Lee Keegan in action for Mayo during the All-Ireland final. The defender is in the running for the PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year award. Photo: Sportsfile

Keegan and Mullin nominated for top GAA awards

Eight members of the Mayo senior football squad have been nominated for PwC All-Stars for 2021.

They are: Rob Hennelly, Stephen Coen, Patrick Durcan, Lee Keegan, Padraig O'Hora, Matthew Ruane, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O'Donoghue.

Keegan has also been nominated for the PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year Award while Oisín Mullin's name is in the frame for the PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year accolade, which he won last year.

All-Ireland champions Tyrone, who defeated Mayo in the final, lead the way with 15 names on the PwC All-Star football nominations list, while 11 different counties in total have players nominated.

Keegan is up against Tyrone duo Conor Meyler and Kieran McGeary for the Footballer of the Year award, while Oisin Mullin will get to defend his 2020 Young Footballer of the Year accolade against Galway's Matthew Tierney and Tyrone's Darragh Canavan.

After All-Ireland finalists Mayo and Tyrone, Munster champions Kerry have the next most nominations with seven, while Leinster champions Dublin have five, with three contenders from Monaghan and two from Armagh. Cork, Kildare, Donegal, Galway and Clare have one nominee each.

Congratulating the nominees, Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy said: “I want to salute all of those players who have been selected on the shortlist for the PwC All-Stars and also the players nominated for the PwC Footballer and Young Footballer of the Year awards.

“The competition to make it to the final list of 45 nominees was considerable after an exceptional football championship. This is a great honour and one that will be celebrated by the players, their families and clubs.

“The on-going support of PwC for this illustrious awards scheme is greatly appreciated and I look forward to the deliberations around the final 15 to add to the rich All-Star history stretching back to 1971.”

Feargal O’Rourke, managing partner with PwC, also noted that 2021 marks the 50th anniversary year of the All-Star Awards. “For five decades they have recognised excellence and commitment both on and off the field. Congratulations to the 45 footballers who have been nominated for the 2021 PwC All-Stars from everyone at PwC. Their stellar performances have allowed us to enjoy a superb championship, despite the challenging year. These well-deserved nominations are a testament to their abilities, both individually and as part of a team.”

Former Mayo midfielder Tom Parsons, GPA CEO, congratulated all of the nominees, saying: “These 45 nominees represent the thousands of inter-county players across the country, male and female, who again gave us some light in an otherwise dark year because of the ongoing pandemic. I want to salute every one of those players for their efforts and thank them for their commitment and for the entertainment that they provided for us all.

“To the nominees, congratulations. To be recognised for your individual performances within a team environment is special. And to those players in the running to become the PwC Footballer and Young Footballer of the Year, the very best of luck. Thank you, too, to the selection committee for your work in whittling down so many outstanding players to this shortlist.”

The nominations were chosen by a panel of Gaelic games correspondents from across print, radio, TV and digital media, chaired by Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy.

The PwC All-Stars for Football 2021 will be announced live on the night of the awards, which will be held on December 10. The presentation will take place in a televised ceremony that will be in line with Covid-19 restrictions and will be confirmed in due course.