Dublin Premier Junior players Gráinne Free and Aoife Bugler have been nominiated for this year’s Soaring Star Awards following their impressive season which saw their team win Division 3 of the League and reach the All-Ireland final.
This year sees a change to the format for the Intermediate and Premier Junior grades with awards being presented to the 15 most outstanding players across the Intermediate and Premier Junior Championships, drawn from 36 nominees across both grades for the first time. The 15 recipients will be announced at the Camogie All-Stars Awards banquet, sponsored by Liberty Insurance at Citywest Hotel on Saturday November 4th.
All-Ireland Intermediate champions Meath receive nine nominations. Amongst their nominees are goalkeeper Emily Mangan, defenders Claire Coffey and Áine Keogh, midfielder Cheyenne O’Brien and forwards Jane Dolan, Aoife Minogue, Megan Thynne, Kristina Troy and Amy Gaffney who was Player of the Match in the All-Ireland Final Replay.
Intermediate runners-up Cork also receive nine nominations including goalkeeper Amy Lee, defenders Sarah Buckley, Sarah Harrington, Niamh Ní Chaoimh and Leah Weste, midfielder Finola Neville and forwards Linda Collins, Katelyn Hickey and Keeva McCarthy.
All-Ireland Premier Junior champions Westmeath receive four nominations. Amongst their nominees are defender Laura Doherty, midfielder Caoimhe McCrossan, and forwards Denise McGrath and Sheila McGrath.
Premier Junior runners-up Dublin receive two nominations with defender Gráinne Free and forward Aoife Bugler nominated for the Dubs.
At Intermediate level Carlow, Derry, Down and Kildare have all received two nominations each; Emma Brennan and Eleanor Treacy are nominated for Carlow, Gráinne McNicholl and Niamh McQuillan are nominated for the Oak Leaf county, Niamh Mallon and Maria McNally are nominated for Down, and Emer Reilly and Aoife Trant are nominated for the Lilywhites.
At Premier Junior level Kerry receive two nominations whilst Waterford and Wicklow both receive one nomination each. Patrice Diggins and Niamh Leen are nominated for the Kingdom, Kaeisha Tobin is nominated for na Déise and Kellie Byrne is nominated for Wicklow.
President of the Camogie Association Catherine Neary congratulated the nominees stating that “The Camogie Soaring Stars Awards celebrate our Intermediate and Premier Junior intercounty players. This year we have extended our Soaring Stars as it is the first time that we will have a Soaring Stars team which ensures that as an organisation we continue to acknowledge the achievement of our players at Intermediate and Premier Junior level both on the playing field and off it.
“These nominations recognise the skill, commitment and sportsmanship of our players and I congratulate each of the nominees from across 11 counties. While Camogie is a team sport it is important to acknowledge at a national level the continued contribution that our players make to our game. I wish to take this opportunity to once again acknowledge the contribution of our commercial partners Liberty Insurance for their continued sponsorship of the Camogie Soaring Stars.”
Deirdre Ashe, Director of Personal Lines for Liberty Insurance said that “The Camogie Soaring Stars Awards recognise the outstanding achievement of players and management from the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championships earlier this summer; congratulations to everyone who has been nominated. We’re delighted to sponsor the awards again this year and are looking forward to what is always a memorable and very special evening of celebration on November 4th.”
The 2017 Camogie All-Stars team will also be announced on the night, as will the Manager of the Year Award. Nominees for the Camogie Association/WGPA Senior, Intermediate and Junior Players’ Player of the Year Awards sponsored by Liberty Insurance will be announced next week.
Camogie Soaring Stars Awards 2017 Sponsored By Liberty Insurance, Nominees List:
Goalkeepers: Amy Lee (Cork), Niamh McQuillan (Derry), Emily Mangan (Meath)
Full-Back Line: Sarah Harrington (Cork), Niamh Ní Chaoimh (Cork), Leah Weste (Cork), Maria McNally (Down), Niamh Leen (Kerry), Claire Coffey (Meath), Kellie Byrne (Wicklow)
Half-Back Line: Emma Brennan (Carlow), Sarah Buckley (Cork), Gráinne McNicholl (Derry), Gráinne Free (Dublin), Aoife Trant (Kildare), Áine Keogh (Meath), Laura Doherty (Westmeath)
Midfield: Finola Neville (Cork), Patrice Diggins (Kerry), Emer Reilly (Kildare), Cheyenne O’Brien (Meath), Caoimhe McCrossan (Westmeath)
Half-Forward Line: Eleanor Treacy (Carlow), Katelyn Hickey (Cork), Keeva McCarthy (Cork), Amy Gaffney (Meath), Megan Thynne (Meath), Kristina Troy (Meath), Denise McGrath (Westmeath)
Full-Forward Line: Linda Collins (Cork), Niamh Mallon (Down), Aoife Bugler (Dublin), Jane Dolan (Meath), Aoife Minogue (Meath), Kaeisha Tobin (Waterford), Sheila McGrath (Westmeath)