It’s a sign of how far Waterford have come over the last decade that I can manage to be a little disappointed at the amount of nominations we received for the 2009 All Stars. This philosophy of stuffing the nominations with nearly everyone who played in the All-Ireland final then filling the gaps with a handful of AN Other’s is enough to give you a dose of gas. Thirteen nominations for Tipperary? Why didn’t they just go the whole hog and give one to Benny Dunne?
Having said that, it’s hard to argue with an All-Ireland final that was for the ages. And nominations are really only worthwhile to players who have never had a nomination, so Noel Connors should be pleased at the national recognition. For the rest of them, Clinton Hennessy and Tony Browne will be under no illusions. Hennessy’s chances, slim enough to begin with, would have been snuffed out by PJ Ryan’s match-winning performance in the All-Ireland final. And Tony Browne will probably look on it as a lifetime achievement nomination. Don’t expect to see him anywhere other than Waterford on the big night.
Which leaves two men standing. John Mullane is a lock. Guilt about his being overlooked last year should override any concerns about his wild performance in the semi-final against Kilkenny. He might even get Hurler of the Year, what with the whiff of sulphur that is lingering around Tommy Walsh (which means Lar Corbett will probably win it, but we can hope).
The only likely variable then is the fate of Michael Walsh. I’ve learned over the years not to look for conspiracy theories, not to see slights on Waterford where there are none – I was being sincere in the previous post when saying that Brian Corcoran was entitled to his opinion, however crass and hurtful it might be. But should Walsh, in spite of a string of stupendous performances, be squeezed out by the need to garland the All-Ireland finalists further, one will be rather vexed.
Full list of nominations here.