Graham Canty of Cork and Henry Shefflin of Kilkenny have been named as the Opel GPA Players of the Month for August 2009 in football and hurling respectively.
The awards mark the outstanding contribution both players made to their county’s performances in Cork and Kilkenny respectively in the Championship throughout August.
Canty has successfully captained Cork to the All-Ireland Senior Football final, showing his leadership skills on the pitch during a powerful display against defending champions Tyrone in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, Shefflin gave a man-of-the-match display in Kilkenny’s semi-final against Waterford ,helping himself to an impressive 1-14 tally.
His ability to finish was again evident on Sunday in the All-Ireland Hurling Final against Tipperary where Shefflin’s late scores helped secure Kilkenny’s fourth title.
Chairman of the Opel/GPA Football Selection Committee, Martin McHugh, was not the least bit surprised to see Canty selected by his fellow players:
‘If ever there was a Cork man on a mission to win an All-Ireland SFC medal, then it has to be Graham Canty,’ remarked McHugh.
‘He has been outstanding all summer and has become a real general on the pitch.
‘This was particularly apparent in the two games in Croke Park against Donegal and Tyrone, where he led by example and encouraged those around him to take the game to the opposition.’
Donal O’Grady, the man in charge of the the hurling prize, commented on how it is not the first award Shefflin has won in his career:
‘Accolades may now be common place for Henry Shefflin whose displays are always of the highest standard.
‘His team-mates and fellow hurlers are well aware of his extraordinary talent.’