Prendergast and Roper win GPA awards

WATERFORD’S Seamus Prendergast and Brian Roper of Donegal have collected the first Opel Gaelic Player of the Month Awards for 2007 following their successes in the NHL and NFL finals.

New chairman of the football selection committee, Jack O’Connor, hailed the contribution of the long-serving Roper for his role in bringing a first league title to Donegal.

"Brian was a bundle of energy throughout the campaign and he was hugely influential in laying the foundation for the team’s success over Mayo in the final," said O’Connor.

"Brian is a real team player who is always willing to sacrifice his own game for the good of the team and on this occasion we saw that selfless side plus his ability to get scores. He fired over three valuable points from play in the first half and when the game was there to be won late on, he put his body on the line in the dramatic closing stages — a deserving winner for a loyal servant of Donegal football."

Chairman of the hurling selection committee, Donal O’Grady, praised the effort put in by Seamus Prendergast and his Deise colleagues.

"Waterford were a breath of fresh air in the league with the way they went about their business and Seamus Prendergast was at the core of their infectious enthusiasm. In the league semi-final against Cork, Seamus proved a handful in their rotating forward division. He was the same in the final against Kilkenny, in which he hit three points from play. What was particularly noticeable was the way he knuckled down to the task when the going got tough in the closing minutes. The steely resolve in which he fired over the clinching point in injury-time smacked of a man on a mission."

Dessie Farrell, chief executive of the GPA, said: "The victories of Donegal and Waterford were hugely exciting for both counties. I’m delighted to see Brian and Seamus honoured for their contributions in winning a national title."