The 2008 All Stars nominees are out, and there is going to by fury down Noreside that James McGarry is once again going to miss out. No such fury should attach itself to Waterford’s haul of five nominations. Clinton Hennessy’s heroics (or should that be ‘heroic’) against Tipperary was enough for him to get the nod, but it would be ludicrous for PJ Ryan to not get the statuette having conceded the sum total of zero goals during the year (for those thinking that that was the result of a stellar back line, I present to you one James McGarry). Tony Browne is Waterford’s only chance in the backs which is no chance at all – a sterling rearguard action in the All-Ireland final will not be enough for him in what is a last-chance-to-see type nomination.
Even a modest performance in September would have been sufficient for Eoin McGrath to pick up an award, one that would have doubled up as Most Surprisingly Improved Player. But he didn’t play well so he will surely miss out. This leaves Eoin Kelly and John Mullane tussling for the token All-Ireland finalists award – if you think the scale of the defeat excludes that scenario, Waterford got two awards in 1982 after an even bigger beating in the Munster final. Mullane should get it for his stunning consistency but I think Kelly will, his 2-12 haul against Offaly being one of the more memorable individual displays of the year. And he did solve the freetaking conundrum despite the doubts of certain pundits.
So one award for us, and if anyone thinks this is unfair on the All-Ireland finalists, ponder this: did any of ye feel sympathy for Limerick last year?