The 2020 All Star nominations have been announced this morning and the good the news from a Déise perspective is that there are ten players nominated.
The ten Waterford men to be recognised for their superb performances in the county’s run to the All-Ireland Final are: Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner), Conor Prunty (Abbeyside), Shane McNulty (De La Salle), Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower), Tadhg de Burcá (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg), Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater), Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart), Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner), Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion) and Jack Fagan (De La Salle).
Waterford also have a nomination for both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year Awards.
Stephen Bennett is nominated for the Player of the Year, along with Limerick’s Gearoid Hegarty and Tony Kelly of Clare.
In the race for the Young Player of the Year award, Lismore’s Iarlaith Daly is nominated alongside Eoin Cody of Kilkenny and Jake Morris of Tipperary.
Not surprisingly league, provincial and All-Ireland champions, Limerick are the dominant presence in the list of hurling nominations for the PwC All-Stars with 14 places in the star-studded field of 45 nominations.
The Treaty County’s entire defensive unit of goalkeeper Nickie Quaid and Seán Finn, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash, Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, and Kyle Hayes anchors the representation.
There are eight counties represented in all.
There are seven Galway hurlers named with five from Kilkenny, and two from Cork and two from Tipperary.
The free-scoring Tony Kelly is nominated in midfield and one of four Clare hurlers selected, while there’s a notable inclusion for Dublin forward Donal Burke in recognition of his prolific finishing in the Championship.
Uachtarán CLG, John Horan, said: “Sport was one of the few unforgettable elements to an otherwise forgettable 2020 and yet again the hurling campaign was a highlight. The PwC All-Stars provide an opportunity to salute the stand-out performers who lit up the campaign and gave so much excitement and I congratulate all of those who have been nominated and it is a big day for them and their clubs.”
Paul Flynn, Chief Executive of the GPA said: “To all 45 players who have been nominated for PwC All-Star Awards, my heartiest congratulations. The 2020 season was one like no other and their efforts on the pitch meant so much to so many. Congratulations also to the nominees for both the PwC Hurler of the Year and the PwC Young Hurler of the Year.”
Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said: “From everyone at PwC we would like to give our most heartfelt congratulations to each of the 45 hurlers who have been named as nominees for the PwC All Stars. There’s no doubting how tough 2020 was for many people and hurling was something that uplifted the whole country when it was really needed, with brilliant entertainment, outstanding individual displays and enthralling games. Each and every one of these nominees deserves our thanks for the part they played in this championship and we wish them all every success in the new season ahead.”
The nominations were chosen by a panel of Gaelic Games correspondents from across, print, radio, TV and digital media, chaired by Uachtarán CLG John Horan.
It has also been confirmed that there will be two additional hurling selections – a team of the year for the players in the Joe McDonagh Cup, as well as a Champion 15 that is comprised of star players from across the Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups. Details of these teams will be announced next month.
It is intended that the presentation of the PwC All-Star awards will take place late next month in a TV show that will be in line with Covid-19 restrictions and will be confirmed in due course.
Stephen O’Keeffe (Waterford), Nickie Quaid (Limerick), Eibhear Quilligan (Clare)
Seán Finn, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash, Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes (all Limerick)
Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty, Calum Lyons, Tadhg De Burcá (all Waterford)
Daithí Burke, Aidan Harte, Pádraic Mannion (all Galway)
Conor Delaney, Padraig Walsh (Kilkenny)
Rory Hayes (Clare), Mark Coleman (Cork), Ronan Maher (Tipperary)
Will O’Donoghue (Limerick), Cian Lynch (Limerick), Jamie Barron (Waterford), Tony Kelly (Clare), Michael Breen (Tipperary), Conor Browne (Kilkenny).
Gearóid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy (all Limerick)
Stephen Bennett, Dessie Hutchinson, Austin Gleeson, Jack Fagan (all Waterford)
Brian Concannon, Joe Canning, Conor Whelan, Cathal Mannion (all Galway)
TJ Reid, John Donnelly (Kilkenny)
Donal Burke (Dublin), Cathal Malone (Clare), Shane Kingston (Cork)
PwC GAA/GPA Young Hurler of the Year nominees
Jake Morris (Tipperary), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny), Iarlaith Daly (Waterford)
PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year nominees
Gearóid Hegarty (Limerick), Tony Kelly (Clare), Stephen Bennett (Waterford)