The name CONNOR McALISKEY may not roll off the tongue of a lot of GAA fans but it looks as if that may change during the coming season, as the Clonoe 21-year-old has begun 2013 in tip-top fashion.

He heralded his arrival on the scene as a substitute in Tyrone’s PowerNI Dr McKenna Cup clash with Derry and rocketed in a telling goal. He followed up with three points against Fermanagh and the same return in the final against Monaghan. The only game he didn’t score in was against Antrim, at Casement Park.

For his sudden burst on to the senior county scene, the Red Hand youth earns the UGAAWA Merit Award for January ahead of a posse of more seasoned players who aren’t new to winning awards.

“It is a great award to get and I’m a happy man to have earned it. Senior county football is a big step-up from under-21, which I played last year, and I know that I will have to fight to keep my place in the Tyrone team. There are a lot of players who are injured just now and will be returning to the panel. That means I will have to try harder,” said Connor.

Not many players win a top award after just one month in action but McAliskey has done that. He was the unanimous winner while Sean Cavanagh, who also starred with Tyrone in the McKenna Cup, Neil McManus, who played a captain’s role in helping Antrim win the Walsh Shield, and handballer Charly Shanks, winner of a Race8Event in Texas, were also highly commended.

Adrian Logan, UGAAWA, presents Connor with his awards.
Pic: © Oliver McVeigh

UGAAWA member, Adrian Logan, presented Connor with his award of an engraved Belleek Living Vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath jeweller, Garrett Mallon, and a UGAAWA Sports Voucher at a reception in Quinn’s Corner on Monday, February 11. He will also receive training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports and two tickets, plus overnight accommodation, to the next UGAAWA Banquet.

Tony McGee

Connor chats to Adrian Logan and Mickey Harte after the presentations.
Pic: © Oliver McVeigh

The January winner with Mickey Harte and UGAAWA Mmembers - Peadar McMahon, Adrian Logan, John P.Graham and John Campbell.  

Pic: © Oliver McVeigh