Monday 22 January 2018

Dubs lead All Stars list with 11

But there's no room for skipper Cluxton or four-in-a-row Flynn

Jonny Cooper and Jack McCaffrey celebrate after winning the All-Ireland SFC Final against Kerry
Jonny Cooper and Jack McCaffrey celebrate after winning the All-Ireland SFC Final against Kerry

The race to be a GAA GPA Football All Star for 2015 has been whittled down to 45 ... and all-conquering Dublin predictably lead the way with 11 nominees.

Likewise, in a year which saw Jim Gavin's crew achieve a league, Leinster and All-Ireland clean sweep, it will come as no great shock that the Footballer of the Year will definitely be a Dub.

All three nominations were chosen by a selection committee of Gaelic Games journalists, but now it's up to the inter-county playing population to vote on the respective merits of Jack McCaffrey, Bernard Brogan and Philly McMahon.

With Dublin's rookie sensation Brian Fenton aged 22 and thus ineligible, the Young Footballer of the Year award will be a three-way battle between Mayo forward Diarmuid O'Connor, Donegal's Ryan McHugh and his Monaghan namesake, Ryan Wylie.

So much for the men who make it. As ever with All Star nominations, some missing names will generate even more headlines.

On the Footballer of the Year front, Mayo fans might well make a case for Aidan O'Shea if they weren't so consumed with stories of player revolt back home while Monaghan sharpshooter Conor McManus also had his champions.

Meanwhile the four Dublin 'starters' who don't make the cut include skipper Stephen Cluxton (a five-time winner who misses out on a nomination for the first time since 2010) and Paul Flynn, whose quest for a staggering five All Stars on the spin is over. In truth, neither omission is a surprise; likewise Denis Bastick or Dean Rock.

The county breakdown won't elicit too much fury, with Dublin's 11 followed by eight for Kerry, seven apiece for Mayo and Tyrone, five for Donegal and four for Monaghan.

Some lesser lights are also recognised - namely Westmeath's Kieran Martin on foot of his Leinster heroics, Fermanagh scoring machine Seán Quigley and Donie Kingston of Laois.

The final team will be announced in early November.

GAA GPA Allstar nominations

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brendan Kealy (Kerry), Paul Durcan (Donegal), Rory Beggan (Monaghan)

DEFENDERS (18): Jonny Cooper, Rory O'Carroll, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy, Cian O'Sullivan, Jack McCaffrey (all Dublin), Shane Enright, Jonathan Lyne (both Kerry), Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett (all Mayo), Cathal McCarron, Ronan McNamee, Ronan McNabb (all Tyrone), Vinny Corey, Karl O'Connell (both Monaghan), Frank McGlynn, Ryan McHugh (both Donegal).

MIDFIELDERS (6): Brian Fenton (Dublin), Anthony Maher, David Moran (both Kerry), Tom Parsons (Mayo), Neil Gallagher (Donegal), Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone).

FORWARDS (18): Ciarán Kilkenny, Diarmuid Connolly, Paddy Andrews, Bernard Brogan (all Dublin), Donnchadh Walsh, James O'Donoghue, Paul Geaney (all Kerry), Diarmuid O'Connor, Cillian O'Connor, Aidan O'Shea (all Mayo), Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte, Seán Cavanagh (all Tyrone), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Seán Quigley (Fermanagh), Kieran Martin (Westmeath), Donie Kingston (Laois).

County breakdown: Dublin 11, Kerry 8, Mayo 7, Tyrone 7, Donegal 5, Monaghan 4, Fermanagh 1, Westmeath 1, Laois 1.

Footballer of the year: Jack McCaffrey, Bernard Brogan, Philly McMahon (all Dublin).

Young footballer of the year: Diarmuid O'Connor (Mayo), Ryan McHugh (Donegal), Ryan Wylie (Monaghan).

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