The nominees for the GPA’s Football Team of the Year were announced yesterday afternoon and we’ve got three players – Peadar Gardiner, Ronan McGarrity and Aidan O’Shea – on the list. While the final decision on who gets onto the GPA’s team is made by GPA members themselves, the shortlist was drawn up by a troika comprising Martin McHugh (no friend of Mayo, he), Keith Barr and Paddy Heaney.
I’m not a great one for shortlists of this kind – decisions on All-Star awards and Teams of the Year and such like tend to be very subjectic and often there isn’t a whole pile of logic about who gets the gongs in any year. As a result, the make-up of the GPA’s list or the All-Star list isn’t of huge interest to me apart from where our lads are nominated. Taking the two lists together, what’s interesting is that we have five different players nominated, with none of this quintet featuring simultaneously on both lists (Aidan O’Shea is on the GPA shortlist and is also shortlisted for Young Player of the Year as part of the All-Stars but he didn’t make the All-Star list of nominees). What this means, I think, is that although the different journo types who drew up the two lists were conscious of the need to reward our Connacht championship success with a few (largely tokenistic) nominations, we shouldn’t expect any of our nominees to win an award.
I don’t think any of the five will make the cut for the All-Stars or the GPA team but I think it’d be an interesting exercise to speculate about which of them will come closest to doing so. To this end, I’ve stuck up a poll on the site (we haven’t had a poll for quite a while now so it’s definitely time for a new one) to test the waters on this point.