The nominations list for this year’s All-Star awards was published last night and, as expected, we’re well represented on it. Newly-crowned All-Ireland champions Donegal lead the list with twelve nominations and we’re next on a generous enough ten. Cork have seven, Dublin six, Meath and Longford have two each while Armagn, Down, Kildare, Kerry, Laois and Wexford have one each. The full list is here.
Our ten nominees are David Clarke, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Barry Moran, Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon and Andy Moran, which is pretty much everyone we were talking about last week, with the welcome addition of the battling Davitts man at half-back. Congrats to all of them on making it onto the list.
The Footballer of the Year shortlist is comprised solely of Donegal lads – Frank McGlynn, Karl Lacey and Colm McFadden – which I guess is understandable enough. It would, however, have been good to see someone like Kevin McLoughlin included in this select group even if the winner was always going to come from the Donegal camp.
We’ve better luck in the Young Footballer of the Year category where Cillian O’Connor – last year’s winner of this award – is included along with Meath starlet Donal Keogan and Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty. This is another gong headed for the North-West, I reckon.
In separate news, the Indo is reporting this morning that the Connacht Council are considering turfing us out of next year’s FBD League due to our failure to send a team to New York for this year’s final final. It’s an understandable reaction, I suppose, but it’s a bit of a pity if it comes to this. Once we’d qualified for the All-Ireland final at the start of last month, it was pretty bloody obvious that our appetite for an early October trip across the Atlantic wouldn’t be all that strong, regardless of the result, and so steps should really have been taken at that stage to formulate alternative arrangements. Instead, we’ve got recriminations and sanctions over a meaningless junket, which is all a bit pointless.
If the Connacht Council does go ahead and throw us out of the FBD then we should, I reckon, use this as a building block in creating a siege mentality around the team for 2013. If they don’t want us, we should then retaliate by withdrawing all of our players from the various Third Level teams playing in the FBD and use the month instead for internal training purposes ahead of the league’s resumption in early February. Let’s face it – the FBD is a bit of a waste of time as things stand so if a slap on the wrist is coming our way due to the New York thing we should turn this to our advantage and use the month of January for our own purposes to prepare for the far bigger challenges that await us in 2013.