The only sporting event for a number of young GAA players this weekend will be the National John West Féile Peil na nÓg.
The national competition for boys and girls will take place across counties Down Louth and Meath amongst teams who have progressed from their own County competitions.
The tournament is sponsored this year for the third time by John West who conducted a survey of almost 1,000 children to get their views on what they think of the adult teams they are seeking to emulate.
When it comes to Ireland’s favourite players, Dublin’s Paul Mannion and Mayo’s Andy Moran went head to head in the chase to be named as Ireland’s favourite footballer.
Mannion may have missed a penalty against Laois last weekend but he will take comfort from coming out on top with 40 percent of the vote with Moran just missing out at 35 percent.
The nation’s favourite hurler was undisputedly Joe Canning (68 percent) with Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley coming in as a surprise second with 10% of the vote.
In a similar rivalry to the men, Cora Staunton (Mayo) and Noelle Healy (Dublin) were the favourites among the children of Ireland but the Mayo woman took the lead with almost half of the vote (44 percent) of the vote.
Healy was close behind with just under a third (32 percent) of respondents naming her as their favourite footballer. Cork and Kilkenny battled it out in a similar fashion when it came to the nation’s favourite Camogie player, reigning All Ireland champion Julia White came out on top with 37 percent while runner-up Shelly Farrell received 27 percent of the vote.
Ireland’s favourite coach was one of the closest contests with only 1% in the difference between the countries top three.
It was a photo finish but Wexford’s Davy Fitz edged into the lead with 26 percent closely followed by Dublin’s Jim Gavin and Kilkenny’s Brian Cody both on 25 percent.
According to the children of Ireland, it looks as though history is set to repeat itself with Dublin the outright favourites to make it four All Ireland titles in a row.
Over three quarters (78 percent) of those surveyed chose the boys in blue as this years All Ireland Senior Football Champions.
The competition between the hurling counties is a little bit tighter but Galway lead the way at 37 percent of the vote Kilkenny next best on 28 percent. Tipperary had come third at 22 percent prior to their early exit from the Munster Championship.
Image Credit: Cody Glenn, Sportsfile