The GAA’s decision not to have a ‘Champion 15’ selection for the Joe McDonagh Cup this year at the was met with anger across the county after it was announced.
Laois captain, Paddy Purcell, picked up the Joe McDonagh Player of the Year Award at the PwC All-Star Awards on Friday night, where he spoke to Will O’Callaghan about the decision and noted his teammates who he believed deserved recognition.
He said: “It’s disappointing. We probably would have got six or seven lads up here tonight.
“I feel for the likes of Mark Kavanagh, Ryan Mullaney and John Lennon – superb for us this year.
“I’m probably representing them here tonight but I wouldn’t have been able to get this award if it wasn’t for them,” he explained.
The awards remain for both the Christy Ring and Nicky Rackard competition yet players competing in the Joe McDonagh Cup were considered in the PwC All-Stars for the Liam MacCarthy.
The Rathdowney-Errill man weighed in on the decision saying: “It’s unfair. Hopefully they bring it back next year because the Joe McDonagh Cup is a great competition.
“Obviously, when you’re playing at that level you want to be ranked with the top teams.
“Enda (Rowland) got his nomination for the All-Star but ultimately he ends up with nothing for 2019 after having the year of his life so it is disappointing in that way but hopefully they’ll do something about it next year,” he added.
Purcell had a superb season captaining both his club and county to silverware. He beat off competition from Kerry and Westmeath players Shane Conway and Killian Doyle to claim the Joe McDonagh Player of the Year.
He said: “It’s a huge honour for me. My mother and father are here as well, they’re probably more excited than me.
“It’s brilliant for my own club and for Laois to pick up an individual award on a national scale. It’s a huge achievement, I’m very proud.”