Four DCU students have been included in the GAA/GPA Football All-Star team for 2012. Unsurprisingly, All-Ireland champions Donegal dominate the selection with eight players picking up awards. Among them is PE and Biology student, Michael Murphy, and Business School MBA student, Paul Durcan, while Cork’s Aidan Walsh and Dublin’s Paul Flynn were also honoured.
Murphy fended off stiff competition from DCU graduate, Bernard Brogan, among others, to take his position in the full forward line. The award caps off what has been a fantastic year for the Donegal captain whose goal and Man of the Match performance in the All-Ireland final steered the Ulster side to their first All-Ireland title in 20 years.
Fellow PE and Biology student, Aidan Walsh, was selected in midfield despite a disappointing year for the reigning Munster and 2010 All-Ireland champions. Cork came unstuck against Donegal in the semi-finals this year but Walsh, who has just begun his undergraduate degree in DCU, was one of the county’s most consistent performers.
Dublin failed to mirror their 2011 form this season but Paul Flynn, another student of the PE and Biology course, gets the nod at half-forward. This is Flynn’s second All-Star award after winning selection in last year’s team for the same position. Flynn is the only Dub to win an All-Star Award this year.
As noted, there was success also for Paul Durcan, who ends former DCU student, Stephen Cluxton’s stranglehold on the number one jersey. Cluxton previously won All-Stars Awards in 2006, 2007, 2008 and was also selected in goals in last year’s team.
Between current students and alumni, eight DCU footballers had received a nomination for the 2012 All-Stars. As well as Brogan and Cluxton, there was disappointment for Dublin’s Kevin Nolan, a graduate of the PE and Biology degree, and Longford’s Michael Quinn who earned his first All-Star nomination.
Both Nolan and Quinn had been nominated in the half-back position but lose out to Frank McGlynn and Karl Lacey of Donegal, earning his fourth All-Star Award, and beaten finalist Lee Keegan of Mayo.
DCU GAA Club PRO, Barry Lenihan, told The College View how proud the club was of the four players’ achievements.
“The club is delighted for Aidan, Michael and Paul as well as Paul Durcan who also passed through the DCU gates. Their performances throughout the year as well as their attitude, commitment and devotion means they are very worthy winners of the award.
Paul Flynn and Michael Murphy helped get a lot of lads involved with the club and that’s what the club is really all about. While we may have All-Star winners in our midst, the most important thing is people participating and playing games no matter their skills or ability.”
With only four counties represented, the selection is the narrowest based in seven years. In 2005, only three counties – Tyrone, Kerry and Armagh – were included in the All-Star team.
The awards were presented at a gala event last Friday night. The All-Star Hurling team for 2012 was also announced, along with the awards for Players and Young Players of the Year for both Hurling and Football.
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