Ronan Lynch – UL / Limerick
The Na Piarsaigh player is quickly building himself a strong resumé, that is likely to only get stronger this year should the University of Limerick fulfill their promise and go all the way in the Fitzgibbon Cup.
He already has a Dr Harty Cup with his school Ard Scoil Rís, and county, provincial and national honours with Limerick city powerhouse Na Piarsaigh. For his county, he has multiple awards – including two All-Ireland U21 championships with the Shannonsiders.
Lynch can operate in the forwards or across the half-back line, but is likely to line out in midfield for his college, alongside the star-studded campaigner and former winner Tony Kelly.
Niall O’Brien – DIT / Westmeath
The Westmeath native is becoming a seasoned campaigner for DIT, going into his third season with the Dublin college. He’s never got past the quarter-final however, despite putting up respectable scores and being potent with free taking duty, and has a tough task ahead with UL and Waterford IT in their group.
He’s one of Westmeath’s most important players already, notching 3-92 so far in his championship career. If he can fire hot at any stage during the group stage DIT could make a surprising run in the knockouts.
Colin Dunford – IT Carlow / Waterford
The Colligan clubman stormed into the Waterford senior setup, and was a part of their All-Ireland final run in 2017, and is one of DJ Carey’s main outlets in his extremely talented IT Carlow side.
He was involved in Carlow’s amazing run to last year’s final, scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against UCC. Carlow will be hoping to go one better this year, with Dunford very much the focal point of the talented attack being honed under the former Kilkenny legend.
Peter Casey – LIT / Limerick
Another prolific winner from Limerick, Peter Casey has firmly established himself as one of Na Piarsaigh and Limerick’s most deadly attackers. He has the same honour roll as his clubmate Lynch, but will be looking to add Fitzgibbon gold for cross-city rivals LIT rather than UL.
Patrick Curran – DCU / Waterford
Another young Waterford talent, the Dungarvan native has been prolific for every team he’s played for. He’s won back to back Dr Harty Cups with his school in Dungarvan, as well as an All-Ireland medal in the schools competition.
He made his Waterford debut at just 17, before going onto to win an U21 All-Ireland with the Déise. Last year he notched 12 points past Trinity College to progress into the knockout stages.
Shane Kingston – UCC / Cork
The Cork attacker is another prolific Fitzgibbon player, hoping to win UCC’s first trophy since 2013. Well established at county and club grades, Kingston is now an integral part of the Rebels and his club in Douglas.
UCC have a respectable group to contend with UCD and CIT, but will have full focus on going all the way this year and Kingston will have to be on the mark to have any hope.