All-Ireland champions Tyrone emulate Limerick with 15 All Star nominations

Tyrone duo Meyler and McGeary face challenge from Mayo’s Keegan for Footballer of the Year

Cathal McShane is nominated for an All Star despite not starting a game for Tyrone such was his impact off the bench. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cathal McShane is nominated for an All Star despite not starting a game for Tyrone such was his impact off the bench. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

All-Ireland football champions Tyrone have emulated their hurling counterparts Limerick by securing 15 nominations in this year’s PwC All Stars long list for 2021. The Ulster champions haven’t quite the same prospects as Limerick, given that seven of their players have been nominated for six positions in defence.

This is a reflection of the fluidities of the champions’ game, which saw several Tyrone players moving between the half backs and half forwards with effortless versatility.

For instance Conor Meyler performed a superb man-marking job on Kerry’s Paudie Clifford in the All-Ireland semi-final before reverting to a more conventional wing-forward role in the final, which included laying on a brilliantly weighted ball for Cathal McShane to score Tyrone’s first goal.

McShane makes a bit of history by getting nominated despite not starting a match, such was his influence off the bench from which he scored goals in both the All-Ireland semi-final and final.

He follows in the footsteps of other replacements whose championships were so influential that they were deemed worthy of All Star nominations, such as Dublin’s Kevin McManamon, whose goal turned the 2011 All-Ireland final against Kerry and Maurice Fitzgerald, whose performances when controversially at the time omitted from the starting team throughout the championship, played a major role in Kerry’s 2000 All-Ireland success.

McManamon had started one of Dublin’s championship matches, against Laois.

Meyler is also rewarded with a nomination for Footballer of the Year together with team-mate Kieran McGeary, another who spent his season switching between wing forward and the half backs. The third nomination goes to Mayo’s Lee Keegan, who was the county’s best player in the All-Ireland semi-final and final.

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan may be accounted unlucky to not to be shortlisted for FOTY after an exceptionally good season, culminating in a terrific performance in the All-Ireland final. He is nominated for an All Star together with Rob Hennelly (Mayo) and Rory Beggan (Monaghan).

Both of Tyrone’s centrefielders Brian Kennedy and Conn Kilpatrick are nominated.

Mayo’s representation in the nominations falls from 12 to eight despite being beaten finalists in both years.

There is a more precipitous fall for last year’s six-in-a-row All-Ireland winners Dublin. They secured 13 nominations last season – and a joint-record nine awards – which this time around declines to five.

The other beaten semi-finalists Kerry have seven, including the Clifford brothers, twice honoured David and his older brother Paudie, for whom it is a first nomination.

The O’Neill brothers from Armagh are also both nominated, Oisín at centrefield and Rian in the forwards. There is also recognition for outstanding individual performances on teams that didn’t feature in the later stages. Clare’s Eoin Cleary is listed among the forwards whereas Seán Meehan from Cork is included after a great season that saw him keep David Clifford scoreless in the Munster football final.

The 2020 Young Footballer of the Year Oisín Mullin is again shortlisted, together with Galway’s Matthew Tierney and rising Tyrone star, Darragh Canavan.

This is the 50th anniversary of the All Stars.

“The idea of these All Star awards came from the journalists and won the immediate imprimatur of the Central Council,” said then association president Pat Fanning, at the launch of the scheme in August 1971.

“It is indicative of the journalists’ commitment to the GAA that they should undertake the organisation and the preparation of the entire operation. They have found willing allies in PJ Carroll and Company through whose generous sponsorship a fine idea becomes a reality.”

“ The nominations were chosen by a panel correspondents from across, print, radio, TV and digital media, chaired by GAA president Larry McCarthy. The PwC All-Stars for Football 2021 will be announced live on the night of the awards which will be held on December 10th. The presentation will take place in a televised ceremony.

2021 PwC All Star Football Nominees

Goalkeepers: Niall Morgan (Tyrone), Robert Hennelly (Mayo), Rory Beggan (Monaghan).

Backs: Pádraig Hampsey (Tyrone), Peter Harte (Tyrone), Michael McKernan (Tyrone), Frank Burns (Tyrone), Ronan McNamee (Tyrone), Kieran McGeary (Tyrone), Conor Meyler (Tyrone), Stephen Coen (Mayo), Patrick Durcan (Mayo), Lee Keegan (Mayo), Pádraig O’Hora (Mayo), Brian Ó Beaglaoich (Kerry), Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry), Gavin White (Kerry), Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin), Brian Howard (Dublin), Seán Meehan (Cork), Ryan McAnespie (Monaghan).

Centrefielders: Brian Kennedy (Tyrone), Conn Kilpatrick (Tyrone), Matthew Ruane (Mayo), David Moran (Kerry), Oisín O’Neill (Armagh), Brian Fenton (Dublin).

Forwards: Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Conor McKenna (Tyrone), Niall Sludden (Tyrone), Darren McCurry (Tyrone), Cathal McShane (Tyrone), Tommy Conroy (Mayo), Ryan O’Donoghue (Mayo), David Clifford (Kerry), Paudie Clifford (Kerry), Seán O’Shea (Kerry), Cormac Costello (Dublin), Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin), Jack McCarron (Monaghan), Daniel Flynn (Kildare), Michael Langan (Donegal), Rian O’Neill (Armagh), Eoin Cleary (Clare), Shane Walsh (Galway).

PwC Footballer of the Year nominees

Conor Meyler (Tyrone), Kieran McGeary (Tyrone), Lee Keegan (Mayo).

PwC Young Footballer of the Year nominees

Matthew Tierney (Galway), Oisín Mullin (Mayo), Darragh Canavan (Tyrone).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.