Cork miss out on top GPA award

ALL-IRELAND football champions Cork have received just nine nominations — and none for Player of the Year — in the short list for the Opel/GPA Team of the Year.

Beaten finalists Down have reason to grumble also, with just five of their players making the 45-strong nominations list.

Down do at least have a player nominated for Player of the Year, Benny Coulter, who will compete against Dublin’s Bernard Brogan and Kildare’s John Doyle, compared to the complete blackout of Rebels on this list.

Michael Shields made the GAA Vodafone All Stars short list for Player of the Year while Cork, in all, had 11 players nominated for All Stars.

Of course, the amount of nominees will quickly be forgotten if Cork equal or surpass the amount of actual All Stars they received earlier this month.

But it hardly bodes well that three players — Noel O’Leary, Nicholas Murphy and Paul Kerrigan — didn’t even make the GPA shortlist.

The only Cork player to feature among the GPA nominations who didn’t make the All Stars long list is, intriguingly, defender Eoin Cadogan who returned for the All-Ireland semi-final and final after spending much of the championship on hurling duty.

The reduction in nominations for both Cork and Down does mean at least that there are openings for players for other counties.

Ten of the 45 players on the GPA’s list of nominees weren’t included in the All Stars discussions. They are; Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), Seanie McDermott (Roscommon), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Stephen Lavin(Limerick), Conor Gormley (Tyrone), Damien Freeman (Monaghan), Daryl Flynn (Kildare), Dick Clerkin (Monaghan), Alan Costello (Sligo) and Steven McDonnell (Armagh).

In turn, those who made the All Stars long list but not the GPA’s are; Pascal McConnell (Tyrone), Dan Gordon (Down), Marc O Se (Kerry), Noel O’Leary (Cork), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Kalum King (Down), Nicholas Murphy (Cork), PaulKerrigan (Cork), Seamus Kenny (Meath) and Padraic Joyce (Galway).

Kildare’s Eamon Callaghan features on both selections but is named among the All Stars defenders while he’s included in the nominees at number 11 in the GPA list. The selectionpolicy differs as the All Star awards are picked by journalists while the GPA short list was drawn up by a selection committee headed by chairman and Donegal legend Martin McHugh.

The GPA Team of the Year will be picked by inter-county players and announced at the GPA gala evening at Dublin’s City West Hotel on November 5.

Meanwhile, the Leinster Council has announced its provisional dates and venues for next year’s senior football and hurling championship games in the province.

2011 Leinster championship dates and venues: Leinster SFC: May 22, Rd 1: Kildare v Wicklow; Laois v Longford, Portlaoise. May 28, Rd 1: Wexford v Offaly, Tullamore. June 5, quarter-finals: Meath v Kildare/Wicklow; Dublin v Laois/Longford, Croke Park. June 12, quarter-finals: Westmeath v Wexford/ Offaly; Carlow v Louth (venue to be decided). June 26, semi-finals: Kildare/ Wicklow/ Meath v Dublin/Laois/Longford; Wexford/ Offaly/Westmeath v Carlow/ Louth, Croke Park. July 10,final: Croke Park.

Leinster SHC May 15, Rd 1: Laois v Antrim, Portlaoise; Carlow v Westmeath, DrCullen Park. May 29: quarter-finals: Wexford v Laois/ Antrim, Portlaoise/Wexford; Dublin v Offaly, Parnell Park. June 4, quarter-final: Carlow/Westmeath v Galway, Dr Cullen Park or Mullingar. June 18, semi-final: Kilkenny v Antrim/Laois/Wexford (Venue tbd). June 19, semi-final: Carlow/ Westmeath/Galway v Dublin/Offaly (Venue tbd). July 3, final: Croke Park.

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