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O'Sullivan secures top award ahead of final

By John Campbell

Kerry skipper Declan O'Sullivan has received the perfect pre-All Ireland Football final boost.

O'Sullivan, man of the match in his team's semi-final win over Dublin, is the Opel Gaelic Footballer of the month for August.

And Limerick's Andrew O'Shaughnessy, outstanding in his team's shock Guinness All Ireland semi-final win over Waterford, gets the Opel Hurler of the month accolade.

O'Sullivan's 1-3 against Dublin highlighted a masterly display at centre-three-quarters while O'Shaughnessy's inspirational 2-7 against Waterford established the platform for Limerick's victory.

O'Sullivan's outstanding performances for Kerry have been a major factor in their march into the All Ireland decider, according to former Kerry manager and chairman of the Opel Football Selection Committee Jack O'Connor.

"I've known Declan a long time and it is great when you see a young footballer realising his exciting potential," observed O'Connor. " He has been a massive influence for Kerry in the big games, leading by example like all good captains should. His goal against Monaghan was the score that brought Kerry back into the game and he came up with the vital goal also against Dublin in the semi-final, as well as three points. For a half-forward to score 1-3 from play in a big match is nearly unheard of in the modern game."

And Donal O'Grady, chairman of the Opel Hurling Selection committee, paid a handsome tribute to ace marksman O'Shaughnessy.

"Andrew has long been touted as an outstanding talent by hurling people in Limerick and this summer the rest of the country saw why he is so highly thought of on Shannonside," O'Grady stated. " His brilliant display against Waterford in the All-Ireland semi-final must go down as one of the performances of the year. His first goal that afternoon was all his own creation and was finished in the style of a natural poacher. The fact that he finished the day with a personal haul of two goals and seven points tells you all about his huge contribution to the Limerick cause. "

Dessie Farrell, Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players Association, said; "Andrew O'Shaughnessy may have lost an All-Ireland final but he can reflect with no shortage of pride on his achievements this season, particularly his outstanding performance in the semi-final. His fellow players have now recognised this contribution.

"Declan O'Sullivan has been the key Kerry forward this summer and has been hugely instrumental in setting up his county's bid for back-to-back titles. He is a real leader and is a very deserving football winner for August."

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