Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton named 'Footballer of the Year'
DUBLIN captain Stephen Cluxton became the first goalkeeper to be named ‘Footballer of the Year’ to cap off an historic season after leading his county to a first ever five-in-a-row of All-Irelands.
There was no surprise whatsoever that the Parnell’s clubman was selected as one of seven Dubs on the PwC Football Allstars team and little that he was chosen ahead of his county colleagues Jack McCaffrey and Con O’Callaghan for the top award. In the previous 24 years, since Peter Canavan received the inaugural award in 1995, no 'keeper had won this accolade.
Those three Dubs were joined on the team by four more - Michael Fitzsimons, the Raheny Brians, Howard and Fenton – in defence and at midfield respectively – and forward Paul Mannion.
Seamus Callanan made it a great year for skippers as the Tipperary forward was voted ‘Hurler of the Year’, with the ‘Young Hurler’ accolade going to Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen, who had missed out on a place in a very competitive forward unit for the actual Allstars team.
Callanan finished the Championship campaign with an astonishing tally of 8-18, averaging a goal per game, including one in the final against Kilkenny.
Sean O Shea, one of four Kerrymen on Football select, was chosen as ‘Young Footballer of the Year’. All those awards were selected by the membership of the Gaelic Players Association.
Ulster earned three Football awards, with two first-time winners from Tyrone, full-back Ronan McNamee and full-forward Cathal McShane, joined on stage at the Convention Centre Dublin by Donegal captain Michael Murphy, earning his third Allstar.
In the year that’s in it, perhaps it’s fitting that there were five first-time winners; unsurprisingly, none of those was from Dublin, with two each from Kerry and Tyrone and one from Mayo, namely Paddy Durcan. Defender Tom O’Sullivan was the other newbie for the Kingdom, with second awards for midfielder David Moran and attacking prodigy David Clifford.
The toughest call in a year of many excellent attacking performances came down to players from the same club, with O’Shea making the cut and his Kenmare Shamrocks club-mate Stephen O’Brien very unfortunate to miss out.
2019 PwC Football Allstars team:
1 Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
2 Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin)
3 Ronan McNamee (Tyrone)
4 Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry)
5 Paddy Durcan (Mayo)
6 Brian Howard (Dublin)
7 Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)
8 Brian Fenton (Dublin)
9 David Moran (Kerry)
10 Paul Mannion (Dublin)
11 Sean O’Shea (Kerry)
12 Michael Murphy (Donegal)
13 David Clifford (Kerry)
14 Cathal McShane (Tyrone)
15 Con O’Callaghan (Dublin)
Tally by county: Dublin (7), Kerry (4), Tyrone (2), Donegal and Mayo (1 each).
Footballer of the Year: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
Hurler of the Year: Seamus Callanan (Tipperary)
Young Footballer of the Year: Sean O'Shea (Kerry)
Young Hurler of the Year: Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny)