Mayo defender Lee Keegan has been named GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year for 2016.

The Westport man was selected for this year's award by his peers after the defender played a starring role for Mayo as they reached the All-Ireland final, losing out after a replay to Dublin.

Speaking at tonight's awards ceremony at Dublin's Convention Centre, Keegan said: "I'm in total shock. It's a great award to win. It was very tough competition with Brian [Fenton] and Ciaran [Kilkenny] but it could be anyone that is in this room, there are so many quality players on show.

But while Keegan was pleased with the personal accolade, the Mayo man said that the main focus now is to return and win the All-Ireland for the Green and Red.

"I'm chuffed to win it but it's something we wouldn't think too long about; the All-Ireland medal is the main prize for us."

Keegan was inspirational throughout the season for Mayo but suffered the disappointment of being shown a black card in the replay, which meant that the defender had to be substituted.

But the All Star defender does not believe that the card was a deciding factor in the replay and paid homage to a great Dublin side who secured back-to-back Championships.

"Black Card or not I'm not sure it would have made much difference," said Keegan. "It's tough and it's still raw thinking about the All-Ireland, but you have to give credit to Dublin, they're an outstanding team. To win four All-Ireland's in six years is outstanding."

And Keegan believes that the ambition and desire remains as strong as ever as Mayo still search for their first All-Ireland title since 1951.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That's what they get paid for. They can write what they want in the papers. I don't get paid so I keep quiet," said Keegan, when asked about the criticism the team received in the media after losing their third All-Ireland final in five years.

"We're a very ambitious group and we're trying to strive for the ultimate goal in Mayo. It's very hard done, we've gone to a replay and lost by a point.

"It's disappointing to lose but we have to come back and reassess. We're still part of a chasing bunch. You look at Tyrone, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, there are teams there who just have to step up to the plate and take on Dublin."

Mayo's Diarmuid O’Connor collected his second Young Footballer of the Year award in a row - emulating his older brother Cillian who also won the gong twice - and he echoed Keegan's sentiments as he lamented another bittersweet summer.

"It's a cool feeling, with Cillian winning it twice as well. I'd give it all up for the big one but it's always nice to get recognised on a personal level," the 21-year-old said.

"In terms of Mayo football coming short again it's disappointing but there's nothing else we can do but go again."