All 15 of Tipperary’s All- Ireland winning side have been nominated for All-Stars, the first time in over 20 years an entire hurling team have been honoured.
Since 1996, Wexford, Tipperary (2001 and ‘10), Kilkenny (2000, ‘08 and ‘11) and 2012 runners-up Galway have all picked up 14 acknowledgements but Michael Ryan’s team can claim to be the most honoured side in one season in that time period.
On top of the county’s five football nominations revealed yesterday, it marks a remarkable year for Tipperary GAA.
Seamus Callanan and Pádraic Maher, aiming for his fourth All-Star, are in the shake-up for hurler of the year alongside Waterford ace Austin Gleeson who is considered for both the senior and young hurler of the year accolades.
Callanan will be aiming to make it a third time lucky having been among the best trio the past two seasons. Gleeson will be hoping to repeat Tony Kelly’s double feat of 2013. In the U21 bracket, he has for company team-mate Shane Bennett and Pádraic Maher’s younger brother Ronan, who starred at centre-back this year.
Interestingly, Kilkenny received one less nomination than Division 1 and Munster runners-up Waterford who they beat in an All-Ireland semi-final replay. In 2009 and 2012, winners Kilkenny picked up more honours than the team they beat in the final, Tipperary and Galway respectively. It is the first time since 2008 semi-finalists have been acknowledged more than the finalists – back then, Waterford claimed five compared to Tipperary’s nine and Cork’s seven. Waterford’s total was the same as Clare’s, the Banner losing to Cork in that year’s All-Ireland quarter-final. Both in 2010 and ’13, All-Ireland semi-finalists Dublin earned the same number of nominations as the team that beat them, Tipp and Cork, respectively.
Four of Kilkenny’s seven 2015 All-Stars are included this time around – Cillian Buckley, Richie Hogan, Paul Murphy and TJ Reid. Their other inclusions are Eoin Murphy, Conor Fogarty, Padraic and Walter Walsh. Waterford’s Michael Walsh will be hoping for a fourth All-Star, Noel Connors his third and Tadhg de Búrca and Kevin Moran their second. Pauric Mahony is a most deserved nominee after returning from his horrific leg injury last season.
Galway are represented in all sections of the field from 2015 All-Star goalkeeper Colm Callanan to top forward Joe Canning who currently has three All-Stars . Of the six Tribesmen, full-back Daithí Burke and captain and midfielder David Burke are anticipated to be the county’s best chances of inclusion in the final 15.
Three of Division 1 champions Clare are included – joint-captains Cian Dillon and Tony Kelly as well as Colm Galvin. Wexford’s feats against Offaly and Cork are noted with the addition of captain Matthew O’Hanlon and Lee Chin. There are also nods to Limerick’s impressive half-back Diarmuid Byrnes as well as Cork corner forward Alan Cadogan who was scintillating against Tipperary and Dublin this season. It is Cadogan’s second nomination having previously received a nod in 2014.
In total, eight counties are included in the chosen 45. But it is Tipperary who are rightly expected to pick up the lion’s share of the awards when they are announced on November 3, a day prior to the annual All-Stars banquet in Dublin’s Convention Centre. Darren Gleeson, Patrick Maher and John O’Dwyer were previously honoured in 2014 as was Michael Cahill in ’11 and Brendan Maher and Noel McGrath are looking for their third awards.
Cathal Barrett is in line to pick up his first gong having been confirmed as young hurler of the season two years ago and James Barry picks up his second successive nomination.
Michael Breen, Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher, Dan McCormack and John McGrath are first-time nominees. All three goalkeepers were shortlisted last year.
The trio are among 28 to be shortlisted for a second successive year, the others being Kelly (Clare); Daithí Burke, David Burke, Canning, Padraig Mannion (Galway); Buckley, Fogarty, Hogan, Murphy, Reid and Pádraic Walsh (Kilkenny); Barrett, Barry, Callanan, Brendan Maher, Pádraic Maher, O’Dwyer (Tipperary) and Jamie Barron, Connors, de Búrca, Gleeson, Shane Fives, Philip Mahony, Moran and Walsh (Waterford).
Hurling All Stars nominations
2016 Opel GAA-GPA All-Star Hurling Nominations
Goalkeepers: Colm Callanan (Galway); Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny), Darren Gleeson (Tipperary).
Defenders: Cian Dillon (Clare); Daithí Burke, Pádraig Mannion (Galway); Cillian Buckley, Paul Murphy, Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny); Diarmuid Byrnes (Limerick); Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Michael Cahill, Seamus Kennedy, Pádraic Maher, Ronan Maher (Tipperary); Noel Connors, Tadhg de Burca, Shane Fives, Philip Mahony (Waterford); Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford).
Midfielders: David Burke (Galway), Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny); Michael Breen, Brendan Maher (Tipperary); Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran (Waterford).
Forwards: Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly (Clare), Alan Cadogan (Cork); Joe Canning, Conor Cooney (Galway); Richie Hogan, TJ Reid, Walter Walsh (Kilkenny); Seamus Callanan, Patrick Maher, Dan McCormack, John McGrath, Noel McGrath, JohnO’Dwyer (Tipperary); Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony, Michael Walsh (Waterford); Lee Chin (Wexford).
County breakdown: Tipperary 15; Waterford 9; Kilkenny 8; Galway 6; Clare 3; Wexford 2; Cork 1; Limerick 1.
Hurler of the year: Seamus Callanan (Tipperary), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary).
Young hurler of the year: Shane Bennett (Waterford), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Ronan Maher (Tipperary).
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