnley)

Another no-brainer in the team, Josh Cullen's first season as a Burnley player could hardly have gone any better.


Not only did the club win the Championship at a canter, but the midfielder would start all but three of their league games. There was only a couple of occasions in there that he didn't play the full 90 minutes.

At international level, Cullen continues to be perhaps the first name on the team sheet under Kenny and will play a decisive role in deciding Ireland's fortunes over the remainder of the year.

We're excited to see what he can do in the Premier League next season.

Runner-up: Jeff Hendrick (Reading, on loan from Newcastle United)

CM: Jayson Molumby (West Brom)

After his development stagnated for a couple of years, Jayson Molumby has very much gotten his career back on track since his permanent move to West Brom.

He has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at The Hawthorns, playing in 43 games in the Championship and picking up four goals and four assists along the way. He was named as the Supporters' Player of the Year for his efforts.

For Ireland, he has been an increasingly important part of the side, providing that trademark energy from midfield. Still only 23-years old, it will be exciting to see how he progresses from this point.

Runner-up: Jason Knight (Derby County)

CM: Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton)

Will Smallbone's rejuvenation has been one of the feel-good stories of the season. The midfielder had a torrid time with injuries there for a couple of years, although he is now very much back on track.

He scored three goals and assisted five more in 43 Championship appearances for Stoke City, putting in some top performances along the way. He will now return to Southampton this summer, where you would expect him to be part of their attempt to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.

Smallbone made his senior international debut against Latvia back in March and is set to be included in the squad once again for the games next month.

Runner-up: Alan Browne (Preston North End)

FW: Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United)

Chiedozie Ogbene has likely played his last game for Rotherham United, with his contract at the club expiring at the end of next month. He gave the supporters plenty to cheer for during his final season, scoring eight goals and picking up four assists as they retained their spot in the Championship.

The winger has also continued to impress for Ireland whenever given the opportunity, putting in a brilliant showing against France in March.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up at club level next season, with a number of intriguing options potentially available.

Runner-up: Adam Idah (Norwich City)

FW: Tom Cannon (Preston North End, on loan from Everton)

This is a name you certainly wouldn't have expected to be included before the start of the campaign. However, Tom Cannon has very much earned his spot since joining Preston on loan in January.

His performances for the club have been fantastic, scoring eight goals and registering one assist in his final 13 appearances of the campaign. Just as impressive was the fact that he played the full 90 minutes in all but a handful of league games since joining the team.

Cannon may be given an opportunity to shine at Everton next season, especially if they are relegated from the Premier League this weekend.

He has yet to be capped at international level, but it would not be a surprise to see him included in the squad for the Euro qualifiers next month. He was part of Kenny's UK training camp for EFL and League of Ireland players that took place earlier this month.

Runner-up: Troy Parrott (Preston North End, on loan from Spurs)

ST: Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion)

This one was never in doubt.

Evan Ferguson has been nothing short of a revelation during his debut season in the Brighton first team, scoring ten goals registering three assists in all competitions. That is no mean feat for a player who will not turn 19-years old until October.

At international level, he marked his first Ireland start with a goal against Latvia, before starting against France a few days later. It's likely he won't come back out of the team for at least the next decade-and-a-half.

His ceiling is limitless.

Runner-up: Michael Obafemi (Swansea City/Burnley)

The Team In Full

balls irish team of the season 2022/23

This is an excellent team, with 11 deserved inclusions. Of those who missed out, Dara O'Shea, Jason Knight, Sammie Szmodics, and Mark Sykes could all consider themselves a tad unfortunate.

Excitedly for Ireland fans, only three of the players included are aged 27 or older.

SEE ALSO: Top German Sides Interested In Ireland U17 Euros Star


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com