Cuala and Na Piarsaigh have secured twelve of the places on the inaugural AIB GAA Club Players’ Awards line up in hurling as well as all three of the nominations for Club Hurler of the Year.
The new initiative sees an overall team of outstanding performers at the provincial and All-Ireland stages being recognised for the first time and was selected by a cross-section of GAA media.
The players will be hosted at a special event in Croke Park this Saturday night where the Club Hurler and Footballer of the Year will also be announced.
In a season that saw them successfully retain their All-Ireland club title, Dublin champions Cuala have six players on the team.
Dual star Con O’Callaghan and centre back Sean Moran, who has yet to play for his county but is understood to be ready to do so this summer are both on the team as well as Con’s brother Cian, goalkeeper Sean Brennan, midfielder Darragh O’Connell and sharpshooter David Treacy.
Defeated finalists Na Piarsaigh have six players on the team in recognition of their own impressive exploits. Defenders Michael Casey, Alan Dempsey and Cathall King all feature, Ronan Lynch is in midfield while Adrian Breen and Kevin Downes complete the full forward line.
Ballygunner and Waterford ace Philip Mahony is recognised for his powerful contribution to their tilt at the Munster title, likewise Adrian Morrissey for his exploits with a ground breaking Liam Mellows side in Galway.
There’s another landmark achievement for Slaughtneil of Derry with Brendan Rogers selected at centre-forward. It comes after they had Antóin McMullan, Chris and Kark McKaigue and Christopher Bradley named on the inaugural AIB GAA Club Football Awards.
“The AIB GAA Club Hurling Championship was yet again a competition of real quality and produced a final that will live long in the memory,” said GAA president John Horan.
“Our Association is built on our pride in the place we call home. It’s what motivates players to perform such heroics for the honour of the area they represent be it a big town or a little village. It’s what encourages people to play and inspires others to volunteer in our clubs.”
“The AIB GAA Club Championships continue to grow from strength to strength and these awards are a reflection of that, and it’s something the whole club can share in and celebrate.”
“AIB is very proud to celebrate its 27th year sponsoring the club championships and to partner with The GAA for the introduction of the AIB GAA Club Players’ Awards,” added Denis O’Callaghan, AIB’s Head of Retail Banking.
“Today, we are delighted to announce the AIB GAA Club Hurler’ awards, on the back of announcing the AIB GAA Footballer awards last week. To be named on the Club Hurler and Footballers awards is a real honour for these players, their families, counties, and clubs. They deserve recognition for their immense passion and commitment to their club throughout #TheToughest competition.”
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Image Credit: James Crombie