Rebels outscore Cats in GPA team nominations

CORK hurlers have received 13 nominations for the GPA Hurling Team of the Year — four more than All-Ireland SHC champions, Kilkenny.

Cork also succeeded in having two players, Donal Óg Cusack and Ronan Curran shortlisted for the Gaelic Player of the Year.

Cats trio, Henry Shefflin, James Cha Fitzpatrick and Tommy Walsh are also on the shortlist.

The prize for the winner is an Opel car worth €25,000. Each player chosen on the team of the year will receive €2,500. The shortlist for the Opel Gaelic Team of the Year includes 45 players — three players for each position.

The shortlist contains players from nine counties including Clare, Waterford, Offaly, Wexford, Limerick, Galway and Westmeath.

The shortlists were drawn up by a selection committee consisting of Donal O’Grady (chairman), Cyril Farrell, Dominic McKinley and Michael Duignan.

The winners will be selected by GPA members, all of whom have been issued with voting cards.

Commenting on the shortfall of Kilkenny players nominated on the team of the year, county board chairman Ned Quinn said, as far as he was concerned the selection of teams at the end of a season are opinions of a relatively small group of people.

“If you change that group of people, you change the opinions. The most important thing as far as Kilkenny are concerned is that we are All-Ireland and National League champions for 2006, and nothing else matters.”

Chairman of the Hurling Selection Committee, Donal O’Grady, said: “These nominations include what the Hurling Selection Committee considered to be the three best players in each position which they occupied during the course of the year. This is an opportunity for players to recognise individual ability and endeavour on the field of play, and to acknowledge the premier occupants of the respective on-field positions during the season.”

Dessie Farrell, GPA chief executive said: “The inaugural Opel Gaelic Team of the Year for hurling will see 15 individuals selected from today’s nominations by their peers.

“We look forward to announcing the winners, in the company of 1,200 guests and the GPA membership, at our annual gala and awards evening on November 10.”

OPEL GAELIC TEAM OF THE YEAR FOR HURLING NOMINATIONS: 1. J McGarry (Kilkenny), D Fitzgerald (Clare), D Óg Cusack (Cork); 2. D Reale (Limerick), G O’Grady (Clare), E Murphy (Waterford); 3. P Curran (Tipperary), T Feeney (Waterford), D O’Sullivan (Cork); 4. B Murphy (Cork), K Rossiter (Wexford), F Lohan (Clare); 5. J Gardiner (Cork), E Corcoran (Tipperary) T Browne (Waterford); 6. R Curran (Cork), S McMahon (Clare), K McGrath (Waterford); 7. T Walsh (Kilkenny), M Foley (Limerick), S Óg Ó hAilpín (Cork); 8&9 J O’Connor (Cork), T Kenny (Cork), S McGrath (Tipperary), M Walsh (Waterford), J “Cha” Fitzpatrick (Kilkenny), D Lyng (Kilkenny); 10. D Shanahan (Waterford), E Brennan (Kilkenny), T McCarthy (Cork); 11. T Carmody (Clare), N McCarthy (Cork), H Shefflin (Kilkenny); 12. A Mitchell (Westmeath), E Larkin (Kilkenny), M Comerford (Kilkenny); 13. D Hayes (Galway), B O’Connor (Cork), J Mullane (Waterford); 14. B Corcoran (Cork), E Kelly (Tipperary), J Bergin (Offaly); 15. J Deane (Cork), T Griffin (Clare), A Fogarty (Kilkenny).

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