The official nominees for the 2008 Opel Gaelic Players’ Awards for football have been announced on Wednesday by the Gaelic Players’ Association.
A total of 45 players have been named on the shortlist for the Opel Gaelic Team of the Year, with four players also nominated for the Opel Gaelic Player of the Year award.
The shortlist for the Opel Gaelic Team of the Year includes 45 players - three players for each position. The shortlist contains players from 15 counties including; Tyrone, Kerry, Wexford, Dublin, Westmeath, Kildare, Galway, Mayo, Cork, Limerick, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Armagh, Down and Derry.
The Opel Gaelic Team of the Year shortlist reflects the most successful counties in this year's championship with All-Ireland champions Tyrone receiving a total of 9 nominations. Losing All-Ireland finalists Kerry received 8 nominations while All-Ireland semi finalists Wexford received 4.
Dublin, Westmeath, Galway, Cork, Fermanagh and Armagh all received three nominations each.
The four nominees for the Opel Gaelic Player of the Year as chosen by the Football Selection Committee are: Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone), Brian Dooher (Tyrone) Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry) and Declan O'Sullivan (Kerry).
The shortlists were drawn up by a selection committee consisting of Chairman Jack O'Connor, along with Keith Barr, Martin McHugh and Paddy Heaney. The winners will be selected by GPA members, all of whom have been issued with voting cards.
Commenting on the announcement, Chairman of the Football Selection Committee, Jack O'Connor said: ‘Gaelic football is a team game, but as we all know individual contributions throughout the year are deserving of recognition.
‘As always with these type of awards, they are entirely subjective and are sure to generate debate. However, the committee feels the 45 players we have chosen have earned their selection.’
Dave Sheeran, Managing Director Opel Ireland, said: ‘The shortlist announcements reflect the fact that this season's championship touched every community across the country. The breadth of the nominations recognises the contribution of local heroes to the 2008 Football Championship.
‘Opel is delighted to be in a position to reward their efforts and I look forward to meeting the winners at the awards ceremony on November 7th.’
Dessie Farrell, Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players' Association said: ‘There was clearly a high level of competition for places in this year's Opel Gaelic Team of the Year and that is reflected in the calibre of candidates that have been included.
‘I would personally like to thank Jack O' Connor and his committee for the work they have put into drawing up the nominations and I look forward to the next stage of the process when the players vote for their peers to pick the final 15.’
The shortlist in full for the 2008 Opel Gaelic Team of the Year consists of:
1 Ronan Gallagher (Fermanagh), Gary Connaughton (Westmeath), Anthony Masterson (Wexford)
2 Marc Ó Sé (Kerry), Dessie Mone (Monaghan), John Keane (Westmeath)
3 Justin McMahon (Tyrone), Francie Bellew (Armagh), Finian Hanley (Galway)
4 Conor Gormley (Tyrone), Anthony Lynch (Cork), David Henry (Dublin)
5 Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry), Davy Harte (Tyrone), Michael Ennis (Westmeath)
6 Ryan McCluskey (Fermanagh), Philip Jordan (Tyrone), Aidan O'Mahony (Kerry)
7 Ryan McMenamin (Tyrone), Ciaran McKeever (Armagh), Graham Canty (Cork)
8 & 9 Enda McGinley (Tyrone), Darragh Ó Sé (Kerry), Shane Ryan (Dublin), Dan Gordon (Down), John Galvin (Limerick), Martin McGrath (Fermanagh)
10 Brian Dooher (Tyrone), Alan Dillon (Mayo), John Doyle (Kildare)
11 Declan O'Sullivan (Kerry), Padraic Joyce (Galway), Pearse O'Neill (Cork)
12 Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Redmond Barry (Wexford), Alan Brogan (Dublin)
13 Colm Cooper (Kerry), Paddy Bradley (Derry), Ciaran Lyng (Wexford)
14 Sean Cavanagh, (Tyrone), Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Ronan Clarke (Armagh)
15 Tommy Walsh (Kerry), Michael Meehan (Galway), Matty Forde (Wexford)