Donegal receive nine All-Star nominations with Neil McGee short-listed for Player of the Year

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Donegal receive nine All-Star nominations with Neil McGee short-listed for Player of the Year
Donegal have received nine nominations for the GAA GPA Opel All-Star awards, with the winners to be announced later this month.

Donegal have received nine nominations for the GAA GPA Opel All-Star awards, with the winners to be announced later this month.

Gaoth Dobhair full-back Neil McGee has also made the three-man shortlist for Footballer of the Year, alongside Kerry’s James O’Donoghue and Diarmuid Connolly from Dubin.

Kilcar have two representatives in the running for the Young Footballer of the Year, with Ryan McHugh and Paddy McBrearty vying for the honour with Galway’s Shane Walsh.

For the All-Stars, there are three names in with a shout for the one spot in goals and then three from the six nominees for each line on the field.

Four Masters’ Paul Durcan is short-listed for the position of goalkeeper, with Neil and Eamon McGee from Gaoth Dobhair both competing for spots in the full-back line.

Frank McGlynn from Glenfin is listed among the half-back nominees and Donegal have two hoping for a berth at centre-field; Odhran MacNiallais from Gaoth Dobhair and Neil Gallagher of Glenswilly.

Michael Murphy, also a clubman of Glenswilly, is one of the six half-forwards, as is Ryan McHugh from Kilcar.

McHugh’s Kilcar teammate Paddy McBrearty is fighting for a spot on the full-forward line.

Recently crowned All-Ireland champions Kerry lead the way with 11 nominations and are followed by Donegal who, along with Dublin, earn nine.

Jim McGuinness led Donegal to a third Ulster championship in his four years in charge.

Donegal then defeated Armagh and Dublin to reach a second All-Ireland final in three seasons, where they went down 2-9 to 0-12 against Kerry.

McGuinness, last Friday, stepped aside from his position and the search for a successor is now underway.

Connacht champions Mayo receive six and Monaghan’s season is acknowledged by the inclusion of four of their players on the shortlist of 45.

In all 10 of the players who received awards last year are nominated.

The nominations and the short lists for the Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year are selected by GAA journalists.

The GPA membership will vote on the short lists for the two individual awards and all of the awards will be presented at the annual All-Stars banquet which takes place in the Convention Centre in Dublin on Friday October 24.

2014 All-Star nominations

Goalkeepers: Paul Durcan (Donegal), Rory Beggan (Monaghan), Stephen Cluxton (Dublin).

Full backs: Fionn Fitzgerald and Paul Murphy (Kerry), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Éamon McGee and Neil McGee (Donegal), Andy Mallon (Armagh), Rory O’Carroll and Philip McMahon (Dublin), Drew Wylie (Monaghan).

Half backs: Aidan O’Mahony and Peter Crowley (Kerry) Jonny Cooper and James McCarthy (Dublin), Frank McGlynn (Donegal), Dessie Mone (Monaghan), Colin O’Riordan (Tipperary), Colm Boyle and Lee Keegan (Mayo).

Midfield: Neil Gallagher and Odhrán MacNiallais (Donegal), Michael Darragh Macauley (Dublin), Anthony Maher and David Moran (Kerry), Séamus O’Shea (Mayo).

Half forwards: Johnny Buckley and Donnchadh Walsh (Kerry), Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Flynn (Dublin), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy (Donegal), Shane Walsh (Galway), Mark Lynch (Derry).

Full forwards: Kieran Donaghy, James O’Donoghue and Paul Geaney (Kerry), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Cillian O’Connor (Mayo), Brian Hurley (Cork), Kevin McManamon (Dublin), Tony Kernan (Armagh), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal).

Donegal have won 23 All-Stars since the annual awards were first staged in 1971.

They are: Brian McEniff (1972), Donal Monaghan (1974), Martin McHugh (1983 and 1992), Joyce McMullin (1990), Gary Walsh, Matt Gallagher, Martin Gavigan, James McHugh and Tony Boyle (1992), John Joe Doherty (1993), Kevin Cassidy (2002 and 2011), Adrian Sweeney (2003), Karl Lacey (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012), Neil McGee (2011 and 2012), Paul Durcan, Frank McGlynn, Neil Gallagher, Mark McHugh, Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy (2012).

Karl Lacey won the 2012 Footballer of the Year, while teammates Frank McGlynn and Colm McFadden were also nominated for the award as Donegal won a second All-Ireland.

That award was created in 1995 and Martin McHugh had won the previous incarnation, the Texaco Footballer of the Year in 1992. Michael Murphy, in 2009, was named as the Young Footballer of the Year.