The GAA interocunty season reached a glittering conclusion tonight with the annual Vodafone All Star awards. Congratulations to all 30 players named as All Stars and particular congratulations to Stephen O'Neill and Jerry O'Connor who were named Footballer and Hurler of the year respectively.
It was nice to see three men from my own county Armagh receive awards. These were Andy Mallon, Paul McGrane and Stevie McDonnell. Aaron Kernan of Armagh was also named as Young Player of the Year It was particularly gratifying to see Paul get an award as he has been a mainstay of Armagh's side for many years and is a superb midfielder and a model to any young footballer. Hopefully as he begins his time as County Captain, he will manage to get his mitts on Sam Maguire next September!
As always the selections were controversial and there were notable absentees such as Ross Munnelly, Brian McGuigan and Paddy Bradley. Players from only 3 counties (Armagh, Tyrone and Kerry) received All Stars and while I would have included a few from other counties, it does show the extent to which these three counties have dominated Gaelic Footbal recently. Tyrone's 8 is the largest number by any single county since Kerry scooped 9 in 1981.