Kerry star Sean O’Shea has been named Munster footballer of the year for 2022.
The Kenmare Shamrock’s clubman capped a marvellous year by lifting the Sam Maguire cup with co-captain Joe O’Connor. And his mammoth match-winning free against Dublin in the semi-final will go down in Croke Park folklore.
In the Munster Championship, O’Shea kicked 10 points in the semi-final defeat of Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn and six in the Munster final win over Limerick.
The Munster Ladies Footballer of the Year is Karen McGrath from Waterford. Karen McGrath has served as Waterford’s captain over the past two seasons and helped her club Ballymacarbry to their 41st Waterford title in a row, her own 15th title. But the year was made special by Ballymacarbry’s capture of the Munster Senior Club Ladies Football title last month with a win over Banner Ladies of Clare, bridging a 22-year gap for the club.
The Manager of the year in the province is Limerick’s John Kiely. The Shannonsiders extended their dominance of Munster hurling to a fourth campaign this season, equalling a record for the county. The extra-time win over Clare in the final was an epic affair that lit up Semple Stadium.
The Galbally native’s place in the annals is secure after he then masterminded Limerick to a third All-Ireland title in a row in July. He is now the second most successful manager in the history of the game, only behind the legendary Brian Cody
The Under 20 Hurler of the Year is another Limerick man, Aidan O’Connor The half-forward fired 0-30 in the Munster Under 20 Championship, helping Limerick to a ninth Munster U20/U21 crown.
In his third season at the grade, he was at his skilful best in a potent Treaty attack. The Ballybrown man follows in the footsteps of his father, Joe, who won the Munster Under 21 title as a forward in 1987.
Following group wins over Clare and Cork, O’Connor contributed 0-5 from play to post 0-10 against Waterford in the semi-final and followed that with nine points in the Munster Final win over Tipperary. Proving reliable from placed balls, he landed 0-19 frees in four outings.
Posting a total of 0-10 in the Under 20 All-Ireland final, he saw Limerick miss out to Kilkenny by just a point. The Ballybrown forward has also won Under 21 Premier Hurling title with his club this season, adding to two Under 18 and an Under 19 title secured in recent seasons.
All of this year’s Munster GAA Awards will be presented at an Awards function in the Minella Hotel Clonmel on Saturday.
Ladies Footballer of the Year – Karen McGrath (Waterford)
This year’s Ladies Footballer of the Year hails from Ballymacarbry in Waterford. Karen McGrath was Waterford’s Captain in the past two season and helped her club to win their 41st Waterford title in a row. While it was Karen’s 15th County title, her most notable achievement in 2022 was the capturing of her first Munster Senior Club Ladies Football title last month with a win over Banner Ladies of Clare bridging a 22 year gap for the club in winning their 15th Munster Final.
Karen’s long list of honours include 7 Munster Senior Club B titles, 5 Munster Intermediate titles and 1 All-Ireland title with Waterford along with a Division 2 National League title in 2019. At inter-provincial level, Karen has won titles in 2018 and 2019 while at Third Level, Karen was the Ladies Football Player of the Year in 2014/15 and 2017/18 while studying at UCD.
Under 20 Hurling Player of the year – Aidan O’Connor (Limerick)
Half-forward Aidan O’Connor fired 0-30 in the Munster Under 20 Championship, helping Limerick to secure a ninth Munster U20/U21 title. In his third season at the grade, he was at his skilful best in a potent Treaty attack. The Ballybrown man now walks alongside his father, Joe, who won the Munster Under 21 title as a forward in 1987.
Following group wins over Clare and Cork, O’Connor contributed 0-5 from play to post 0-10 against Waterford in the semi-final in a typically formidable fashion. Proving reliable from placed balls, he landed 0-19 frees in four outings. Nine points in the Munster Final win over Tipperary helped Aidan to add a second Munster title having secured an Under 17 title in 2019.
Posting a total of 0-10 in the Under 20 All-Ireland final saw Limerick miss out to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final by just one point. The Ballybrown forward has also won Under 21 Premier Hurling title with his club this season, adding to two Under 18 and an Under 19 title secured in recent seasons.
Senior Football Player of the Year – Sean O’Shea (Kerry)
Kenmare Shamrock’s clubman Seanie O’ Shea joined the Kerry squad in 2017 and made his Senior Debut in the Allianz League in 2018. Not long after in 2019, Seanie was named Young Footballer of the Year. His talents continued to be recognised over the next few years, winning two All-Stars and culminating with lifting Sam Maguire as joint captain in the Hogan Stand in July of this year.
Seanie is a leader on and off the pitch. He is always ready to listen and to help others with a real sense of compassion. Seanie always does his utmost to support those around him in any way that he can. His commitment knows no bounds and whilst he shines all over the pitch, he excels in his craft – free taking. Seanie wears the Kerry crest with pride and is a fantastic ambassador for Kerry and his own Kenmare.
Manager of the Year – John Kiely (Limerick)
John Kiely emblazoned his name on the annals of Limerick hurling for ever after he masterminded Limerick to completing three All-Ireland Senior titles in a row last July. The Galbally native who is now the second most successful manager in the history of the game, only behind the legendary Brian Cody began his involvement with Limerick Senior Hurlers in 2013 as part of John Allen’s backroom team as Limerick ended a 17 year wait without a Provincial title.
As manager of the Limerick Under 21 Hurling team he guided the county to Munster and All-Ireland honours in 2015. On taking over as Limerick Senior manager in 2017, Kiely’s managerial crusade to greatness took off and he has led the county to four All-Ireland titles, a record equalling for the county four in a row Munster Senior Hurling titles and back-to-back Allianz League successes.
John Kiely has led Limerick hurling to the Promised Land with a string of unimaginable years of success and for it, he is assured of place in the history of the game.