Entire All-Ireland winning Tipperary team are nominated for hurling Allstar awards
ALL-IRELAND champions Tipperary lead the way as their entire starting team from the decider are in line for GAA/GPA hurling Allstars from a list of nominations that features players from eight different counties.
Tipp captured Liam McCarthy for the first time in six years following their thrilling performance blew away a three-in-a-row seeking Kilkenny side in the decider. Séamus Callanan’s incredible 13-point haul that afternoon is a large contributing factor in him being nominated for Hurler of the Year alongside team-mate Pádraic Maher and Waterford’s Austin Gleeson.
The hugely impressive Déise man is also nominated for Young Hurler of the Year and stands a viable chance of becoming the first man ever to win both in the same year. Galway footballer Michael Donnellan is the only man to have achieved that accolade in either code, when he won both Footballer of the Year and Young Footballer of the Year in 1998. His team-mate Shane Bennett and Tipperary’s Ronan Maher - who had a particularly outstanding final - are the other nominees for Young Hurler of the Year.
Every member of Tipperary’s starting XV from their win over Kilkenny is on the 45-man list, which contrasts with just over half of their vanquished opponents being named. Cathal Barrett and James Barry will bestrongly fancied of their full-back representation, and they could end up monopolising the half-back selection as Pádraic Maher and Ronan Maher look strong favourites, while Séamus Kennedy will also put in a solid bid for a wing-back slot.
Séamus Callanan and John McGrath look to be all-but guaranteed their awards in the inside forward line, while it will be interesting to see whether John O’Dwyer’s contribution in the latter stages is enough after he found himself briefly out of the side earlier in the year.
Interestingly, Kilkenny have received fewer nominations than the Waterford side they saw off after a semi-final replay. The Cats have been given eight nominations while Waterford, who fell short in what looked a strong bid to win their first All-Ireland title since 1959, are represented by nine players.
Richie Hogan, TJ Reid, Walter Walsh and are the three Kilkenny forwards on the list, the two most former with the more realistic ambition of receiving gongs at the banquet early next month. After a handful of sterling performances, not least in the final, Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy is heavily fancied to take the number one jersey ahead of Darren Gleeson (Tipperary) and Colm Callanan (Galway).
Galway, who like Waterford lost out in the semi-final, have six nominees, of whom Daithi Burke will be a strong contender for the number three shirt after his superb display against Seamus Callanan in the semi-final. Conor Cooney’s fine mid-season run could push him into serious contention, though the likes of John and Noel McGrath may have stronger cases on the back of their big-day displays.
Despite another disappointing Championship campaign – their last under since-departed manager Davy Fitzgerald - National League champions Clare are rewarded with three names on the list. Cian Dillon is nominated among the backs, while former Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly and Colm Galvin are among the 18 forwards vying for the six awards.
Wexford’s Lee Chin is one of two Model nominees - the other being Matthew O’Hanlon - and could stand an outside chance of sneaking into the final selection in the forward line. Limerick’s Diarmuid Byrnes and Cork’s Alan Cadogan are the sole nominees for their respective counties.
As many as five of last year’s Allstars are not nominated this season. Kilkenny trio Joey Holden, Ger Aylward and Michael Fennelly - the latter two of whom suffered serious injuries that heavily curtailed their involvement - are not included, while Waterford’s Maurice Shanahan and Galway’s Cathal Mannion are not on the list either.
HURLING ALLSTAR NOMINEES
Goalkeepers: Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny), Darren Gleeson (Tipperary), Colm Callanan (Galway); Defenders: Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Pádraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Michael Cahill, Séamus Kennedy (all Tipperary), Daithí Burke, Pádraig Mannion (both Galway), Tadhg de Búrca, Shane Fives, Noel Connors, Philip Mahony (all Waterford), Paul Murphy, Pádraig Walsh, Cillian Buckley (all Kilkenny), Diarmuid Byrnes (Limerick), Cian Dillon (Clare), Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford); Midfielders: Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran (both Waterford), Michael Breen, Brendan Maher (both Tipperary), Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny), David Burke (Galway); Forwards: Séamus Callanan, Patrick Maher, John McGrath, Noel McGrath, John O’Dwyer, Dan McCormack (all Tipperary), Richie Hogan, Walter Walsh, TJ Reid (all Kilkenny), Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony, Michael Walsh (all Waterford), Conor Cooney, Joe Canning (both Galway), Tony Kelly, Colm Galvin (both Clare), Lee Chin (Wexford), Alan Cadogan (Cork)
Player of the Year Nominees: Austin Gleeson (Waterford); Pádraic Maher (Tipperary); Séamus Callanan (Tipperary)
Young Player of the Year Nominees: Ronan Maher (Tipperary); Austin Gleeson (Waterford); Shane Bennett (Waterford)