Dublin and Mayo dominate Football Allstars nominees as Tyrone lead way among Ulster's 11
FOUR Ulster counties have nominees – a total of 11 players – for this year's PwC GAA/GPA Football Allstars.
Four is also the number of players shortlisted for the 'Footballer of the Year' award, an unprecedented alteration from the usual three which reflects the incredible standard of goalkeeping this year.
Both Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton and Mayo 'keeper David Clarke were listed for this accolade, along with Dublin midfielder James McCarthy and Mayo forward Andy Moran. The GPA members have the unenviable task of making that choice.
Champions Dublin and finalists Mayo obviously dominate the nominations, with 13 for the Dubs and 12 for the team they pipped by a point in Sunday's thrilling All-Ireland SFC Final.
Ulster champions Tyrone are next on the list, with six, followed by five for their Munster counterparts Kerry.
The Red Hand players put forward are goalkeeper Niall Morgan, defenders Padraig Hampsey and Tiernan McCann, midfielder Colm Cavanagh, and forwards Peter Harte and Niall Sludden.
The Kingdom have two defenders, Tadhg Morley and Paul Murphy, and three forwards: Kieran Donaghy, Paul Geaney, and James O'Donoghue.
Beaten Ulster finalists Down received two nominations – wing-back Caolan Mooney and full-forward Connaire Harrison – as did Connacht champs Roscommon (defender Conor Devaney and midfielder Enda Smith), and Leinster runners-up Kildare (Kevin Feely and attacker Daniel Flynn).
The other Ulster nominees are Monaghan defender Fintan Kelly – who scored three Championship goals – and two attackers, Armagh's Jamie Clarke and Patrick McBrearty of Donegal.
Tyrone pair Cavanagh and Harte are nominated for the third consecutive season, although only the latter has got an Allstar so far, last year, while Sludden was also nominated last year, as was Donegal's McBrearty.
These are first nominations for Morgan, Hampsey, McCann, Kelly, Mooney, and Harrison, but Armagh attacker Clarke was put forward in 2012.
Cavanagh is probably Ulster's best bet for an Allstar this year, even in a competitive midfield division, where Dublin's James McCarthy looks extremely likely to get into the team as he is on the 'Footballer of the Year' shortlist.
Unlike most of his team-mates, the big Moy man still showed up well against Dublin in the semi-final, a day that might cost the likes of Harte and Sludden a national award.
There are no Ulster nominees shortlisted for the Young Footballer of the Year award.
Dublin forward Con O'Callaghan is the outstanding candidate in that category, having scored 2-20 over six senior Championship games, including superb early goals in both their All-Ireland semi-final and the Final, after helping the Dubs win the U21 All-Ireland earlier in the year.
Also nominated are Cork forward-turned-defender Sean Powter and Galway U21 forward and captain Michael Daly, who also played for their seniors.
Dublin's 13 includes all six of their regular defenders, namely Johnny Cooper, Michael Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey, Philly McMahon, Cian O'Sullivan, and John Small.
The only regular Mayo back omitted was Donal Vaughan, who was sent off in the All-Ireland Final - Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, and Lee Keegan are all nominated.
Mayo get more forwards on this list than Dublin, five - Jason Doherty, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Cillian O'Connor, and Aidan O'Shea – with four for the champs - Ciaran Kilkenny, Paul Mannion, Con O'Callaghan, and Dean Rock.
The final 15 that make up the PwC All-Star Football team of 2017 will be announced live on RTÉ TV and will be presented with their coveted awards at a gala black tie banquet in Dublin's Convention Centre on Friday November 3.
2017 PwC GAA/GPA Football Allstars nominations (in alphabetical order by county and surname):
Stephen Cluxton (Dublin); David Clarke (Mayo); Niall Morgan (Tyrone).
Caolan Mooney (Down); Jonny Cooper (Dublin), Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Philly McMahon (Dublin), Cian O'Sullivan (Dublin), John Small (Dublin); Tadhg Morley (Kerry), Paul Murphy (Kerry); Chris Barrett (Mayo), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Brendan Harrison (Mayo), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Lee Keegan (Mayo); Fintan Kelly (Monaghan); Conor Devaney (Roscommon); Tiernan McCann (Tyrone), Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone).
Brian Fenton (Dublin), James McCarthy (Dublin); Kevin Feely (Kildare); Tom Parsons (Mayo); Enda Smith (Roscommon);
Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone).
Jamie Clarke (Armagh); Paddy McBrearty (Donegal); Connaire Harrison (Down); Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin), Paul Mannion (Dublin), Con O'Callaghan (Dublin), Dean Rock (Dublin); Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Paul Geaney (Kerry), James O'Donoghue (Kerry); Daniel Flynn (Kildare); Jason Doherty (Mayo), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Andy Moran (Mayo), Cillian O'Connor (Mayo), Aidan O'Shea (Mayo); Peter Harte (Tyrone), Niall Sludden (Tyrone).
FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR nominees
Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), James McCarthy (Dublin); David Clarke (Mayo), Andy Moran (Mayo)
YOUNG FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR nominees
Sean Powter (Cork); Con O'Callaghan (Dublin); Michael Daly (Galway)