ON TREND Mayo footballer Tom Parsons with Carol Hopkins at last Friday night’s GAA/GPA All Star awards.
IT’S hard to quibble too much from a Mayo perspective when six All Star awards wind their way back into the county.
It’s a record for Mayo and a joint-record for a losing finalist.
All six were merited, let’s be clear on that, but Mayo midfielder Tom Parsons can consider himself the most unlucky of all of those who lost out.
The reality is Parsons was always in a tight spot once Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh was nominated at midfield. With James McCarthy shortlisted for Footballer of the Year, the Dublin man was always going to get the first midfield spot.
So the second one would be a battle between Parsons and Cavanagh.
Both, in our opinion, should have got a gong and it would have been easy to do so had Cavanagh been nominated in defence.
After all, he played as a near-permanent sweeper for Tyrone and was as close to a conventional midfielder as a goalkeeper is.
With it not being a particularly vintage year for defenders, there was certainly no doubt Cavanagh would have made it into the team there.
There was considerable debate, we understand, for the goalkeeping slot, the second midfield position, and the right half-forward award (between Dean Rock, Ciarán Kilkenny and Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin).
But it would have been a selection much more befitting of the ‘Best Team of the Year’ — and the positions players actually played in — had Colm Cavanagh been nominated and selected in defence, and Parsons accompanying McCarthy in midfield.
The Charlestown man was, in our opinion, among Mayo’s top four players this year so he can feel unlucky not to be one of their six All Stars.
Parsons had an average of 25 possessions per start this summer, won an incredible 38 kick-outs, and impacted games all over the field. He was a central reason behind Mayo’s journey this summer.
We feel he had a better summer than Colm Cavanagh but both could have made it with some more pragmatic thinking by the All Star selectors.