Tipperary have 12 nominations in GPA awards

Tipperary’s performances saluted in nominations
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Munster opens with Cork-Kerry clashGAA teams of the year nomineesIAN O’RIORDANIT STILL won’t offer any consolation for losing the All-Ireland final, but Tipperary have once again gone one better than Kilkenny in the number of players nominated for a hurling team of the year. Among the 45 players nominated yesterday for the 2009 Opel-Gaelic Players Association (GPA) Hurling Team of the Year, Tipperary can boast 12, while All-Ireland champions Kilkenny can only boast 11.

Two weeks ago, in the nominations for the Vodafone Hurling All Star team, Tipperary also went one better in getting 13 nominations to Kilkenny’s 12.
It remains to be seen, of course, exactly how many players from each county make it onto the teams of the year in each instance, but clearly there is a feeling out there that Tipperary had most of the best playing performances of 2009.

The shortlist for the GPA Hurling Team of the Year includes three players for each position, reflecting the dominant role played by the individuals during the 2009 season.

The full list contains players from seven counties; Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Dublin and Galway. Beaten semi-finalists Waterford and Limerick received four and two nominations respectively, while Galway and Dublin both had six players nominated – a fair reward for what was still a mostly positive season.

There were also three nominees for the GPA Player of the Year for Hurling, as chosen by the Hurling Selection Committee: Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Lar Corbett (Tipperary) and John Mullane (Waterford). These are the same three players nominated for the Vodafone Hurler of the Year.

The GPA shortlist was drawn up by a selection committee headed up by Donal O’Grady, the former Cork hurling manager.

The overall winners will be selected by GPA members, and announced at a Gala Evening on Friday, November 6th in the CityWest Hotel, Dublin – along with the Football Team of the Year. Each player on the winning team receives a trophy, €2,500 and a comprehensive set of training and leisure gear.

The chosen Hurler and Footballer of the Year each receive an Opel vehicle to the value of €25,000 in addition to the above.

“The GPA scheme offers the players a major input into team selection,” commented O’Grady.

“The selection committee has put forward what it believes are the three best nominations for the various positions and the players will now make the ultimate choice and select their best player for the 15 individual places, no doubt creating debate and analysis of their selections as happens with all awards.”

Also announced yesterday were the nominations for the 2009 O’Neills/TG4 Women’s Football All Stars – with senior All-Ireland finalists Cork and Dublin also dominating here with 21 of the 45 nominations between them. These winners will be announced at a ceremony also at Citywest on Saturday, November 14th.

Cork’s five-in-a-row success helped secure them 12 nominations in total, and while Amy O’Shea and Ciara O’Sullivan are in line for their first All Stars, Juliet Murphy and Angela Walsh are going for their fourth and fifth awards respectively.

Dublin still put up a memorable display against Cork in this year’s senior final and are rewarded with nine players nominated, including goalkeeper Cliodhna O’Connor and captain Denise Masterson at midfield.

In total 12 counties are represented in the nominations; Mayo have four, with Golden Boot winner Cora Staunton going for number seven, while Kildare’s Noelle Earley has made it two football All Star nominations in one family, following her brother Dermot’s nomination last month. Galway secured four nominations and semi-finalists Monaghan have five.

Also, intermediate champions Clare have three nominations, Tyrone and Armagh have two each and Longford, Fermanagh, and Tipperary one apiece.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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