Cavan's remarkable victory in the Ulster championship and their run to the All-Ireland semi-finals has been duly recognised, while it is Dublin, once again, who dominate the 2020 PWC All-Stars with a record equaling nine players.
The Breffni County secured their first Anglo-Celt Cup since 1997, beating Monaghan, Antrim, Down and Donegal to land the perennially attritional Ulster Championship, and as a result, three of their leading lights have been selected on this year's final fifteen.
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Two Mayo men have been selected in the XV along with one player from Tipperary's remarkable win in the Munster Championship, however, it is Dublin who make up the majority of the side with nine players named.
1. Raymond Galligan (Cavan, 1st All-Star)
The Cavan keeper set the tone from the very first match as the Breffni came back to beat Monaghan in the Ulster championship preliminary round. Galligan starred at both ends of the pitch as he ended up taking the match-winning free-kick to secure the vital victory. The Lacken club man proved his shot-stopping credentials between the sticks with a spectacular save against Antrim helping his side into the last four. Galligan only conceded two goals throughout the four games en route to landing the Anglo-Celt Cup.
2. Oisin Mullin (Mayo, 1st All-Star)
Another year, another defeat for Mayo in the All-Ireland final, however, the future is bright over on the west coast with a new generation pushing the side on and starting to influence the ever-improving side. Mullin was perhaps the standout young player in the championship, renowned for both his flowing locks and his marauding runs forward. Recognised with an All-Star amongst stellar competition, Mullin is also down to the final three in the young player category.
3. Padraig Faulkner (Cavan, 1st All-Star)
Before this year's selection, only two Cavan men had won All-Stars - Ollie Brady in 1978 and Dermot McCabe in 1997 - but now three more names have been added with the selection of the Galligans and defensive rock Faulkner who was tipped to be one of the seven nominated Cavan men to make the final fifteen. And Faulkner's influence was in evidence from that opening preliminary clash with Monaghan, where Cavan edged a win after extra-time, through to the provincial final where they beat Donegal with a bit to spare. Faulkner proved his quality against the very best in the semi-finals marking fellow All-Star Con O'Callaghan, where the epic journey came to an end against champions Dublin.
4. Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin, 3rd All-Star)
Consistent throughout Dublin's victorious run to six in a row, Fitzsimons led Dublin's mean defence throughout the campaign. Three games in Leinster coupled with the semi-final and final, and the Dublin goal was not breached, as this year's title was firmly built on strong foundations at the back. It is no surprise that the Dubs took four of the six defensive spots in this year's selection.
5. James McCarthy (Dublin, 4th All-Star)
The All-Star half-back trio selection is dominated by Dublin players as McCarthy slots in alongside team-mates John Small and Eoin Murchan. McCarthy, of course, played most of the year in midfield linking up with fellow All-Star Brian Fenton. And the Ballymun Kickhams man had an immediate impact in the decider against Mayo, as he was instrumental in that opening goal that was scored after just 13 seconds.
6. John Small (Dublin, 1st All-Star)
A Dublin stalwart, Small like team-mate Fenton has yet to be on the losing side in the championship as he added his sixth All-Ireland title to his collection in December. Vital to this Dublin team, to allow those in front to play with the freedom to attack, Small sits in the heart of the defence and helps control the tempo for this dominating Dublin side. Proved instrumental in the final as Mayo made a last-ditch attempt to get back into the game.
7. Eoin Murchan (Dublin, 1st All-Star)
The dynamic Dublin defender made his name in the 2019 replay after scoring a goal straight from the second-half thrown-in, and Murchan maintained that form throughout the shortened 2020 campaign as Dublin cantered through Leinster before proving too strong for a resurgent Cavan to reach another final. Another flawless display by Murchan followed in the December decider as he proved solid at the back and was always on hand to offer support with his trademark bursts forward.
8. Brian Fenton (Dublin, 5th All-Star)
The man that every county in the country want in the heart of their midfield, Fenton is only reaching his prime and appears to be getting better and better as he landed the sixth title in a row for the Dubs. The Raheny man is widely recognised as the best player in Ireland and it is no surprise that he is nominated in the trio for the player of the year. Led by example in the semi-final against Cavan before really exerting his influence in the second half of the final as Dublin went up through the gears to end Mayo's hopes once again.
9. Thomas Galligan (Cavan, 1st All-Star)
Established himself as one of the best midfielders in the country, Galligan was perhaps Cavan's most influential player throughout their historic run to win the Ulster Championship. The All-Star award is very deserving to the Lacken man, and his 2020 campaign has already been recognised as he was named player of the year at the Ulster All-Stars in January. Remarkably, Galligan started the Ulster campaign on the bench as he recovered from injury but proved vital in the semi-final and final at the Breffni landed their first title in 23 years.
10. Niall Scully (Dublin, 1st All-Star)
One of the unsung heroes in this dominating Dublin side, Scully proved his credentials on the biggest stage as he shone in the All-Ireland final victory over Mayo. The Templeogue Synge St clubman was perhaps unlucky not to get the man of the match award in the final but was more than deserving of his winner's medal, and subsequent All-Star.
11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin, 4th All-Star)
For a man who has won it all, what was there left to prove for the Castleknock man going into the 2020 campaign? Well perhaps the arrival of old mentor Dessie Farrell into the manager's role added an onus on the forward to lead by example to make sure it was a winning start for the new man in charge and the six-in-a-row was achieved. Kilkenny got better and better as the championship went from the ennui of strolling Leinster through to the knock-out blitz that followed. Proved influential in the semi-final against Cavan, before keeping his best until last in the second half of the final. No surprise that Kilkenny is among the trio nominated for the 2020 player of the year.
12. Con O'Callaghan (Dublin, 3rd All-Star)
The Cuala man secured his first All-Star in 2017 and this year's award was never in question as O'Callaghan proved a real attacking threat in Dublin's march to the Sam Maguire. Enjoyed a great battle with fellow All-Star Padraigh Faulkner in the semi-final win over Cavan, and then stepped up another level to help Dublin past Mayo in the December decider. O'Callaghan scored a vital goal in the final and ended the historic occasion being named man of the match.
13. Cillian O'Connor (Mayo, 2nd All-Star)
One of the highlights of the 2020 championship will no doubt be Cillian O'Connor's four-goal haul in the dismantling of Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final. O'Connor was the stand-out Mayo forward this year in very fine company, playing in a threatening trio alongside Aidan O'Shea and Tommy Conroy. Man of the match in the semi-final win over Tipp, ending the game with 4-09, O'Connor showed in the final that he was more than a match for the esteemed opponents, landing eight points despite ending up on the losing side. The All-Star will be scant consolation as the county's wait for All-Ireland success continues.
14. Conor Sweeney (Tipperary, 1st All-Star)
Just like Cavan in Ulster, Tipperary brought the excitement to this year's Munster championship as they landed the trophy for the first time since 1935. And it was Conor Sweeney's attacking play that helped the Premier County to vital victories over Clare and Limerick to reach the final where they were massive underdogs against a much-fancied Cork side. Sweeney's exquisite free-kick late in the game proved vital to take the Limerick game into extra time, where Tipp eventually won by a solitary point. Decked out in their Bloody Sunday green and white jersey, Sweeney would kick seven points in the decider as Tipp shocked Cork to advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals.
15. Dean Rock (Dublin, 3rd All-Star)
Another fine year in the light blue for the Ballymun Kickhams free-kick specialist, Rock was again a vital outlet for the Dubs as they took another title. Rock's first-half tally against Cavan prevented any chance of a shock in the semi-finals before he made that immediate impact in the final against Mayo as he scored the opening goal of the game after just 13 seconds. Rock would add four more points - all frees naturally - before picking up another winner's medal to cap off another fine season.