Tipperary's John McGrath is nominated for an All Star award.
The entire Tipperary All-Ireland winning team has been nominated for a 2016 GAA-GPA Opel All-Star hurling award - the Premier County players dominate the shortlist (forty-five players). Waterford earned nine nominees, Kilkenny eight, Galway six, Clare two and Wexford two while Cork and Limerick had one player nominated. In 2010, when Tipperary last won an All-Ireland title, the county earned fourteen nominations. Indeed, never before has an entire team been nominated for the prestigious honour.
The full list of nominations is as follows:-
Goalkeepers: Colm Callanan (Galway), Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny) & Darren Gleeson (Tipperary).
Defenders: Cian Dillon (Clare), Daithí Burke (Galway), Pádraig Mannion (Galway), Cillian Buckley (Kilkenny), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny), Diarmuid Byrnes (Limerick), Cathal Barrett (Tipperary), James Barry (Tipperary), Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Séamus Kennedy (Tipperary), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Ronan Maher (Tipperary), Noel Connors (Waterford), Tadgh de Búrca (Waterford), Shane Fives (Waterford), Philip Mahony (Waterford) & Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford).
Midfielders: David Burke (Galway), Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny), Michael Breen (Tipperary), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Jamie Barron (Waterford) & Kevin Moran (Waterford).
Forwards: Colm Galvin (Clare), Tony Kelly (Clare), Alan Cadogan (Cork), Joe Canning (Galway), Conor Cooney (Galway), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Walter Walsh (Kilkenny), Séamus Callanan (Tipperary), Patrick Maher (Tipperary), Dan McCormack (Tipperary), John McGrath (Tipperary), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), John O’Dwyer (Tipperary), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Pauric Mahony (Waterford), Michael Walsh (Waterford) & Lee Chin (Wexford).
The shortlist for the hurler of the year award has also been finalized - Tipperary’s Pádraic Maher and Séamus Callanan will battle it out with Waterford’s Austin Gleeson. Meanwhile the candidates for the young player of the year award are Ronan Maher (Tipperary), Austin Gleeson (Waterford) and Shane Bennett (Waterford). These awards are voted on exclusively by the playing body (GPA members) while the All Star selection will be chosen by a panel of sports journalists and pundits. The team will be selected next month with the awards presented at a banquet in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Friday, November 4th.
The winner of the hurler of the year award, should a Premier man prevail, will join auspicious company - Tipperary have claimed the hurler of the year award on ten previous occasions: 1958 Tony Wall, 1961 Liam Devaney, 1962 Donie Nealon, 1964 John Doyle, 1965 Jimmy Doyle, 1971 Michael Keating, 1989 Nicky English, 1991 Pat Fox, 2001 Tommy Dunne and 2010 Lar Corbett.
Spare a thought today for 34-year-old Eoin Kelly who won six All Stars during a wonderful inter-county career for Tipperary, but who is this week nursing a cruciate knee ligament injury which may end his hurling career - Kelly was injured while lining out for Mullinahone against Clonoulty-Rossmore in last weekend’s county senior hurling championship quarter-final. Eoin Kelly announced his retirement from the inter-county scene following the 2014 season (63 championship appearances).
Since the All Star scheme was inaugurated in 1971 Tipperary have won 89 awards - Kilkenny lead the field on 179 awards with Cork second on 105 and Tipp third.
See below for a county and positional breakdown of the All Star winners (1971-2015).
TIPPERARY’S HURLING ALL-STARS 1971-2015
Goalkeeper: Pat McLoughney (1979), Pat McLoughney (1980), Ken Hogan (1987), Brendan Cummins (2000), Brendan Cummins (2001), Brendan Cummins (2003), Brendan Cummins (2008), Brendan Cummins (2010) & Darren Gleeson (2014).
Right Corner-Back: Paul Delaney (1991) & Paul Shelley (1997).
Full-Back: Noel Sheehy (1990), Noel Sheehy (1991), Philip Maher (2001), Declan Fanning (2007), Pádraic Maher (2009), Paul Curran (2010) & Paul Curran (2011).
Left Corner-Back: Tadhg O’Connor (1979) & Michael Cahill (2011).
Right Wing-Back: Tadhg O’Connor (1971), Tadhg O’Connor (1975), Conal Bonner (1989), Conal Bonner (1991), John Carroll (2000), Eamon Corcoran (2001) & Brendan Maher (2014).
Centre-Back: Michael Roche (1971), Bobby Ryan (1989), Conor O’Mahony (2008) & Pádraic Maher (2014).
Left Wing-Back: Bobby Ryan (1986), Bobby Ryan (1988), Paul Kelly (2002), Conor O'Mahony (2009) & Pádraic Maher (2011).
Midfield: Colm Bonner (1988), Declan Carr (1989), John Leahy (1991), Tommy Dunne (1997), Tommy Dunne (1999), Tommy Dunne (2001), Eddie Enright (2001), Paul Kelly (2005), Shane McGrath (2008), Brendan Maher (2010) & Shane McGrath (2014).
Right Wing-Forward: Francis Loughnane (1971), Francis Loughnane (1972), Francis Loughnane (1973), Nicky English (1983), Nicky English (1984), Nicky English (1985), Declan Ryan (1988), Michael Cleary (1990), Michael Cleary (1991), Mark O’Leary (2001), Lar Corbett (2009) & John O'Dwyer (2014).
Centre-Forward: Michael Keating (1971), Declan Ryan (1997), Noel McGrath (2010) & Patrick Maher (2014).
Left Wing-Forward: Aidan Ryan (1987), John Leahy (1994), John Leahy (1997) & Lar Corbett (2010).
Right Corner-Forward: Pat Fox (1987), Pat Fox (1989), Pat Fox (1991), Michael Cleary (1992), Michael Cleary (1993), Liam Cahill (1996), Eoin Kelly (2002), Eoin Kelly (2004), Eoin Kelly (2006) & Noel McGrath (2009).
Full-Forward: Nicky English (1987), Nicky English (1988), Cormac Bonner (1989), Cormac Bonner (1991), Eoin Kelly (2005), Lar Corbett (2011), Séamus Callanan (2014) & Séamus Callanan (2015).
Left Corner-Forward: Tommy Butler (1978), Nicky English (1989), Eoin Kelly (2001) & Eoin Kelly (2010).
CÚ CHULAINN AWARDS
Prior to the development of the All Star awards scheme the Cú Chulainn awards, run under the auspices of Gaelic Weekly magazine, ran from 1963 to 1967. During that period Tipperary won twenty-six awards.
Tipperary’s Cú Chulainn Award Winners:-
1963: John Doyle, Theo English, Jimmy Doyle & Liam Devaney.
1964: John Doyle, Tony Wall, Michael Roche, Jimmy Doyle, Michael Keating, John McKenna & Donie Nealon.
1965: John O’Donoghue, Kieran Carey, Tony Wall, Michael Roche, Jimmy Doyle, Donie Nealon, John McKenna & Seán McLoughlin.
1966: Theo English & John McKenna.
1967: Len Gaynor, Michael Roche, Tony Wall, Donie Nealon & Michael Keating.
No All Star or equivalent Cú Chulainn awards were presented between 1968 and 1970.
If anyone needed reminding how far Tipperary football has travelled in recent years they were provided with a telling yard stick on Thursday morning when five of Liam Kearns’ senior outfit were nominated for Open-GPA All Star awards while Jimmy Feehan and Josh Keane were shortlisted as young footballer of the year candidates alongside Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor.
Tipperary’s famous five include: goalkeeper Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), defender Robbie Kiely (Arravale Rovers & Carberry Rangers, Cork), midfielder Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers) and forwards Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials) and Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen). Although both were considered Bill Maher and Brian Fox did not make the final cut.
Just eight counties, all of which made it as far as the All-Ireland quarter- finals, were represented among the forty-five nominations - unsurprisingly Dublin and Mayo lead the nominations with eleven each. Brian Fenton (Dublin), Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin) and Mayo’s Lee Keegan have been nominated for the footballer of the year award.
The footballer and young footballer of the year award will be decided by the members of the GPA while the All Star selection will be chosen by a panel of sports journalists and pundits. The All Stars will be revealed on Friday, November 4th at a banquet in Dublin’s Convention Centre. The winners will travel, alongside the 2015 winners, on this year’s All Stars tour to Abu Dhabi and Dubai (November 23rd-29th - with an exhibition game taking place in Abu Dhabi on November 25th).
2016 All Star football nominations:-
Goalkeepers: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), David Clarke (Mayo) & Evan Comerford (Tipperary).
Defenders: Paddy McGrath, Ryan McHugh (Donegal), Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Philly McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, John Small (Dublin), Declan Kyne (Galway), Shane Enright, Killian Young (Kerry), Colm Boyle, Patrick Durcan, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Robbie Kiely (Tipperary) & Cathal McCarron (Tyrone).
Midfielders: Gary Brennan (Clare), Paul Conroy (Galway), Brian Fenton (Dublin), Peter Acheson (Tipperary), Colm Cavanagh & Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone).
Forwards: Paddy McBrearty (Donegal), Diarmuid Connolly, Ciarán Kilkenny, Kevin McManamon, Dean Rock (Dublin), Damien Comer, Danny Cummins (Galway), Paul Geaney, Paul Murphy (Kerry), Andy Moran, Cillian O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Michael Quinlivan, Conor Sweeney (Tipperary), Seán Cavanagh, Peter Harte & Niall Sludden (Tyrone).
UNDER-21 TEAM OF THE YEAR
Tipperary’s Andrew Coffey has been named on the Bord Gáis Energy under-21 hurling team of the year - the emerging Nenagh Éire Óg star has been rewarded for his outstanding displays against Limerick and Waterford in this year’s Munster championship. The team was selected by the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Ambassador Ger Cunningham, TG4 presenter Michéal Ó Domhnaill, Waterford’s Ken McGrath and Galway’s Joe Canning.
In all eight players from Waterford were named on the selection - the players will be presented with their awards at a ceremony at Dublin’s Mansion House on Saturday, October 8th. On the night the under-21 player of the year will be named - the nominations are: Austin Gleeson, Patrick Curran or Stephen Bennett. The Bord Gáis Energy Off the Ball Score of the Year will also be announced on Saturday night - Andrew Coffey’s goal against Limerick in the Munster semi-final is among the favourites to take the honours.
2016 Bord Gáis Energy Under-21 Team of the Year: Jordan Henley (Waterford), Conor Gleeson (Waterford), Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin), Darragh Lyons (Waterford), Micheál Harney (Waterford), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Shane Barrett (Dublin), Dan Nevin (Galway), Ronan Lynch (Limerick), Shane Bennett (Waterford), Brian Molloy (Galway), Andrew Coffey (Tipperary), Patrick Curran (Waterford), Stephen Bennett (Waterford) & Niall Mitchell (Westmeath).