THE Reardens Club All-Stars scheme has been renewed for a sixth year.
The popular awards were initiated in 2012 to reward senior players on the hurling and football front for their excellence in club colours. As well as the 30 players picked for All-Stars, prizes are also given out to the best players in the semi-finals, the Man of the Match for each final, and Players of the Year in four competitions, including camogie and ladies football.
The aim this year is to expand the awards to incorporate teams of the year for camogie and ladies football too.
Michael O’Sullivan, Reardens, explained they are hoping to recognise the excellence of female players as well.
“The Reardens All-Stars have become a big part of the season for club hurlers and footballers and ideally we’ll be able to do the same for ladies football and camogie,” he said.
“Cork has had outstanding success in ladies football for a long time and the camogie team won a great All- Ireland against Kilkenny last month, their third in four years.
“It means the standard of club games are higher than ever and those players deserve to be acknowledged too.”
A panel of local journalists come up with the shortlist of 45 players in each code and then the All-Stars 15s in hurling and football, while the best performers in yesterday’s football semi-finals and next Sunday’s hurling semi-finals will also get special statues from Reardens ahead of the county finals.
Last season the players of the year were Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), John Hayes (Carbery Rangers), Joanne Casey (Inniscarra), and Roisín O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey).
Experienced Glen Rovers duo Donal Cronin and Brian Moylan, Douglas’ Alan Cadogan, Ballymartle’s Darren McCarthy, ex-Sars and current Douglas forward Cian McCarthy, and former Sars wing-back Éanna Martin are the benchmark for consistency in club hurling, as they all won three Reardens All-Star awards over the five years to date.
Tireless midfielder Cronin and teak-tough defender Moylan were among seven winners from the county champions the Glen last season. The other Glen players to make the cut in 2016 were Patrick Horgan, Graham Callanan, Dean Brosnan, David Noonan, and Conor Dorris.
John O’Rourke and John Hayes are the most decorated footballers in the Reardens Club All-Star scheme, both winning their third each last season when Carbery Rangers won a breakthrough county.
Ross have been in the semi-finals of the SFC every year bar one since 2009 and captured the Andy Scannell Cup last October.
Carbery Rangers dominated the Reardens’ 15 for last season, with eight spots on the team, including Brian Shanahan and James Fitzpatrick, keeper Paul Shanahan, Thomas O’Rourke, Tipp senior Robbie Kiely, and Jerry O’Riordan.