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All-Star list is massive boost for Ulster counties

By John Campbell

There may have been no All-Ireland glory for Ulster this year but there is now considerable consolation for the province following the Opel-sponsored GAA GPA Football All-Stars nominations.

No fewer than 14 Ulster players are included, thus forming a fraction less than one third of the overall list of candidates.

Monaghan's first Ulster senior title since 1988 saw the county receive six nominations, Tyrone landed four, Cavan three and Donegal one.

Not surprisingly, All-Ireland champions Dublin are the dominant county with 12 nominees while defeated finalists Mayo are honoured with 10.

Goalkeeper Rory Beggan, defenders Colin Walshe, Drew Wylie and Dessie Mone along with midfield ace Darren Hughes and sharpshooter Conor McManus are Monaghan's representatives.

Tyrone may have been thwarted in their bid to land Ulster and All-Ireland titles but that was certainly not the fault of Cathal McCarron, Conor Gormley, Sean Cavanagh and Matthew Donnelly all of whom richly deserve to be vying for All-Star accolades.

McCarron and Gormley were solid in the Red Hands defence while Cavanagh was by some distance the best player in Ulster and Donnelly impressed hugely in attack.

For Cavan there is reason to celebrate, too. Three nominees is a huge boost with Killian Clarke, Cian Mackey and Martin Dunne in the running for honours.

The short list for the Player of the Year and Young Player awards has also been confirmed, the senior category including Dublin pair Michael Darragh Macauley and Stephen Cluxton.

* IT is understood that Peter McGrath has terminated his role with Bryansford. His position as Down minor boss is also believed to have been discussed by the county board last night following his "surprise" on learning that this matter had not been already dealt with.

Ex-Antrim boss Frank Dawson's name is being linked with some current managerial vacancies.

GAA GPA All-Star nominees: Goalkeepers: S Cluxton (Dublin), R Hennelly (Mayo), R Beggan (Monaghan); Full backs: R O'Carroll (Dublin), G Cafferkey Mayo), K Higgins (Mayo), C Walsh (Monaghan), K Clarke (Cavan), C Barrett (Mayo), D Wylie (Monaghan), C McCarron (Tyrone), M O Sé (Kerry). Half-backs: M D Macauley (Dublin), A O'Shea (Mayo), S O'Shea (Mayo), D Hughes (Monaghan), P Conroy (Galway), A Maher (Kerry); Half-forwards: S Cavanagh (Tyrone), C Cooper (Kerry), C Mackey (Cavan), P Flynn (Dublin), D Connolly (Dublin), D Walsh (Kerry), C Kilkenny (Dublin), M Donnelly (Tyrone), L Mulvey (London).

Full forwards: B Brogan (Dublin), J O'Donoghue (Kerry), M Dunne (Cavan), P Mannion (Dublin), C McManus (Monaghan), C O'Connor (Mayo), P Andrews (Dublin), C McFadden (Donegal), M Newman (Meath).

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