Thursday 19 September 2019

Football All Stars revealed: Dublin claim seven but Stephen Cluxton misses out once again

Captain Fantastic: Stephen Cluxton. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Captain Fantastic: Stephen Cluxton. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Monaghan's Rory Beggan has been named as the All-Star goalkeeper for 2018, meaning Dublin hero Stephen Cluxton has missed out on the honour once again.

The pair had been locked in a race for the gong, with selectors at a meeting at the HQ of scheme sponsors PwC in Dublin yesterday plumping for the Scotstown stopper.

Beggan enjoyed an exceptional season which saw him contribute 0-18 over the course of the summer through his booming, long-range frees.

However, he was guilty of miscuing a late effort for a point in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tyrone.

Cluxton has been rewarded by selectors in the past and has been honoured five times.

However, he hasn't picked up an award since 2013 despite Dublin's success in that period and was beaten to the gong by Mayo's David Clarke in 2016 and 2017.

The decision to overlook Cluxton again is the main talking point after the team, which was selected by members of the media, was named.

However, the selection of Colm Cavanagh at full-back, after being nominated at midfield, will also raise eyebrows.

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This time around, selectors had the flexibility to select players in positions other than those in which they had been nominated, in what was a bid to reflect the evolution of the game and positions over the past few seasons.

Cavanagh is named at midfield for Tyrone but generally operated in a sweeper role.

Dublin's Brian Howard has also been shifted from his normal position. He was honoured at midfield alongside his Raheny club-mate Brian Fenton, though he had been nominated in the forwards.

All-Ireland champions Dublin lead the way overall with seven honours after they secured a fourth consecutive All-Ireland title.

Monaghan are next on the list, with Beggan joined by Karl O'Connell and Conor McManus, who picks up his third award.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Tyrone pick up just two awards, both in defence, through Cavanagh and Padraig Hampsey.

Donegal, Galway and Kerry complete the list, with Ryan McHugh, Ian Burke and David Clifford picking up spots in the forward division.

In total, six players have been awarded their first All-Star, four collect their second gong, and five have been awarded All-Star number three.

The winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony at Dublin's Convention Centre on Friday night when the hurling team will be named, along with the Hurler and Footballer of Year, as well as the young players of the year in both codes.

The awards ceremony will be shown live on RTÉ television from 7.0.

2018 FOOTBALL All-Stars: Rory Beggan (Monaghan, 1st award); Jonny Cooper (Dublin, 2nd), Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone, 2nd), Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone, 1st); Karl O'Connell (Monaghan, 1st), James McCarthy (Dublin, 3rd), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin, 3rd); Brian Fenton (Dublin, 3rd), Brian Howard (Dublin, 1st); Paul Mannion (Dublin, 2nd), Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin, 3rd), Ryan McHugh (Donegal, 2nd); David Clifford (Kerry, 1st), Conor McManus (Monaghan, 2nd), Ian Burke (Galway, 1st).

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