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GAA

18th Nov 2023

Three massive players who were unfortunate to miss out on an All-Star

Lee Costello

All-Stars

These lads were incredible this year.

The All-Stars for 2023 have been selected, and there isn’t a single name in the team that you would begrudge being in it, however, three players can count themselves as unlucky to miss out.

Typically the All-Star team is made up mostly from the side that won the All-Ireland but there seemed to be a much more diplomatic approach this year, with a focus being on the best players, rather than the best team.

Enda Smith in particular was a welcome surprise, not because he didn’t deserve to be there, but because Roscommon didn’t make semi-final stages, and his brilliant performances  were still remembered and appreciated.

Three massive players were unfortunate to miss out on an All-Star

The extra games in the round-robin probably helped with the selection process as more footballers had an opportunity to showcase their talent.

However, there are three stars in particular who were at the award ceremony last night, that probably feel a little aggrieved not to be standing up on stage with their teammates, and rivals.

Cormac Costello

The Dublin forward was enjoying the season of his life up until the final, and was even tipped to be a runner in the Player of the Year race, however it never quite happened for him in the final.

This was a similar situation that Tom O’Sullivan was in last year, looking set to pick up POTY, only to have an off-day on the final and then lose out on an All-Star entirely.

Shane McGuigan, David Clifford, and Paudie Clifford were all absolute certainties to get a spot, so the last places were probably a toss up between Enda Smith, Colm Basquel, Sean O’Shea, and Paul Mannion.

Paul Mannion

After returning from a sabbatical with the inter-county team, Mannion didn’t initially hit the ground running, but seeing as he endured a long season with his club Kilmacud Crokes, and was recovering from a serious injury, it’s easy to see why it took a little while to find his feet.

What better game to have your best performance of the year in than the All-Ireland final itself, as Mannion was incredible, kicking points for fun from crazy distances and angles.

The flying forward also picked up the Man of the Match award, something which normally solidifies your place in the All-Star team.

Karl O’Connell

All-Stars

At 35 years of age, no one was expecting the Monaghan half back to have the season that he did, not because he hasn’t been brilliant in the past, but but this year was just a completely different level.

Playing at centre half back he would stampeded through opposition teams, breaking the line, and causing absolute mayhem. Even when his team were destroyed by Derry in the Ulster championship, he was the one bright spark in the Farney team.

When they played Derry again later in the championship, it was his wonder-score that brought the game level in the dying seconds, and that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his influence this year. Very unfortunate to miss out on an All-Star.

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