Nominee for top award misses GPA team cut

KERRY’S Tomás Ó Sé was surprisingly omitted from the Opel GPA football Team of the Year despite being shortlisted for the Player of the Year award.

The experienced Kingdom defender along with team-mate Declan O’Sullivan and Tyrone duo Sean Cavanagh and Brian Dooher were the quartet shortlisted to be GPA Player of the Year.

But while O’Sullivan, Cavanagh and Dooher made the 15 man GPA selection, as voted for by 547 inter-county players, Ó Sé was beaten to the number five jersey by Tyrone’s Davy Harte.

The Kerry man’s omission was one of five differences between the GPA selection and the recently named Vodafone sponsored GAA team which is chosen by the media.

GPA Selection Committee Chairman Jack O’Connor, who managed Ó Sé to All-Ireland titles in 2004 and 2006, accepted that the An Ghaeltacht man was unlucky to be left out.

“Tomás Ó Sé could be a consideration, he had a great year but then again so did Davy Harte who maybe caught the eye in that he went forward and scored a lot,” said O’Connor, who revealed he was disappointed at Kerry’s lowly tally of three on the team.

That was three more than either Munster champions Cork or Leinster winners Dublin got though while Connacht champions Galway have just one player named in forward Michael Meehan.

There is some solace at least for Kerry fans and indeed the Ó Sé clan with Tomás’ big brother, Darragh, named at midfield having missed out on an All Star in what could be his final season.

He’s named alongside Tyrone’s Enda McGinley in a position that went to Dublin’s Shane Ryan on the All Star selection.

“I think Enda McGinley was a shoe in which left debate only in one (midfield) position,” said GPA Chief Executive and former Dublin forward Dessie Farrell.

“Darragh gets the nod here in this instance. In the voting system the likes of Marty McGrath of Fermanagh polled very well too.

“There wasn’t a very clear cut choice outside of Enda McGinley and, as I said, Darragh got the nod.”

Voting for the GPA team differs from the All Star selection in that players cannot be picked out of position and just three candidates are shortlisted for each position. Wexford keeper Anthony Masterson and Tyrone’s Ryan McMenamin at wing-back differ from the All Stars along with Ó Sé’s selection at midfield.

Up front Tyrone’s Joe McMahon and Michael Meehan of Galway are selected with All Stars Kieran Donaghy and Ronan Clarke overlooked while Wexford’s in form forward Matty Forde didn’t make either of the teams.

In general, O’Connor said it was a slow burning season that didn’t pick up in standard for some months.

“I thought the championship started off slowly and that there was no real cut and thrust until the knockout stages and the quarter-finals,” he said.

“But it really picked up then and we had some tremendous games.

“The Kerry/Galway game was unforgettable because it had everything. It had some tremendous scores and the second-half under lights was played in a monsoon which was pretty unique.

“The emergence of Wexford was the big thing in football this year. It was great for the game and great to see a young manager coming along who hadn’t previous inter-county experience and doing a tremendous job. It just shows that you don’t have to be a legend to manage a team.”


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