UP THE BANNER Clare captain Anthony Daly lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after the All-Ireland Hurling Final in 1995. Pic: Sportsfile
CLARE’S two-time All-Ireland winning hurling captain Anthony Daly will be the special guest at next Friday night’s ‘sold-out’ Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars awards in Westport.
The Clarecastle native, who lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup in 1995 and 1997, also won three Munster championship medals and is a three-time All Star award winner.
The RTE pundit was selected as one of Ireland’s Top 125 hurlers in a poll in 2009, and also managed Dublin to an historic Leinster senior championship title in 2013, their first for 52 years. He is currently managing the Kilmacud Crokes senior hurling team.
“I’m really looking forward to my trip to Westport,” the 48 year-old told The Mayo News.
“I’m a huge believer in the importance of the club in the GAA and anything that’s done to promote the work done by club volunteers, club managers, and club players is something that I’m fully behind.
“I always feel that it’s important too to acknowledge and celebrate our past players on nights like this, and I’m really looking forward to meeting the Tooreen hurling legend, Joe Henry!
“It should be a great night, for a great cause.”
The ‘full house’ signs are up for Friday night’s awards — which are being hosted in association with AIB. All the proceeds from the 13th annual event are being donated to Enable Ireland, Mayo Services.
Among the guests on the night will be Mayo manager Stephen Rochford, 2017 Footballer of the Year, Andy Moran, and 2016 Footballer of the Year, Lee Keegan.
Ballintubber’s Cillian O’Connor and Moy Davitts’ Brian Reape will receive their ‘Golden Boot’ awards after topping the scoring charts in the Mayo Senior and Intermediate championships respectively.
The Club Stars judges met recently to select the 15 players and five replacements that will make up the 2017 Team of the Year.
“Despite the fact that we’ve been doing this for quite a few years, I found picking this year’s team quite hard because of the way the club championship was played off,” explained John Casey.
“You had four or five club championship matches played off over three or four weeks after the All-Ireland, almost like a blitz, so you were really watching out for guys who hit form in those crucial big games in a very small window.
“The Club Stars awards are always a great night,” he added. “I was fortunate enough to make the Team of the Year as a player with Charlestown and it’s a trophy that I still really cherish now that I’ve hung up my boots.
“To be nominated for any award as a player is great recognition, but to win it is obviously better again.”
GUESTS at Friday night’s Club Stars awards will be treated to a complimentary prosecco reception at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport. There are also a number of competitions and giveaways planned for the night!