TWO of Castlebar Mitchels’ county championship winning team have been nominated for the prestigious Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars ‘Senior Player of the Year’ award.
Ger McDonagh and Paddy Durcan — both of whom won their third successive Mayo SFC medals last season — have been shortlisted to win the Willie McNeela Perpetual Trophy, along with Ballintubber legend Alan Dillon.
Durcan and Dillon are both previous winners of the Senior POY trophy and were in top form again for their clubs in 2017 while McDonagh is bidding to win the award for the first time after another stellar season with the Mitchels.
The winner (which is chosen by Club Stars judging panel) will be revealed at the 13th annual awards (in association with AIB) which are being held on Friday, January 19 in Knockranny House Hotel, Westport.
All the proceeds from the event are being donated to Enable Ireland, Mayo Services, the Club Stars charity partner this year.
Meanwhile, Mayo Intermediate club football champions, Moy Davitts, have also had two players nominated for the ‘Intermediate POY’ award with goalkeeper Chris McGlynn and full-forward Brian Reape chosen by the Club Stars judges.
Kiltimagh’s Liam Lydon has also been shortlisted.
McGlynn and Reape helped the East Mayo club to a long-awaited county title last season after a dramatic final replay victory over neighbours Kiltimagh.
Elsewhere, Lahardane duo Adrian Leonard and Barry Leonard, along with Kilmaine’s Jarlath Mullin, are all in the running for the Club Stars ‘Junior Player of the Year’ award.
The Leonards played starring roles in Lahardane’s historic Mayo and Connacht Junior club championship winning double, and will both be in action again in the All-Ireland Junior semi-final against Multyfarmham on Sunday, January 20 in Roscommon.
The ‘Young Player of the Year’ trophy will also be presented at the Club Stars awards on Friday week next — and it’s no surprise to see both of this year’s Mayo Under-21 ‘A’ finalists represented.
First-time ‘A’ championship winners Westport have had both captain Niall McManamon and forward Colm Moran shortlisted for the coveted award while beaten finalists Belmullet are represented by Ryan O’Donoghue.
Both McManamon and Moran also lined out in Westport’s famous All-Ireland Intermediate club final success last February, and have enjoyed a fairytale season in their club colours.
O’Donoghue will also remember 2017 for years to come after winning an All-Ireland Senior ‘C’ colleges championship title with Our Lady’s SS, Belmullet and he was also invited by Stephen Rochford into Mayo’s FBD League squad before Christmas.
Other recipients of awards at this year’s Club Stars include: PJ McGrath (Hall of Fame), Joe Henry (Hurling Recognition), Andy Moran (Personality of the Year), Tuar Mhic Éadaigh (Volunteers of the Year), and Westport GAA club, Tooreen Hurling Club, Carnacon ladies (Special Achievement awards).
The Club Stars ‘Team of the Year’ will also be revealed on the night.