ALL-IRELAND champions Kilkenny have 12 players in the running for the 2012 All-Stars, writes Trevor Spillane.
The nominations for the awards, now a joint GAA and GPA venture, were announced at midnight with a dozen of the Kilkenny team who won the county’s 34th All-Ireland title at the weekend making the shortlist.
Paul Murphy, J.J. Delaney and Jackie Tyrrell were all named in the shortlist for the full-back awards, while Brian Hogan and Tommy Walsh have been named in the nine-strong contingent for half-back honours, a group which also includes first time nominee Kieran Joyce.
Michael Fennelly, the 2011 Hurler of the Year, is the county’s only nomination in midfield.
Henry Shefflin, one of the contenders for the 2012 Hurler of the Year honour, is named in the half-forward selection with T.J. Reid and Richie Power. There are two nominations for berths in the full-forward line - Richie Hogan and captain Eoin Larkin.
Together with Galway the All-Ireland finalists make up the bulk of the nominations. Munster champions Tipperary have six player on the shortlist, Cork and Waterford four each. There are two nominations for Clare and Limerick and one for Dublin.
The Cats were second best to Galway when it came to the number of players selected in the final 45, however. The Tribesmen, who beat Kilkenny to win the Leinster title but lost the battle for the Liam MacCarthy Cup after a replay, had 14 players listed - James Regan, who started at corner-forward in Sunday’s replay, is the only Galway player from their starting 15 to miss out.
The full list of Hurling All-Stars nominees is:
Goalkeepers - Anthony Nash (Cork), Nickie Quaid (Limerick), James Skehill (Galway).
Full-backs: Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), J.J. Delaney (Kilkenny), Johnny Coen (Galway), Fergal Moore (Galway), Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny), Richie McCarthy (Limerick), Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Kevin Hynes (Galway), Shane O’Neill (Cork).
Half-backs - Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), Brendan Bugler (Clare), Padraic Maher (Tipperary), David Collins (Galway), Michael Walsh (Waterford), Tony Og Regan (Galway), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Niall Donoghue (Galway), Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny).
Midfielders - Andy Smith (Galway), Kevin Moran (Waterford), Stephen Molumphy (Waterford), Pa Cronin (Cork), Iarla Tannian (Galway), Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny).
Half-forwards - Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Cyril Donnellan (Galway), Niall Burke (Galway), Patrick ‘Bonnar’ Maher (Tipperary), T.J. Reid (Kilkenny), Pa Bourke (Tipperary), Damien Hayes (Galway), Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin), Richie Power (Kilkenny).
Full-forwards - Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny), Joe Canning (Galway), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Patrick Horgan (Cork), John Mullane (Waterford), Brian O’Meara (Tipperary), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), John Conlon (Clare), David Burke (Galway).
The final team will be announced live on RTE television on Friday, October 26.