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Brian Fenton: Ciarán Kilkenny is always my benchmark

Brian Fenton: Ciarán Kilkenny is always my benchmark

Mon, 22nd February 2021

Footballer of the Year for 2020, Brian Fenton, hit pause on his 'celebrations' following the announcement of his success to pay tribute to his county team-mate Ciarán Kilkenny.

The Castleknock clubman was one of the other footballers shortlisted for the top award, along with Mayo's Cillian O'Connor, which was announced on Saturday night following the players' vote.

Saturday's honour was Fenton's second time to win the award having also been successful in 2018, when Kilkenny was again one of the nominees.

“I got word I had won, Ciarán got word he hadn’t so I reached out to him and we chatted on WhatsApp,” said Brian.

“I didn’t get an opportunity to speak on the phone but Ciarán and I are so close that there is almost that telepathy there. Naturally there will be disappointment.

“I was disappointed in 2016 for example when I didn’t win the award but I think Ciarán is happy for me.

“It certainly affected my enjoyment of it this time around because I won it in 2018, Ciarán … look at the year he has had, look at the couple of years he has had. He absolutely deserves one.

“In training, Ciarán is always like … You come in and go, ‘What did you score? What distance did you cover?’

“He is the one I always take my benchmark off where I am going, ‘If I am competing with Ciarán Kilkenny I am having a good game’.

“I would love for him to get one as a friend but obviously I have to try and enjoy it myself but it is in your head that Ciarán has not won one and how deserving he would be of the award,” said the Raheny clubman.

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