JOE Men of the Year Awards 2015: GAA Player of the Year 6 years ago

JOE Men of the Year Awards 2015: GAA Player of the Year

Who stood out above the rest?

Rewind back to the start of 2015 and most pundits would have predicted wins for Kilkenny and Dublin in the Football and Hurling Championships. Those pundits were ultimately proved right.


You’d have to be wearing glasses heavily tinted with roses to suggest that both Championships were anything but average at best, but there were still plenty of great moments and fantastic individual displays to keep GAA fans entertained throughout the campaign.

Our five nominees for GAA player of the Year were responsible for many of those great moments; cast your vote for your favourite at the bottom of the page.

Vote on all JOE Men of the Year categories here.

TJ Reid


GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 6/9/2015 Kilkenny vs Galway Kilkenny's TJ Reid celebrates after the match Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Just like Richie Hogan and Seamus Callanan, Reid was nominated for Hurler of the Year in 2014 and 2015, but there was little doubt he was going to take home the outstanding individual award after an exemplary campaign in the black and amber.

Reid scored a remarkable 4-32 in four Championship games for Kilkenny this season and while it was one of the Cats’ handiest All-Irelands in recent years, that’s simply because other counties couldn’t come close to reaching the level of Reid and his teammates.

David Burke


GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 16/8/2015 Tipperary vs Galway Galway's David Burke Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Despite unrest in the camp that is only coming to light of late, it was Galway who drove Kilkenny the closest this year and who emerged on the right side of one of the greatest games in recent memory when beating Tipperary in an enthralling semi-final.

Burke was a force of nature for the Tribesmen at centrefield all season long, making his presence felt in attack and defence and keeping the supply line ticking over to a young and talented forward line inside.

Aidan O’Shea


GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 8/8/2015 Mayo vs Donegal Mayo's Aidan O’Shea Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

O’Shea was one of the stories of the football championship this season as he terrorised the Galway, Sligo and Donegal defences in his new position of full-forward.

Sligo in particular couldn’t cope with O’Shea as he slotted 3-4 in the Connacht Final and though Philly McMahon had the edge in the semi-final replay, it’s easily forgotten that O’Shea was actually nominated for Man of the Match in the drawn game.

Picked up his second All-Star earlier this month and it won’t be a surprise if it’s not his last.

Bernard Brogan


GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 20/9/2015 Kerry vs Dublin Bernard Brogan of Dublin Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Conventional wisdom suggests that a player’s ability begins to decline after he passes 30, but Brogan mustn’t have got the memo.

A worthy nominee for Footballer of the Year, Brogan scored 6-21 in the Championship, with only a single point of that tally coming from a free, in the All-Ireland Final win over Kerry.

Still one of the deadliest forwards in the game and far from finished yet.

Jack McCaffrey

GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 20/9/2015 Kerry vs Dublin Dublin's Jack McCaffrey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Earlier this month, McCaffrey became only the second player after Sean Cavanagh to win both the Young Footballer of the Year and Footballer of the Year and boy did he deserve it.

Unbelievably effective from half-back for the Dubs throughout the season, McCaffrey rediscovered the ability to drive through defences that became his trademark in 2013 and added both an end product and a defensive solidity that previously hadn’t been associated with the man from Clontarf.

The most frightening thing? He’s still only 22. TWENTY-TWO!