For the first time since the inception of individual hurler and footballer of the year prizes in 1995, the two winners at last night’s ceremony in Dublin’s Convention Centre came from counties which hadn’t won the All-Ireland in either code.
Waterford’s Austin Gleeson scooped the double of Hurler of The Year and Young Hurler of The Year, matching the achievement of Clare’s Tony Kenny in 2013.
He joins fellow Déise natives Tony Browne (1998) and Dan Shanahan (2007) as being the only non-All-Ireland-winners to receive the award.
“It’s a huge honour,” he said, “there were 30 great players in the All-Ireland final and to even be nominated was brilliant.
“Two years ago we learned from defeat, and this year we’ll try to learn from defeat,” he said.
“Hopefully we can push on in 2017 and with Derek McGrath behind us, who knows that can happen?
“The people in Waterford have the belief in us and hopefully we can make that happen.”
Lee Keegan became the first Mayo man to win the Footballer of The Year Award, having earlier been honoured with his fourth All-Star.
Westport wing-back Keegan was the first player since Bernard Brogan in 2010 to take the top prize despite not playing for the county which had won the Sam Maguire Cup.
He expressed the view that criticism of Mayo since the All-Ireland replay defeat hadn’t affected the panel.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, that’s what they get paid for,” he said.
“I don’t get paid, so I keep quiet. It’s disappointing to lose, but we have to come back and re-assess. There’s an ambitious group there.”
Making it a Mayo double, Diarmuid O’Connor followed in a family tradition as he claimed the Young Footballer of The Year Award for the second year running.
Since the inception of this accolade, only O’Connor’s older brother, Cillian, had managed to achieve a two in a row, in 2011 and ’12.
“I think I said the same thing last year,” he said, “I’d give it all in for an All-Ireland medal. This was slightly better in that I played in a final, but it’s still always disappointing when you don’t win.”
Gleeson was the second successive Waterford winner of the young player prize, with colleague Tadhg de Búrca the recipient in 2015.
The All-Star football team
1. David Clarke (Mayo).
2. Brendan Harrison (Mayo).
3. Jonny Cooper (Dublin).
4. Philly McMahon (Dublin).
5. Lee Keegan (Mayo).
6. Colm Boyle (Mayo).
7. Ryan McHugh (Donegal).
8. Brian Fenton (Dublin).
9. Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone).
10. Peter Harte (Tyrone).
11. Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin).
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin).
13. Dean Rock (Dublin).
14. Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary).
15. Paul Geaney (Kerry).
YOUNG FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR:
Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo).
FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR:
Lee Keegan (Mayo).
The All-Star hurling team
1. Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny).
2. Cathal Barrett (Tipperary).
3. James Barry (Tipperary).
4. Daithí Burke (Galway).
5. Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny).
6. Ronan Maher (Tipperary).
7. Pádraic Maher (Tipperary).
8. Jamie Barron (Waterford).
9. David Burke (Galway).
10. Walter Walsh (Kilkenny).
11. Austin Gleeson (Waterford).
12. Patrick Maher (Tipperary).
13. Richie Hogan (Kilkenny).
14. Séamus Callanan (Tipperary).
15. John McGrath (Tipperary).
YOUNG HURLER OF THE YEAR:
Austin Gleeson (Waterford).
HURLER OF THE YEAR:
Austin Gleeson (Waterford).
ALL STAR FOOTBALL TEAMS 1. David Clarke (Mayo).2. Brendan Harrison (Mayo).3. Jonny Cooper (Dublin).4. Philly McMahon (Dublin).5. Lee Keegan (Mayo).6. Colm Boyle (Mayo).7. Ryan McHugh (Donegal).8. Brian Fenton (Dublin).9. Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone).10. Peter Harte (Tyrone).11. Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin).12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin).13. Dean Rock (Dublin).14. Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary).15. Paul Geaney (Kerry).
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