Tuesday Team Selection is here again. Seen as football is dominating the headlines at the moment, this weeks team will revert back to hurling. With one guaranteed game left in the hurling season, all-star talk is commencing. This year is extremely competitive as of now and here we look back at those players who have been unlucky to miss out in recent times.
1. Donal Óg Cusack – Cork, 2004
Donal Óg Cusack finished his career with two all-star awards in 1999 and 2006. He missed out to Damien Fitzhenry in 2004 in arguably Cusack’s most impressive season. This was the year Cusack started to change the way goalkeepers played.
2. Cathal Barrett – Tipperary, 2014
It was beyond the realms of possibility that an all-star team was picked in 2014 without Cathal Barrett in it. Although competition was fierce, Barrett was the best corner-back in the country by a distance that year.
3. Shane O’Neill – Cork, 2013
This was the prime example of end of year honours boiling down to All-Ireland finals. O’Neill had a phenomenal year until Shane O’Donnell scored 3-3 in an All-Ireland final replay. This saw all-star selectors leave him out of the selection despite O’Neill being possibly the best defender in Ireland that year.
4. Jonny Coen – Galway, 2012
Jonny Coen was similar to Cathal Barrett in 2014 where all-star selectors copped out and decided Young Hurler of the Year would suffice and he was duly left out of the all-star selection. Coen had an outstanding year in 2012.
5. Gavin O’Mahony – Limerick, 2013
Again All-Ireland finals took over in 2013 when Clare’s Conor Ryan found himself selected at midfield for an all-star despite not playing there all year, but Man of the Match in a drawn All-Ireland final was deemed good enough. Limerick’s Gavin O’Mahony had a great year at wing-back that season but was duly overlooked.
6. Brian Hogan – Kilkenny, 2008
In 2008, only one of Kilkenny’s starting six backs was missing from the all-star selection. Hogan missed out to Tipperary’s Conor O’Mahony depsite having a great year at the heart of the Kilkenny defence.
7. Padraic Maher – Tipperary, 2012
Brendan Bugler was an extremely lucky recipient of an all-star award in 2012 in a year when Tipp’s Padraic Maher played some great hurling. Tipp won Munster and exited at the semi-final stage at the hands of Kilkenny, Maher was exceptional in the two Munster clashes with Cork and Waterford and had a better year than Bugler.
8. Tom Kenny – Cork, 2004 & 2005
The Cork man was one of the countries finest midfielders for many years yet failed to have his efforts recognised with an individual end of year honour. Kenny was very unlucky in both 2004 and 2005 when he missed out.
9. Conor Fogarty – Kilkenny, 2014 & 2015
One of Kilkenny’s most important players has been overlooked for all-star awards in the last two seasons. He was a major part of both of the Cats successes and was very unlucky on the individual front. His move to centre-back this year may see him miss out again for 2016.
10. Seamus Callanan – Tipperary, 2008
Callanan is now recognised as one the games finest players but it took him a few years to get to that level. His debut season was back in 2008 where he was excellent. He lit up the Munster championship as Tipp won their first Munster title in seven years yet was overlooked for an all-star and Young Hurler of the Year.
11. Patrick Maher – Tipperary, 2011
Tipp fell short of winning back-to-back All-Ireland’s in 2011. One of their most effective and most improved players in 2011 was the Bonner Maher who started to develop his physicality and overall importance to the Tipp side. Yet he was overlooked for the bigger names in 2011.
12. Colin Ryan – Clare, 2013
Colin Ryan was far more influential in Clare’s success Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan and Patrick Donnellan, all of whom were awarded with all-star awards after Clare’s success in 2013. Ryan’s free taking and contributions from open play were a major force behind the Banner’s success, yet it failed to be recognised.
13. Joe Deane – Cork, 2004, 2005 & 2006
Between the years of 2004 and 2006, it was very harsh that Joe Deane did not add to his all-star collection. The running game that Cork adopted meant Deane was not as indispensable as he had once been. But he was still a huge player for a successful Cork team and deserved more recognition.
14. Declan Ryan – Tipperary, 2001
One of Tipp’s key men in their 2001 success was Declan Ryan. It was coming towards the end of his playing days, but his physical presence and ball winning up top provided a lot for Tipp. Mark O’Leary’s first goal in the 2001 All-Ireland final was clear example of this.
15. Eoin Larkin – Kilkenny, 2014 & 2015
There has been a distinct lack of recognition given to the role that Eoin Larkin has played in the last two Kilkenny All-Ireland successes. His work rate has been exceptional and he has still managed to contribute on the scoreboard.