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Alan keeps it in the family

•THE Footballer of the Year award is frequently a source of much angst-ridden debate. Not in 2011, though, when Dublin's Alan Brogan was the standout performer for the new champions -- a fact duly recognised by his playing peers at last night's GAA GPA All Stars banquet.

And so, in his 10th campaign as a Sky Blue senior, Brogan has reached the very pinnacle of the inter-county game.

•Alan has already gone on record to say that winning that elusive All-Ireland medal, after so many tortuous August defeats, was all that mattered to him.

•Still, being named Footballer of the Year is a pretty swell way to crown 2011 -- even more so given that he's "keeping it in the family", succeeding his younger brother Bernard who was a runaway winner of the same award 12 months ago.

•All three other awards went along expected lines last night, with Kilkenny's midfield powerhouse Michael Fennelly voted as Hurler of the Year, while the Young Player of the Year awards went to Dublin's play-anywhere talisman Liam Rushe (hurling) and Mayo deadball expert Cillian O'Connor (football).