Minor Stars Awards will be 'a landmark' in the lives of young Gaels says Oisin McConville
ARMAGH All-Ireland winner Oisín McConville says the inaugural Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards “will stand as a landmark” in the lives of young players.
Former Crossmaglen star McConville joined fellow Electric Ireland Minor Ambassadors Donal Og Cusack (Cork) and Joe Dooley (Offaly) to launch the awards this week and said he was “absolutely delighted to be involved in an initiative that champions minor GAA players”.
The Allstar forward added: “These awards really will be a major event for young players and will stand as a landmark in their young lives.
“I think Electric Ireland have done a brilliant job at championing players to date with the ongoing Player of the Week competition on Facebook, these are the small things that give a player that little bit more confidence and courage to become a great player on the pitch.”
Derry won the Ulster minor final last Sunday and go into the quarter-final draw alongside the three other provincial champions – Galway (Connacht), Kerry (Munster) and Dublin (Leinster) – and the losing finalists Cavan, Sligo, Clare and Louth.
The inaugural awards emphasise the ongoing concept that there is ‘nothing minor about playing Minor' and will recognise the best individual performers from the entire season, including provincial and All-Ireland stages, with the best player in each position selected on the 2017 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Top 15.
The awards will be selected by a panel of GAA greats in conjunction with the public voting through Electric Ireland's Facebook page.
Croke Park will then host the GAA Minor Star Awards on Saturday, October 7 following the completion of both the minor football and minor hurling championship finals.
The Awards will honour the best minor player in each position to complete the Electric Ireland GAA minor hurling and football teams of the year as well as selecting an overall player of the year for football and hurling.
The four-man awards selection panel which was unveiled in March and consists of Armagh great McConville, former Cork hurler and current Clare hurling selector, Cusack, former Galway hurler and All-Ireland Club hurling championship-winning manager Mattie Kenny and Meath senior football manager Andy McEntee.
Dónal Óg Cusack added: “Electric Ireland are really living up to their mantra, ‘there is nothing minor about playing Minor'.
“Some of the greatest memories I have of playing the game are when I was a minor with Cork and winning an All-Ireland Championship and I feel that the awards will champion these players allowing them to reach for the stars and aim for a senior All-Ireland Championship.”
Electric Ireland has sponsored the GAA All-Ireland Minor Championships since 2012 and has committed to continuing the partnership until 2021.
Throughout the course of the partnership, Electric Ireland has been re-defining what it means to be a Minor in GAA with the' This Is Major' campaign, designed to empower young players, ensuring they feel driven to compete, improve and to strive for more in their sporting lives.