The official nominees for the 2008 Opel Gaelic Players Awards for hurling have been announced today by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny receiving the most nominations.
The shortlists were drawn up by a selection committee headed up by chairman Donal O’Grady. The winners will be selected by GPA members, all of whom will be issued with voting cards.
The three nominees for the Opel Gaelic Player of the Year as chosen by the hurling selection committee are: Eddie Brennan (Kilkenny), Shane McGrath (Tipperary) and Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny).
The Opel Gaelic Team of the Year shortlist, featuring three players for each position, reflects the most successful counties in this year’s championship with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny receiving a total of 13 nominations.
All Ireland semi-finalists Tipperary received nine nominations while losing All-Ireland finalists Waterford received four. Clare received six nominations, Cork five and Offaly three. Wexford and Dublin both received two nominations each with Galway’s Joe Canning the sole Tribesman to be nominated for an award.
Commenting on the announcement, chairman of the hurling selection committee Donal O’Grady said: "These type of awards are entirely subjective and don’t always attract universal approval but the over-riding aim is to get the best 15 players for the 15 individual positions.
"Those of us on the committee feel that objective can be achieved from the 45 players we have chosen for the nominations."
The shortlist in full for the 2008 Opel Gaelic Team of the Year:
1. Brendan Cummins (Tipperary), Clinton Hennessy (Waterford), PJ Ryan (Kilkenny)
2. Shane O’Neill (Cork), Michael Kavanagh (Kilkenny), Pat Vaughan (Clare)
3. Paul Curran (Tipperary), Noel Hickey (Kilkenny), David Kenny (Offaly)
4. Jackie Tyrell (Kilkenny), Brian Murphy (Cork), Conor O’Brien (Tipperary)
5. Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Michael Jacob (Wexford), Tony Browne (Waterford)
6. Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary), Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), Ronan Fallon (Dublin)
7. JJ Delaney (Kilkenny), Sean Óg Ó hAilpín (Cork), Shane Maher (Tipperary)
8. & 9. Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Derek Lyng (Kilkenny), Tom Kenny (Cork), James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick (Kilkenny), Brian O’Connell (Clare), Colin Lynch (Clare)
10. Ben O’Connor (Cork), Niall Gilligan (Clare), Brian Carroll (Offaly)
11. Seamus Callinan (Tipperary), Diarmuid McMahon (Clare), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
12. Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny), Jonathan Clancy (Clare), Stephen Doyle (Wexford)
13. Eddie Brennan (Kilkenny), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary), David O’Callaghan (Dublin)
14. Eoin Kelly (Waterford), Lar Corbett (Tipperary), Joe Bergin (Offaly)
15. John Mullane (Waterford), Aidan Fogarty (Kilkenny), Joe Canning (Galway)