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The Clare team before the All-Ireland senior hurling final replay against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Banner’s eight stars

THE selection of eight members of Clare’s All-Ireland winning hurling side on the 2013 All-Stars team has rounded off a memorable year for the Banner County

David McInerney, Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, Tony Kelly, Podge Collins and Conor McGrath have been named on the team, which is completed by three players each from Cork and Dublin and one from the Munster champions, Limerick.

The awards will be presented at a function in Croke Park this Friday night, when the identity of both the senior and young hurler of the year will also be revealed.

The young player award is certainly in the bag for Clare, as the only nominees are Tony Kelly, Podge Collins and David McInerney.  Kelly and Collins are also in the running for the senior award, along with Cork goalie Anthony Nash.

The players make the choice of player of the year.

The number of Clare men named in this year’s team equals the number included in the team after Clare’s All-Ireland win in 1995, when Clare boss, Davy Fitzgerald filled the goalkeeping position.

Anthony Daly, captain of the 1995 team, is the current Dublin manager and three members of his team, which won the Leinster title this year, are also named in the team to be honoured on Friday night.

Seven of the Clare winners will be honoured for the first time, with Whitegate captain Brendan Bugler picking up his second award, having been named in last year’s team. The other two previous winners are Cork goalie Anthony Nash and Dublin’s Liam Rushe.

Twelve of the 2013 team are first time recipients, reflecting the winds of change that blew through hurling this season.

Five of the 2013 team are U-21 – Dublin’s Danny Sutcliffe joining Clare’s David McInerney, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly and Podge Collins.

GAA president Liam O’Neill said, “This year’s selection was of particular interest to hurling followers everywhere after the incredible year we had. The players who have made the final cut can take particular satisfaction on doing so, in a season of stiff competition, as new teams and players emerged, something evidenced in the final make up of the team.

GPA CEO, Dessie Farrell added, “It was a truly exceptional hurling championship and the individual players honoured can be very proud of their contribution to that season.

Unsurprisingly, Clare dominate the selection after their epic journey this summer, which brought so much skill, colour, drama and excitement to the game”.

The 2013 hurling team is: Anthony Nash (Cork); Ritchie McCarthy (Limerick), Peter Kelly (Dublin), David McInerney (Clare); Brendan Bugler (Clare), Liam Rushe (Dublin), Patrick Donnellan (Clare); Colm Galvin (Clare), Conor Ryan (Clare); Séamus Harnedy (Cork), Tony Kelly (Clare), Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin); Pádraic Collins (Clare), Patrick Horgan (Cork) and Conor McGrath (Clare).

Seamus Hayes

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