Tuesday 20 February 2018

All Star and GPA awards merger not yet on cards

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A move to merge the two GAA awards schemes won't be fast-tracked as a consequence of Vodafone's withdrawal as sponsors of the All Stars.

Vodafone confirmed their departure on Wednesday, ending an association that dated back to 1997.

But speculation that Opel, the current sponsors of the GPA awards, would come on board as part of the wider GAA/GPA agreement may be premature.

At some stage in the future, scaling the two awards schemes down to one is a possibility.

However, GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell and GAA operations manager Fergal McGill intimated in January, at the unveiling of the protocol document which covers their five-year agreement, that negotiations on the awards schemes were not a priority.

And no move is expected in the short term, which means the All Stars and GPA team will continue to be organised and selected as they have been for the next 12 months.


The All Stars are already committed to returning to San Francisco with the 2009/2010 hurlers in November.

GPA award winners will continue to pick up cheques for up to €2,500 -- payment that covers promotional work associated with the scheme.

Players pick the GPA team after three players for 15 positions are nominated for hurling and football. GAA journalists select the All Stars team.

Meanwhile, Dublin squad member James Brogan has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a suspected cruciate ligament injury.

Brogan had only returned to competitive action in the last few weeks after overcoming back and groin injuries.

In 2009, he broke an ankle in a club game that ruled him out for the rest of that year, having made his debut against Tyrone in Croke Park in what was Pat Gilroy's first game in charge.

Ironically, his cousins, Paul and Bernard Brogan, have both suffered similar injuries.

Irish Independent

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