Eight former DCU students have received nominations for the 2016 All-Star Gaelic football awards with recent All-Ireland finalists Dublin and Mayo receiving 11 nominations each.
Dublin’s past students Stephen Cluxton, Jonny Cooper, John Small, Ciarán Kilkenny and Dean Rock have all received All-Star nominations while for Mayo, DCU’s Cillian O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor and Patrick Durcan have also received All-Star nods.
Dublin’s back-to-back winning captain Stephen Cluxton has been nominated this year having missed out on last year’s All Star when the Dubs also received 11 nominations.
Cluxton, a Science Education graduate, won his fourth All-Ireland in the last six years with Dublin on Saturday, October 1st performing remarkably well down the stretch for Jim Gavin’s side.
Cluxton will contend with Mayo’s David Clarke, who was dropped for last weekend’s All-Ireland final replay in favour of DCU’s Robbie Hennelly, while Tipperary shot-stopper Evan Comerford has also been nominated.
In defence, 18 players have been nominated for just six positions, with DCU’s Jonny Cooper, John Small and Patrick Durcan all fighting for selection.
In a congested field, Cooper is the only former student from the college virtually assured of an All-Star nod after starring at full-back for Dublin following Rory O’Carroll’s absence this year after last year’s championship win over Kerry.
In midfield, Dublin’s Brian Fenton will likely be partnered by Tipperary’s Peter Acheson with Matthew Donnelly (Tyrone), Gary Brennan (Clare), Paul Conroy (Galway) and Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone) also fighting for selection.
Selection for a place in the forwards will also be hotly contested with DCU’s Dean Rock, Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor and Ciarán Kilkenny also competing for nods.
Kilkenny and Diarmuid O’Connor have also been nominated for the GPA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards respectively.
Kilkenny will battle with Dublin teammate Brian Fenton and Mayo’s Lee Keegan for the Player of the Year award, while O’Connor will contend with Tipperary duo Josh Keane and Jimmy Feehan for the Young Player of the Year award.
Full list of nominees
Goalkeepers – Evan Comerford (Tipperary), Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), David Clarke (Mayo).
Defenders – Jonny Cooper (Dublin), Brendan Harrison (Mayo), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Cian O’Sullivan (Dublin), Lee Keegan (Mayo), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Philly McMahon (Dublin), Ryan McHugh (Donegal), Cathal McCarron (Tyrone), John Small (Dublin), Patrick Durcan (Mayo), Shane Enright (Kerry), Declan Kyne (Galway), James McCarthy (Dublin), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Paddy McGrath (Donegal), Robbie Kiely (Tipperary), Killian Young (Kerry).
Midfielders – Brian Fenton (Dublin), Peter Acheson (Tipperary), Matthew Donnelly (Tyrone), Gary Brennan (Clare), Paul Conroy (Galway), Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone).
Forwards – Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin), Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin), Dean Rock (Dublin), Kevin McManamon (Dublin), Paul Geaney (Kerry), Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary), Andy Moran (Mayo), Conor Sweeney (Tipperary), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Paul Murphy (Kerry), Cillian O’Connor (Mayo), Damien Comer (Galway), Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo), Peter Harte (Tyrone), Danny Cummins (Galway), Patrick McBrearty (Donegal), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Niall Sludden (Tyrone).
Player of the Year Nominees – Brian Fenton (Dublin), Lee Keegan (Mayo), Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin).
Young Player of the Year Nominees – Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo), Josh Keane (Tipperary), Jimmy Feehan (Tipperary)
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