Shortlist Announced for the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Team of the Year
A list of 45 players are in the running to be chosen as part of the 2017 U-21 Team of the Year for the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship, which will be announced on Newstalk’s Off the Ball Facebook page on Monday 2 October.
All-Ireland champions Limerick lead the way with thirteen nominees in total. The winners will be presented with their awards at a special ceremony in Croke Park on Monday 2 October.
It’s almost a clean sweep for Limerick in the Player of the Year category, with four out of five nominees from Shannonside. Kilkenny’s Conor Delaney gets the nod alongside Limerick quartet Kyle Hayes, Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey and Sean Finn for the prestigious award. This coveted award along with the ‘B’ championship Player of the Year will be revealed on the night of the event.
Seven players who were named on the 2016 Team of the Year are in contention to be honoured once again. Last year’s winners from Waterford Conor Gleeson, Darragh Lyons, Shane Bennett and Patrick Curran are all in the running to retain their places on the Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year despite bowing out to Cork in the Munster Semi-Final. Galway’s Dan Nevin and Limerick’s Ronan Lynch are also in with a shot to hang onto their positions at midfield, while Westmeath’s Niall Mitchell will look to retain the left corner forward title.
Speaking at the announcement of the shortlist, TG4’s Mícheál Ó Domhnaill who is one of four judges for Team of the Year said: “The Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year is a fitting way to end another great season. It brings a fantastic U-21 season to a close and has truly become a pillar of the GAA awards scene.
“45 deserving players have been nominated and it all comes down to getting their hands on one of those coveted fifteen spots. It’s great to be able to recognise these players’ individual contributions and raw skill.”
All-Ireland champions Limerick have thirteen representatives on the list of nominees. Kilkenny and Galway have seven players nominated, while Waterford hold five. Cork have four nominations, with Westmeath carrying three. Wexford and Derry have two hopefuls, with Tipperary taking home one nomination.
The full judging panel for the awards includes Ger Cunningham, TG4’s Micheál Ó Domhnaill, Galway star, Joe Canning, and Waterford great Ken McGrath.
Full Shortlist for Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year
Goalkeepers: Eoghan Mc Namara (Limerick), Darren Brennan (Kilkenny), Sean Maher (Westmeath)
Right Corner Back: Sean O’Donoghue (Cork), Sean Finn (Limerick), Declan Cronin (Galway)
Full Back: Darragh Fanning (Limerick), Conor Delaney (Kilkenny), Conor Prunty (Waterford)
*Left Corner Back: *Dan Joy (Limerick), Sean Loftus (Galway), Darragh Lyons (Waterford)
Right Half Back: Darren Browne (Cork), Jack Grealish (Galway), Ronan Lynch (Limerick)
*Centre Back: *Conor Gleeson(Waterford), Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Ciaran Steele (Derry)
Left Half Back: Jason Cleere (Kilkenny), Thomas Grimes (Limerick), Mark Coleman (Cork)
Midfield: Ger Browne (Tipperary), Colin Ryan (Limerick), Luke Scanlon (Kilkenny), Dan Nevin (Galway)
Colm Roche (Waterford), Robbie Hanley (Limerick)
Right Half Forward: Brian Concannon (Galway), Aaron Gillane (Limerick), Rory O’Connor (Wexford)
Centre Forward: Declan Dalton (Cork), Killian Doyle (Westmeath), John Donnelly (Kilkenny)
*Left Half Forward: *Ritchie Leahy (Kilkenny), Cian Lynch (Limerick), Niall Mitchell (Westmeath)
Right Corner Forward: Billy Ryan (Kilkenny), Patrick Curran (Waterford), Conor Whelan (Galway)
Full Forward: Shane Bennett (Waterford), Peter Casey (Limerick), Cormac O Doherty (Derry)
Left Corner Forward: Thomas Monaghan (Galway), Cathal Dunbar (Wexford), Barry Nash (Limerick)
Breakdown on Counties Nominated
Nominations for Player of the Year
Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Aaron Gillane (Limerick), Peter Casey (Limerick), Sean Finn (Limerick),Conor Delaney (Kilkenny)