BY TOM LYONS
IT’S that time of the year again as the playing activities draw to a close on the GAA pitches that we look back at the events and the personalities that stood out during the past year. Awards of various types will be distributed and one of the most prestigious awards available in the association is an All-Star award.
For the first time ever the SW Junior Board, in conjunction with The Southern Star, has decided to initiate an All-Stars scheme for its junior footballers and junior hurlers. The All-Stars will be selected from the players who took part in the SW junior A, B, C and D championships in both football and hurling during the 2015 season.
The All-Stars presentations will take place at a gala banquet in the West Lodge Hotel, main sponsors of the scheme, in Bantry on Friday, November 27th. Special guest will be president of the GAA, Aogán Ó Fearghail. The president, who is the first from Cavan and the seventh from Ulster, will be on his first official visit to West Cork. Tickets for the banquet are available from club secretaries.
This week we give the 45 nominees (15 positions x 3) for the Junior Football All-Stars and the team itself will be announced on the night of the banquet. The Junior Hurling All-Stars team will be announced next week and the awards made at the banquet.
Also to be named at the function will be the Carbery Junior Footballer and Carbery Junior Hurler of the Year.
When naming the nominees for the football team, it was decided not to tie the nominees to any set position because of the modern trend in football to have players who can play in various positions or switch readily during a match. Also the modern game doesn’t lend itself to static positions, so the nominees will be in three sections: defenders, midfielders and forwards.
On the night of the presentations the players will be named in set positions, as closely as possible to the position they occupied with their own clubs.
In looking back on the past season, it is little wonder that Bandon, who not only won the SW championship but also captured their first county title since 1975, and have since reached the Munster semi-final, dominate the nominees, with eleven of their players on the list, led by captain, Pat Prendergast.
Kilmacabea had a great year in junior football, reaching their first-ever SW junior A final and winning the league. They have seven nominees included.
Beaten semi-finalists, St Mary’s and Castlehaven, have five and two nominees, respectively. County junior B champions, Kilmeen, have been honoured with two nominees. In all, 16 teams are represented among the nominees.
Goalkeepers: Pat Prendergast (Bandon), Brian Corcoran (St Mary’s) and Alan Long (Argideen Rangers).
Defenders: Kevin Lucey, Eoghan O’Donovan, Peter Murphy, Joe Harrington and Patrick O’Brien (all Bandon); Niall Hayes, Clive Sweetnam and Sam O’Driscoll (all Kilmacabea); Stephen Keohane and Stephen Cronin (St Mary’s); Don McCarthy and Ray Collins (Kilmeen); Liam Hegarty (Gabriel Rangers), Shane McSweeney (St Colum’s), Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCárthaigh), Daniel Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), Donncha McCarthy (St James) and Daniel Hegarty (Castlehaven).
Midfielders: Tom Sheehan and Martin Collins (Kilmacabea), James Walsh and Donough Lucey (Bandon), Dermot Hurley (Castlehaven) and Peter Daly (St Mary’s).
Forwards: Darren Crowley, Mark Sugrue and Barry Collins (Bandon); Richie O’Sullivan and Ger O’Donovan (Kilmacabea); Frank Arundel and Brendan O’Dwyer (Muintir Bháire); Mark Cronin and Eddie Goggin (Gabriel Rangers); Seán O’Shea and Denis McSweeney (St. Colum’s); Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCárthaigh), John Daly (St. Mary’s), Don O’Driscoll (Clann na nGael), Jack Cowhig (Clonakilty), Jack Bushe (Ilen Rovers), Dylan Hourihan (O’Donovan Rossa) and Ciarán Hurley (Barryroe).