Canning and Earley win GPA Fair Play Awards

Canning and Earley win GPA Fair Play Awards

Galway hurler Joe Canning and Kildare footballer Dermot Earley have been announced as the 2009 Halifax GPA Fair Play Award winners.

Even before entering the senior inter-county ranks, Canning's reputation as an outstanding talent was already well established, winning minor and U-21 All-Irelands with his county and playing a pivotal role in Portumna's All-Ireland successes.

Since making his senior debut with Galway, Canning has confirmed that potential with dazzling scoring displays.

However, despite still being only 21, Joe has also emerged as a role model for young hurlers, his consistency of performance and attitude on and off the field has made him an enormous asset to the sport.

Kildare veteran Earley has a long-standing reputation for fairness and consistency on the football field.

During the National League earlier this year, Dermot was red carded for the first time in his 13-year senior inter-county career with the Lilywhites but was subsequently cleared of the sending-off on video evidence, restoring his remarkable record for a county footballer.

Earley also cemented his reputation this year as a consistent performer for his county, earning the acknowledgement of his fellow players in the 2009 Gaelic Player Awards.

Speaking at the announcement, GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell said: "While it is important for everyone involved in our sports to emphasise the positive as well as highlighting the negative, the GPA was inundated with suggestions from players for Fair Play award winners this year, reflecting well on the playing body as a whole.

"However, winners had to be chosen and after deliberating over a shortlist drawn up from suggestions from players, Joe and Dermot were picked out by our selection committee and we were happy that both players stood out and deserve great credit for their contributions this year."

Recipients of the Halifax GPA Fair Play Awards will each receive €5,000.

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