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Sunday 27 May 2018

Dubs lead the way once again but shock at no All Star for Cluxton

Dublin’s All-Ireland-winning captain Stephen Cluxton with his wife Joanne at the PwC All Stars last night
Dublin’s All-Ireland-winning captain Stephen Cluxton with his wife Joanne at the PwC All Stars last night

Dublin's All-Ireland winning heroes led the way at the All Stars, with seven named among the best footballers of the year.

The Boys in Blue had 13 nominations for this year's All Star team, the highest number of nominations for a team in 14 years. More than half of those were given the nod at a glamorous event in the Convention Centre.

Among those to pick up an award was Con O'Callaghan, who was honoured as young footballer of the year.

The 21-year-old student was widely touted for the gong after his incredible season, which included scoring the opening goal in less than two minutes during the All-Ireland final against Mayo.

Despite racking up three All-Ireland titles this year, the Cuala club man admitted he had the jitters ahead of the Croke Park showdown.

"There's a bit of nerves before the match, but nothing that would put me off," he said after accepting his award at the gala ceremony.

Despite "barely playing at all last year", he said he "kind of just went for it" during the senior football championships. "Luckily things came off," he added.

Also on the All Star team were attackers Paul Mannion and Dean Rock.

Three Dublin defenders made this year's list, including Jack McCaffrey, Mick Fitzsimons and Cian O'Sullivan. James McCarthy was also named on the All Star team.

One shock, however, was the omission of Stephen Cluxton, widely regarded as among the best football goalkeepers of all time.

Determination

Instead, Mayo's David Clarke - who was on the losing side in the All-Ireland final - was given the nod.

Meanwhile, Dublin manager Jim Gavin paid tribute to the players for an amazing season that culminated in the Boys in Blue bringing home the Sam Maguire for the third year in a row. "You have to be happy with the way the season went for us," he said.

Speaking at the ceremony, he added: "It was a fantastic, fantastic year. From my perspective and the management team and backroom staff, we have an outstanding group of players.

"I think the three in-a-row was probably representative of their commitment and their determination as footballers.

"And I know that the group they are, they'll very quickly move on."

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