There are only one major surprises in the 2018 All-Star Gaelic football team with Damien Comer not being picked.
Rory Beggan is picked ahead of Stephen Cluxton for the goalkeeper of the year which is well deserved, with the rest of the team being selected as expected.
David Clifford won Kerrys only All-Star, this could be the first of at least ten if he stays fit.
Dublin’s four in-a-row winning All-Ireland champions have been honoured with seven places on this year’s PwC All-Star Football team.
Jim Gavin’s all-conquering side are the dominant presence in a selection that sees Dublin claim seven awards across defence, midfield and attack, with Monaghan claiming three, Tyrone two and one place each awarded to Kerry, Galway and Donegal.
Dublin are now second in the roll of honor for All-Star winners in football with 123 all-star awards in football, with Kerry leading on 141. The 2018 representation matches the seven the Dubs also received as champions in 2015 and 1995.
GAA President John Horan chaired a selection committee made up of senior Gaelic Games Correspondents last night. It should be noted that, in a change from the past, this year selectors were not restricted to selecting players for the final team in the positions they had been nominated in.
In goal, Monaghan’s influential Rory Beggan is a first-time all-star in what is his fourth year to receive a nomination.
Dublin’s Jonny Cooper and Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh pick up their second all-star awards in a full-back line completed by first time winner Padraig Hampsey From Tyrone.
Monaghan’s flying wing back Karl O’Connell is rewarded for his exceptional season with a first all-star. Beside him in the half back line are influential Dublin duo James McCarthy and Jack McCaffrey who each collect a third all-star from their glittering careers.
Midfield is an all-Dublin affair where the versatile Brian Howard is a first-time winner and selected alongside the inspirational Brian Fenton who adds a 2018 PwC all-star to those won in 2015 and 2016.
Following on from his man of the match display in the county final on Monday, a great week for Kilmacud Crokes Paul Mannion continues with his selection in the half forward line, and in what is his second career all-star. Beside him, Ciaran Kilkenny collects a third all-star after his prolific performances this season, while Donegal dynamo Ryan McHugh wins a second all-star award after helping his side win Ulster.
David Clifford crowns his impressive debut senior inter-county season with an all-star at corner forward for Munster champions Kerry. Connacht champions Galway are represented by Corofin’s Ian Burke in the other corner. At full forward Monaghan’s Conor McManus collects what is his third all-star award.
Uachtarán CLG John Horan congratulated the 2018 winners. He said: “The PwC All-Stars are a byword for excellence and high standards. An All-Star is an award that is guaranteed to stand the test of time and those fortunate to be ranked among the best of the best join a most distinguished group of GAA heroes.
“I congratulate all of those who have been nominated and especially chosen in the final 15. This is a huge moment in the career of any player, and equally means so much to their families, their counties and also the clubs who set them out on this road.”
Paul Flynn, GPA CEO added: “Congratulations to those who have picked up awards this year. I know from personal experience what a huge honour it is to receive an All-Star and what it means to players to be recognised for their outstanding performances throughout the year. Gaelic Football is continuously evolving and the hard work and determination that has been displayed by these players throughout the season is testament to that.
“Each All-Star winner, the nominees, and their team mates, have contributed to a fantastic 2018 competition and for that we are all grateful. Well done and congratulations to our 2018 Football All Stars.”
Commenting on the announcement, Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said: “As the sponsor of the PwC All-Stars, we are delighted to share in this celebration of excellence in Irish talent. We are very proud that several GAA County players, some who are previous All-Star winners, have come through our graduate programme to develop great careers with us.
“I would like to congratulate every PwC All-Star Award nominee for their huge commitment to excellence both on and off the field.”
The announcement of the 2018 PwC All-Star Hurling team will be made live on Friday night, as will the announcement of the Footballer and Hurler of the Year and awards for Young Footballer and Young Hurler of the Year. The player of the year awards are voted on exclusively by the players. The nominees for these are Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey for Player of the Year and David Clifford, Brian Howard and Michael McKernan shortlisted for Young Player.
The Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on RTE1 this Friday from 7.00pm
2018 PwC Football All-Stars
- Rory Beggan (Monaghan)
- Jonny Cooper (Dublin). Previous winner in 2016
- Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone). Previous winner in 2017
- Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone)
- Karl O’Connell (Monaghan)
- James McCarthy (Dublin). Previous winner in 2014 & 2017
- Jack McCaffrey (Dublin). Previous winner in 2015 & 2017
- Brian Fenton (Dublin). Previous winner in 2015 & 2016
- Brian Howard (Dublin)
- Paul Mannion (Dublin). Previous winner in 2017
- Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin). Previous winner in 2015 & 2016
- Ryan McHugh (Donegal). Previous winner in 2016
- David Clifford (Kerry)
- Conor McManus (Monaghan). Previous winner in 2013 & 2015
- Ian Burke (Galway)