Dublin’s Siobhán McGrath named Players’ Player of the Year
All-Ireland champions lead the way with seven women’s football All Star awards
Players’ Player of the Year Siobhán McGrath (centre) with fellow Dublin All Stars (from left) Olwen Carey, Carla Rowe, Lyndsey Davey and Niamh Collins at the Women’s Football All Stars Awards banquet in Dublin. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.
Dublin’s Siobhán McGrath was named as the 2019 TG4 Senior Players’ Player of the Year at the annual All Star banquet on Saturday night.
McGrath was superb throughout the season as Dublin went on to claim a third successive All-Ireland Senior Championship title in front of a record 56,114 attendance at Croke Park on September 15th.
Thomas Davis star McGrath (31), also claimed a fourth All Star award on the night, following on from previous successes in 2009, 2010 and 2018.
McGrath was the popular choice of her peers to claim the Senior Players’ Player of the Year award, beating off stiff competition from Dublin team-mate Sinéad Goldrick and Galway’s Louise Ward, who also won All Stars on the night.
It’s the third successive year that a Dublin player has won the Players’ Player of the Year award, following wins for Noelle Healy in 2017 and captain Sinéad Aherne in 2018.
Dublin led the way with seven representatives on the 2019 Women’s All Star team. Dublin’s haul matches their all-time best which they also achieved last year.
Goldrick won a seventh All Star in eight years, and there was a fifth award for team-mate Lyndsey Davey, who was Player of the Match against Galway in the All-Ireland Final. Another Dublin star, Carla Rowe, claimed a third award.
Galway defender Sinéad Burke and Cork forward Orla Finn, who was joint top scorer in the championship, both collected second awards. The selection was also noteworthy for the presence of Galway twin sisters Nicola and Louise Ward.
Nicola and Louise are the first set of twin sisters named in an All Star team since Waterford’s O’Ryan twins, Martina and Geraldine, back in 1992.
It’s also the third successive year that sisters have been named on an All Star selection as the Hegartys from Donegal, Ciara and Niamh, were listed on the 2017 team, while the O’Sullivans from Cork, Ciara and Doireann, were honoured last year.
There were nine first-time winners on the team, including Dublin’s Niamh Collins, Olwen Carey and Niamh McEvoy. Monica McGuirk earned the goalkeeping spot for her exploits with Meath, who contested the All-Ireland Intermediate Final, and it was also a first All Star for the Royal County since 2011, when another goalkeeper, Irene Munnelly, was honoured.
The other first-time recipients were Melissa Duggan (Cork), the Ward sisters, Tracey Leonard, the Galway captain, and Mayo’s Rachel Kearns.
In total, four players survived from the 2018 team – Dublin trio Goldrick, McGrath and Davey, and Galway’s Burke.
It was also confirmed on the night that the 2020 TG4 All Star Tour will visit Austin, Texas, in the United States, with the tour scheduled for March 31-April 8.
The Intermediate Players’ Player of the Year award went to Tipperary’s Aishling Moloney. The 21-year-old Cahir star was named as Player of the Match in the All-Ireland Intermediate Final as Tipperary lifted the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup for the second time in three years.
While Fermanagh may have lost the All-Ireland Junior Final against Louth at Croke Park, 18-year-old Eimear Smyth was voted by her peers as the Junior Players’ Player of the Year.
2019 TG4 WOMEN’S FOOTBALL ALL STAR TEAM:
1. Monica McGuirk (Meath) - 1st award
2. Sinéad Burke (Galway) - 2nd award
3. Niamh Collins (Dublin) - 1st award
4. Melissa Duggan (Cork) - 1st award
5. Nicola Ward (Galway) - 1st award
6. Sinéad Goldrick (Dublin) - 7th award
7. Olwen Carey (Dublin) - 1st award
8. Louise Ward (Galway) - 1st award
9. Siobhán McGrath (Dublin) - 4th award
10. Carla Rowe (Dublin) - 3rd award
11. Niamh McEvoy (Dublin) - 1st award
12. Lyndsey Davey (Dublin) - 5th award
13. Tracey Leonard (Galway) - 1st award
14. Rachel Kearns (Mayo) - 1st award
15. Orla Finn (Cork) - 2nd award