Rebels dominate All Star nominations
ALL-IRELAND champions Cork topped the list of nominees for the 2010 Vodafone football All Stars last night with 11 Rebel players included.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Down have seven in the running but the selectors' heavy bias towards the final stages of the All-Ireland championship are reflected in the fact that so few of this year's four provincial champions -- who were all knocked out in the All-Ireland quarter-finals -- have been included on the list.
Of the four provincial champions, Tyrone fared best with a total of four nominees. Kerry and Meath got three each while Donie Shine and Cathal Cregg were Roscommon's only inclusions, despite winning Connacht.
Beaten Connacht finalists Sligo will argue that Johnny Davey should probably have been included and beaten Munster finalists Limerick, who subsequently pushed Cork to extra-time in the All-Ireland, only have one in John Galvin.
Beaten All-Ireland semi-finalists Kildare did well to get five players included, including championship newcomer Peter Kelly, but they could argue that midfielder Daryl Flynn should, at least, have got a nomination, particularly given that Cork's Nicholas Murphy and Graham Canty, two players whose seasons were curtailed by injury, were both included.
Louth may have been robbed of a Leinster championship title but have corner-back John O'Brien and midfielder Paddy Keenan included and both are major contenders to make the final cut.
Only three of last year's All Stars -- Cork's Michael Shields and Canty and Kerry's Tomás Ó Sé -- are included.
Only 10 of the 45 players nominated are previous All-Stars, with Kerry's five-time winners Colm Cooper and Tomás Ó Sé the most decorated of those included.
2010 Vodafone All Star Nominees
GOALKEEPERS -- Brendan McVeigh (Down); Pascal McConnell (Tyrone); Alan Quirke (Cork).
FULL-BACKS -- Charlie Harrison (Sligo), Rory O'Carroll (Dublin), Philip McMahon (Dublin), Dan Gordon (Down), Justin McMahon (Tyrone), Michael Shields (Cork), Peter Kelly (Kildare), Marc O Se (Kerry), John O'Brien (Louth).
HALF-BACKS -- Tomas O Se (Kerry), Paudie Kissane (Cork), Noel O'Leary (Cork), Graham Canty (Cork), Kevin McKernan (Down), Philip Jordan (Tyrone), Emmet Bolton (Kildare), Eamonn Callaghan (Kildare), Joe McMahon (Tyrone).
MIDFIELDERS -- Aidan Walsh (Cork), Nicholas Murphy (Cork), Kalum King (Down), Paddy Keenan (Louth), Michael Darragh MacAuley (Dublin), John Galvin (Limerick).
HALF-FORWARDS-- Paddy Kelly (Cork), Marty Clarke (Down), Daniel Hughes (Down), Graham Reilly (Meath), Joe Sheridan (Meath), John Doyle (Kildare), Paul Kerrigan (Cork), Seamus Kenny (Meath), Cathal Cregg (Roscommon).
FULL-FORWARDS -- Daniel Goulding (Cork), Bernard Brogan (Dublin), Donie Shine (Roscommon), Colm Cooper (Kerry), Donncha O'Connor (Cork), David Kelly (Sligo), Benny Coulter (Down), James Kavanagh (Kildare), Padraic Joyce (Galway).