DUBLIN hurling boss, Anthony Daly, has hailed the unprecedented capital representation on the GAA/GPA All Star nominations list.
In total, 10 of Daly’s squad have been shortlisted in the inaugural selection since the merger between Croke Park and the player’s body, which will be sponsored by Opel.
“It’s great for the lads themselves, for all the effort they put in during the year. I’d be delighted with it,” Daly told the Herald as Dublin matched the number of nominees from Munster champions and All-Ireland finalists, Tipperary.
Predictably, Kilkenny lead the way with 14 players up for awards but Dublin have strong claims in every line of the team.
Gary Maguire is hotly tipped to get the nod in goals while Peter Kelly is a strong contender for one of the full-back slots. Liam Rushe, widely considered the front-runner for Young Hurler of the Year, is accepted as a shoo-in in midfield alongside Kilkenny’s Michael Fennelly.
Championship top-scorer, Paul Ryan, is another with genuine claims although he may be edged out by the strong competition in nine-strong list for the three inside forward spots.
Niall Corcoran, Shane Durkin, Ryan O’Dwyer, Johnny McCaffrey, Joey Boland and Conal Keaney are the other Dubs represented on the 45-man list — the latter two making the cut despite missing portions of the season with injury.
Daly, meanwhile, has yet to formally agree to a fourth year as Dublin manager but is expected to do so within the coming weeks after conducting some backroom housekeeping.
The Clareman insisted he hopes to retain the same management panel as last season and as yet, no player has indicated a desire to quit the inter-county stage.
“We’ve had one or two meetings but we still haven’t finalised things,” Daly said. “But there would be no changing to the way we would be thinking. We would be looking to give it another lash.
“The lads have to sort out a few things in the backroom team so there are just a couple of things that need to be squared off. But we would be fairly certain of it.”
2011 GAA GPA ALL STAR HURLING NOMINATIONS
Goalkeepers: Gary Maguire (Dublin), David Herity (Kilkenny), Brendan Cummins (Tipperary).
Full-backs: Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Niall Corcoran (Dublin), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Peter Kelly (Dublin), Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny), Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Tom Condon (Limerick), David Collins (Galway), Noel Hickey (Kilkenny).
Half-backs: Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), JJ Delaney (Kilkenny), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), Joey Boland (Dublin), Michael Walsh (Waterford), Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary), Shane Durkin (Dublin), Tony Browne (Waterford).
Midfielders: Donal O’Grady (Limerick), Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny), Kevin Moran (Waterford), Liam Rushe (Dublin), Gearóid Ryan (Tipperary), Johnny McCaffrey (Dublin).
Half-forwards: Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Richie Power (Kilkenny), Patrick Maher (Tipperary), Conal Keaney (Dublin), Ryan O’Dwyer (Dublin), Declan Hannon (Limerick), Michael Rice (Kilkenny), Noel McGrath (Tipp), Pauric Mahony (Waterford).
Full-forwards: Lar Corbett (Tipperary), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), Colin Fennelly (Kilkenny), Paul Ryan (Dublin), Shane Walsh (Waterford), John Mullane (Waterford), Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary), Joe Canning (Galway).
– Conor McKeon – Evening Herald