The Sigerson Cup is set to get underway in the new year, ushering in the 2023 GAA season. In the last week, universities have announced their panels, with the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup and Fitzgibbon Cups draws will take place on 14 December.
The panels feature a mix of seasoned intercounty stars with players who are keen to build on underage success. While David Clifford graduated from UL in the summer, there's still a tonne of gaelic football talent on show in the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup. Here's five of the most dangerous looking squads.
Ulster University has a whole host of intercounty stars to call upon. All-Star Conor Glass is available for the university after his heroics with Derry in the All-Ireland Championship this year. Conor's intercounty teammates Niall Loughlin and Odhran Lynch are also in the squad. So is Tyrone's rising star Darragh Canavan. The Red Hand county's victorious U20 team this year also has players present on the panel with Ruairi Slane and Conor Cush.
Darragh Canavan with a cracking finish for the Tyrone U20s in the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork. Like father, like son!pic.twitter.com/s5gO0seSjQ
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) July 28, 2019
University of Galway
The defending champions are well positioned to keep their crown. The Galway side will feature three siblings. Present in the squad is Galway captain Sean Kelly who is well experienced in leading teams to victory. Sean's brothers and Galway footballers, Paul and Eoghan, will steer the university's attack. Also, the captain who lead them to victory last year is still present, Matthew Tierney. Tierney is in good form this year, impressing in his county's penalty shootout win over Armagh. UofG also have Gavin Burke and Cathal Sweeney on the panel.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 26, 2022
The university also have a strong contingent from other Connacht counties to call upon. Mayo's Tommy Conroy will be hoping to play in his first Sigerson Cup final after getting injured in the quarter final last year. Also in attack is his Westport and Mayo teammate and tiktok star Mark Moran. Sligo's Nathan Mullen - who won NUIG Senior Player of the year in 2019 - is also in the team.
University Of Limerick
The beaten finalists last year have enough talent in their ranks to believe they can go all the way this year. Mayo's Eoghan McLaughlin, who was part of the Westport team, will be eager to win more silverware. Opposition corner forwards will have a hard time dealing with Kildare's cornerback Mark Dempsey.
In midfield, UL have the experienced Louth dual star Paul Matthews. Clare's Daniel Walsh will hope to keep his good form into the competition. Scores will come easy with Kerry minor star Paul Walsh involved. Ronaldinho's favourite Kerryman lit up the attack for the young Kingdom side, winning the Electric Ireland Minor Footballer of the Year back in 2018.
A fine score from Kerry's Paul Walsh! pic.twitter.com/DHP2sH6FBV
— The GAA (@officialgaa) September 2, 2018
UL also boast Kerryman Sean O'Leary who's just made his return to senior football this week. What a brilliant story.
Sean O Leary made his competitive return to Senior Football in UL this week following a serious car accident in 2021. Sean is an inspirational character & we are lucky to have him as part of our gaa club. pic.twitter.com/EkZYtFlhgB
— UL GAA Club (@ul_gaa) December 8, 2022
The Belfied boys have a solid intercounty contingent to their name. Roscommon's forwards Ciaran Sugrue and Daire Cregg will make scores easy to come by. Also in the forward line is Cormac Egan, Offaly's breakout star in 2021. Jeaic McKelvey, whose points helped Naomh Conaill to success in Donegal this year is another exciting UCD forward.
Elsewhere, they have Tailteann Cup champion of Westmeath Jonathan Lynam to anchor the midfield. In defence, they have former U20 stars Darragh McElearney and Senan Forker.
😍 Love absolutely everything about this score from Offaly's Cormac Egan. pic.twitter.com/6xtCY4BfT4
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) August 1, 2021
The Collins Avenue university could nearly field a starting 15 of current intercounty players. As a result, they have a formidable forward line. Donegal's Oisin Gallen and Shane O'Donnell will be experienced playing with each other and the same for Meath's Matthew Costello and Shane Walsh.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 1, 2020
The university also has Galway's Robert Finnerty and Sean Fitzgerald in its ranks. 2019 Minor Footballer of the Year Conor Corbett has great experience in leading teams to success. The panel also boasts county players from Offaly, Longford and Tipperary with Bill Carroll, Jack Duggan and Conor Ryan on board