Eight Clare men claim hurling All-Stars
Eight members of Clare's 2013 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship title-winning team have won places on the 2013 GAA/GPA All-Stars Hurling team, it has been confirmed.
Following their final replay heroics against Cork, David McInerney, Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, Tony Kelly, Pádraic Collins and Conor McGrath have all been selected in the 15 to round off a memorable year for the Banner men.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Cork and the team they defeated in the semi-final, Dublin, have each earned three spots on the team. Limerick's Richie McCarthy completes the team, meaning that only players from the four semi-finalists are included.
In all, there are a total of 12 first time recipients with Anthony Nash, Brendan Bugler and Liam Rushe the only previous award winners to make the cut after what has been a hugely memorable 2013 inter-county hurling season.
Most notably, no less than five Under-21 hurlers are included – McInerney, Galvin, Kelly and Collins from U-21 All-Ireland winners Clare who are joined by Danny Sutcliffe from Dublin.
It is a proud day for the hurlers of Dublin, the reigning Leinster champions, who have enjoyed their best ever All-Stars return in the small ball code - the Dubs' three 2013 winners beat their two All-Stars from 2011 (Rushe and goalkeeper Gary Maguire.
GAA President Liam Ó Néill said: "This year's hurling selection was of particular interest to hurling followers everywhere after the incredible year we had.
"The players who have made the final cut can take particular satisfaction on doing so in a season of stiff competition as new teams and players emerged – something evidenced in the final make up of the team.
"I congratulate all 15 players – and those who were nominated too – as their inclusion further underlines their roles as excellent ambassadors through their commitment and dedication to the pursuit of excellence.
"I would also like to acknowledge the role of our partners the GPA and sponsors Opel whose support is highly valued. Finally, thanks also to the journalists who select the teams and who continue a proud tradition that stretches back to 1971."
GPA Chief Executive Officer Dessie Farrell added: "Congratulations to the 15 hurlers chosen on this year's GAA/GPA All-Stars team, sponsored by Opel. It was a truly exceptional hurling Championship and the individual players honoured today can be very proud of their contribution to that season.
"Unsurprisingly, Clare dominate the selection after their epic journey this summer which brought so much skill, colour, drama and excitement to the game.
"I'd like to thank our sponsors Opel and in particular MD of Opel Ireland, Dave Sheeran, for his generous support of the awards scheme. Thanks also to Liam Ó Néill, Páraic Duffy and the GAA for their efforts in ensuring the continued success of the GAA GPA All-Stars.
"Also thanks to the committee of journalists for carrying out the difficult work of selecting the 2013 Hurling Team and for putting forward the nominees for the Player of the Year awards which will be chosen by the players and announced on Friday's live broadcast from Croke Park on RTÉ television."
The football All-Stars selection will be announced live on television on Friday evening as will the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year winners in both codes.
Post show party tickets are being sold to the public for the first time ever at a price of €35 from www.gaa.ie. This will be the first time Croke Park has ever staged the All-Stars banquet.
In addition to mingling with the players on the night, entertainment will be provided by Hermitage Green and DJs Jenny Greene and Eamon Fennell.2013 GAA/GPA ALL-STARS HURLING TEAM (SPONSORED BY OPEL):
1.Anthony Nash (Cork)
2. Richie McCarthy (Limerick)
3. Peter Kelly (Dublin)
4. David McInerney (Clare)
5. Brendan Bugler (Clare)
6. Liam Rushe (Dublin)
7. Patrick Donnellan (Clare)
8. Colm Galvin (Clare)
9. Conor Ryan (Clare)
Half Forwards -
10. Séamus Harnedy (Cork)
11. Tony Kelly (Clare)
12. Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin)
13. Pádraic Collins (Clare)
14. Patrick Horgan (Cork)
15. Conor McGrath (Clare)