Congratulations to Noel Obilor, who is the deserving winner of the Michael John Collins Most Improved Young Adult Player Award for 2019.
Noel consistently shows leadership qualities beyond his years, and has been superb for Swan in a number of different positions throughout his Juvenile career. Defender, midfielder and forward. Noel can play everywhere.
He also represented South Tipperary in the u17 Celtic Challenge Cup last year, where he won man of the match in the All Ireland Semi Final against Offaly.
This year however, Noel has taken his game to another level. He was exceptional for our Minor team all year as our Minors reached the South A Final where we eventually lost out to Mullinahone.
Noel also made his Senior Championship debut this year, on a hot Tuesday night in August, in Clonmel Sportsfield against Killenaule in the South Semi Final where he was excellent during his short cameo appearance, and very unlucky not to raise a green flag in the final few minutes.
A few days later, Noel came on to a huge cheer, against Thurles Sarsfields in Cashel. With the game in the melting pot, Obilor reached into the clouds to grab a ball over his marker who he then turned, and burned, on a mazy 30 yard run before burying to the back of the net. A goal so good that The Nationalist headline the following Wednesday read “Obilor wonder goal seals victory for Carrick Swan over Sarsfields in Tipperary SHC (Seamus O’Riain) Cup.”
He followed this up with another goal in the next game, in round 3 against Lorrha. Not as pretty as the goal against Sars but it was just as important, at a crucial time, in a must-win game.
Noel’s impact during the Minor, u21, and Senior Championships this year has been immense, and he is a very deserving winner of this prestigious award in memory of our great friend the late Michael John Collins, a man who believed in, and helped develop youth, and always saw good and potential in young players.
It’s fitting that Noel’s performances in the Seamus O’Riain Cup this year played a part in winning this award, as Collins was manager of our Senior hurling team when the Seamus O’Riain Club was brought back to the club in 2008.
Noel will be presented with his award at our 12 Days of Christmas Draw night this coming Saturday, December 14th, in The Old Mill.
Well done Noel. We look forward to many more big performances from you in 2021.