John Mitchels GFC held their end of season awards evening at Landys’ Irish Harp in Ardee on Saturday, where first team captain Emmett Farrell was presented with the Player of the Year trophy for the 2017 campaign.
The Mitchels have endured a tough season on the pitch, with rare highs often followed by crippling lows. However, a memorable playoff win against Cooley Kickhams’ second team ended the Ballybailie mens’ season on a hugely positive note – securing survival in the third tier of league competition for 2018.
Despite missing a series of mid-season games through injury, Farrell was key to the Mitchels’ best performances, marshalling the side’s defence. Nowhere was that more evident than the side’s playoff final where the 27-year-old starred as the Mitchels restricted a heavily favoured Cooley side to just eight points.
In addition, the second team Player of the Year trophy was awarded to Barry Kirk, whose displays for the Mitchels second team helped see them finish in a respectable 6th position in Division 6.
Kirk made a strong impact up top for both senior and junior teams throughout the 2017 season and his contribution for the latter was duly recognised by second team coach Robbie Coyle.
After the postponement of last year’s awards, the Mitchels awarded Steven Coyle and Aaron Kane with 2016 first team and second team Player of the Year awards, respectively. Both men went on to play key roles for the Mitchels in 2017, with Coyle scoring a late goal in the relegation decider.
Also on the night, first team coaches Hugh Diamond and Gerry Gallagher confirmed they will both be returning for the 2018 campaign.
The duo took the reigns at the start of the year and masterminded the club’s eventual survival in league Division 3, whilst they also oversaw a Championship group stage that started with a win over Sean McDermotts but petered out with two subsequent defeats.