David Clifford was crowned PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the year at the PwC All-Stars at Dublin’s RDS in Ballsbridge.
It was a special night for Roscommon’s Enda Smith who became the 14th Roscommon footballer to win an All-Star.
Meanwhile, Aaron Gillane was crowned the PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year.
Also announced live on the night of a gala black-tie event were the PwC Football All-Stars for 2023. All-Ireland champions Dublin head up an impressive five county spread with five places.
Provincial champions Kerry and Derry claiming four slots each and one each for Monaghan and Roscommon.
Fossa’s David Clifford is now a five-time PwC Football All-Star after a season that saw him maintain his prolific high standards.
Clifford becomes the first ever footballer crowned back-to-back Player of the Year, joining fellow nominee Brian Fenton and Meath legend Trevor Giles as a modern-day two-time winner.
Derry’s Ethan Doherty was voted Young Footballer of the year by his peers after catching the eye in an All-Ireland semi-final campaign.
Dublin’s dominance of the team is not without significance. Their history-making trio of Stephen Cluxton, Michael Fitzsimons and James McCarthy, moved out on their own as winners of a record nine All-Ireland senior medals last summer. They are also now PwC Football All-Stars for 2023.
Derry’s defensive rock Conor McCluskey and Kerry stalwart Tom O’Sullivan flank Dublin’s man marking ace Mick Fitzsimons. Gareth McKinless was acknowledged for heavy workload and powerful running at centre-back. As is Monaghan star Conor McCarthy on the left wing with Dublin’s All-Ireland winning captain James McCarthy named on the right wing. James McCarthy collects a fifth All-Star in the process.
Dubliner Brian Fenton’s All-Star tally moves to a remarkable six. Derry and Slaughtneil star Brendan Rogers is a popular companion for Fenton in the middle.
First Roscommon all-star since 2001
For the third-year-in-a-row, Paudie Clifford keeps it a family affair for the All-Stars by joining his brother in the team. Seán O’Shea’s importance to the Kingdom was recognised with the centre-forward shirt. At left-half-forward is Roscommon talisman Enda Smith, becoming the first Rossie All-Star since 2001.
The sharp shooting inside line has David Clifford top of the right. First time winner Shane McGuigan after his prolific year with Derry, in the left-corner Colm Basquel wins a first all-star.
Congratulating the winners, Uachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy said: “Tonight we honour the outstanding performers who because of their excellence have been recognised for their efforts with a PwC Football All-Star award”.
“In being chosen from the stellar short list of nominees these players are being recognised for their exceptional contribution to a great football season”.
“In selecting David Clifford as PwC Footballer of the Year and Aaron Gillane as PwC Hurler of the Year, the playing body have also crowned the players they deem the best of the best, while Ethan Doherty and Mark Rodgers are deserving recipients of the Young Players of the Year awards.”
“Our thanks to PwC for their support in maintaining the iconic tradition that are the All-Stars” added Larry McCarthy.
Hurler of the year
Meanwhile, Aaron Gillane landed the PwC Hurler of the year. Gillane tormented defences, grabbing important scores in big games.
Gillane brings yet more glory to the Patrickswell club who have a proud tradition of All-Star success and have also impressively supplied recent Hurlers of the Year in Cian Lynch and Diarmaid Byrnes.
The PwC Young Hurler of the Year award went to Clare’s All-Star nominee Mark Rodgers.