The Ulster Senior Football champions for 2017, Tyrone, have once again dominated the Irish News Ulster All Stars football team which was honoured at the Armagh City Hotel earlier this week.
Mickey Harte’s side that completed back-to-back Ulster successes in 2017 have nine players in the selection, beaten Provincial finalists, Down having three, Armagh two and somewhat surprisingly a Monaghan side that qualified for the All Ireland Senior Football Quarter-finals ended up with just the one winner.
Tyrone’s Peter Harte was named as the Ulster Player of the Year, while his recently retired Red hand County team mate, Sean Cavanagh was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Merit Award winners were the Derry senior hurlers, the Derry U21 hurlers, Sigerson Cup champions St. Mary’s, Belfast, the Slaughtneil camogie team and Donegal ladies football star Karen Guthrie.
The 2017 Irish News All Stars are as follows: Niall Morgan, Ronan McNamee James Morgan, Darren O’Hagan, Tiernan McCann, Padraig Hampsey, Darragh O’Hanlon, Colm Cavanagh, Kieran Hughes, Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Peter Harte, Mark Bradley, Connaire Harrison, Jamie Clarke.
There are two massive senior football championship quarter-finals down for decision this weekend in Monahan and already the attention is turning towards the 2018 season where once again the Farney County will be operating in an ultra- competitive Division One of the Allianz Football League.
There is still speculation as to whether or not Malachy O ‘Rourke will remain on in his capacity as Monaghan senior football team manager. Kieran Hughes is just one of the County’s players that has called on the Fermanagh native to remain on with the side that have enjoyed a double Ulster success under the tenure of O’Rourke.
Hughes has urged O’Rourke to remain on for at least a sixth season and feels a lot of what has accomplished has gone unnoticed by some in the county.
“I’ve no doubt (he’s the right man). I don’t think people have sat back and really realised what he’s done for Monaghan football,” he told The Irish News “If you sit back and look at the squad he’s developed over the last four or five years… this year of all years you had five or six men who could come off the bench and make a difference.
“That’s massive testament to management and backroom staff because Monaghan is a small county, I hate saying that because it’s not an excuse, but he’s definitely squeezing as much out of us as he can.”
Shannonside FM’s Alan Gunn spoke with Kieran Hughes