Farrell lashes out over Sigerson team shortlist

Ulster Higher Education GAA Chairman John Farrell has criticised the selection committee for the Ulster Bank Sigerson Team of the Century, over their decision to shortlist just three players from the last decade of the competition for nomination, and for failing to consult with colleges in their endeavours.

Ulster Higher Education GAA Chairman John Farrell has criticised the selection committee for the Ulster Bank Sigerson Team of the Century, over their decision to shortlist just three players from the last decade of the competition for nomination, and for failing to consult with colleges in their endeavours.

The shortlist of 60 players was unveiled yesterday by Higher Education Chairman Ray O'Brien in Croke Park, with Dublin's Bryan Cullen, Paul Finlay of Monaghan and Galway's Michael Meehan the only players of recent vintage in contention for the final fifteen.

Farrell, who is also UUJ GAA Club President, congratulated all those nominated, but says that the consultation process with colleges was almost nonexistent.

"First of all we would like to congratulate anybody who eventually gets honoured, but we would point out that nobody in the colleges, and I can only speak for Jordanstown and Ulster - nobody was consulted in terms of nominations for this," he said.

"It is a pity that CA (Comhairle Ardoideachais) didn't listen to clubs when they were asked to consider to have a team of the first 50 years, and then a team of the second 50 years.

"What we are going to have now is a situation where a lot of people will not be alive to receive awards."

He added: "I don't know how they picked these players, because there is nobody alive who would ever remember them.

"I think it would have been far better if they had picked two teams, each covering a 50-year period. Some of the nominations I find extremely strange."

Farrell feels that while it is important to have special events for the Sigerson Centenary, CA have lost their focus a bit on the important issues surrounding colleges competitions.

"There was considerable money set aside for the Sigerson Cup competition centenary anniversary, which should be celebrated in some way.

"However, I think this particular way of having a centenary team is not a good one. It would have been better served having some of more poignant celebration for the people who are actually playing at the moment, and who are going to play in the future."

Farrell's college UUJ have just two players shortlisted for honours, with Derry's Sean Marty Lockhart and Down's DJ Kane nominated, while their Belfast rivals Queen's University have seven nominees, including 2002 All-Ireland winning captain Kieran McGeeney.

UCD dominate the nominees with 22 players shortlisted, while UCC and UCG have 13 each. Meanwhile, St. Mary's Belfast, DCU, IT Tralee, NUI Maynooth and IT Sligo complete the shortlist with one nominee each.

The chosen team will be announced next month, on a separate date to the CA Championship Draws which take place on December 8.

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