Graeme McDowell and Tony McCoy on shortlist for BBC gong
Northern Ireland sporting heroes Graeme McDowell and Tony McCoy are, as expected, both included in a strong shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010.
The winner will be announced at the live event at Birmingham's LG Arena on Sunday, December 19 and there is every chance an Ulsterman could lift the glittering prize for the first time since Barry McGuigan triumphed in 1985.
Fifteen-time champion jockey Tony McCoy has been overlooked for the top award to date but his time in the spotlight has perhaps arrived.
McCoy won the Grand National at the 15th attempt this year on Don't Push It and although no jockey has won the award, the racing community is backing the Moneyglass man all the way to the finishing line.
However, Ryder Cup hero McDowell is also expected to challenge for the honour after enjoying a phenomenal year.
The Portrush man became Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years and he was part of the victorious Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor.
McDowell’s Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood, the new world number one, is also among the nominations.
Also on the shortlist are Jessica Ennis, who added the world pentathlon title and European heptathlon title to her world heptathlon title from last year, boxer David Haye and Amy Williams, who won Britain's first individual Winter Olympics gold medal for 30 years with victory in the women's skeleton.
Mark Cavendish, won won five stages on the Tour de France, double Commonwealth diving gold medallist Tom Daley, England spinner Graeme Swann and darts great Phil Taylor complete the nominees.