Wexford duo gain approval of peers
We've regularly featured the exploits of Wexford-born Cork City duo Greg Bolger and Kevin O'Connor on these pages throughout the SSE Airtricity Premier Division season.
And if readers harboured any doubts regarding their prowess, they would surely have been dispelled last Tuesday when the team of the year was announced, along with the shortlists for the P.F.A.I. player of the year accolades.
Both were selected on the prestigious first eleven, with O'Connor at left-back and Bolger in central midfield. They were two of four Cork City players chosen, along with centre-half Kenny Browne and striker Seán Maguire, with Derry City's Ger Doherty in goal and the remaining sextet not surprisingly coming from champions Dundalk.
And although flying winger Daryl Horgan is a racing certainty to pick up the player of the year honour, it's still a tremendous feat for ex-St. Patrick's Athletic stalwart Bolger to be nominated too, along with Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell and the New Ross native's aforementioned colleague at Turner's Cross, Seán Maguire.
Meanwhile, Kevin O'Connor and Maguire are both in the running for the young player of the year, along with Dylan Connolly of Bray Wanderers.
This is an equally impressive achievement for the former Curracloe United and Waterford United defender who is a real favourite of his manager, John Caulfield, especially as he's just completing his first full season in the top flight.
The fact that the awards are chosen from a vote among their footballing peers makes it all the more noteworthy for Bolger and O'Connor, as they clearly command the full respect of team-mates and opponents alike.
Cork City's quest to deny Dundalk the league three-in-a-row came unstuck on Monday of last week with an unexpected 3-1 loss away to St. Patrick's Athletic.
And while they will be gearing themselves up to take on the same opponents in the FAI Cup final for the second year running on November 6, Wexford Youths fans were hoping that the Leesiders might have been on a downer after that league disappointment when they travelled to Turner's Cross last night (Monday).
Incidentally, with the Wexford Youths Women in action in the Aviva on Sunday week, along with Bolger and O'Connor, the soccer-loving public from the county will never have a better incentive to travel to the capital and witness the action in person.