Prendergast and Hurney win Senior Player awards

Waterford GAA Hurler of the Year Seamus Prendergast receives his award from Waterford County Board Chairman Tom Cunningham.

Waterford GAA Hurler of the Year Seamus Prendergast receives his award from Waterford County Board Chairman Tom Cunningham.

Inter-county stalwarts Seamus Prendergast and Gary Hurney were named as Waterford GAA’s Senior Players of the Year at the annual awards dinner held in Lawlor’s Hotel, Dungarvan on Saturday last.

Prendergast, who led the Deise’s attack in his 14th season of League and Championship action in 2013, also spearheaded Ardmore to success in the County Intermediate Hurling Championship.

Hurney, who remains undecided about his inter-county future (Niall Carew’s panel is currently in Malaga), dug deep again in 2013 for both club and county, proving instrumental in Ballinacourty’s march to the Senior Football title.

“I’m delighted to have won the award, especially given how well the other two nominees (Jamie Nagle and Killian Fitzgerald) had hurled during the year,” Prendergast told MC Kevin Casey of WLRfm.

“I’m heading into my 15th year with Waterford and I’ll play on because I’m enjoying it. We’ve lots of good younger players coming through and I think we’re all raring to go – sure no-one’s ever certain of their place and I think there’ll be a huge fight for places, what with 35 on the panel, but I’m looking forward to that and to be playing senior with the club next year too.”

Gary Hurney, equally chuffed with his award, told Kevin Casey: “It’s like winning Championships – you don’t get anything like this easy. I’d a tough year in terms of injuries, but the club and the county management couldn’t have been better and I was delighted to play as much as I did, and winning the Senior Championship was the highlight of the year for me.”

Meanwhile, the Underage Hurler and Footballer Awards went to Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart) and Paul O’Connor (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) respectively, while Passage topped a historic year when adding the Club of the Year trophy to their maiden Senior Hurling title victory.

The success of Waterford’s Minor Hurling panel in claiming a first All-Ireland title in 65 years was recognised in the guise of Special Achievement Awards presented to manager Sean Power and captain Kevin Daly.

The other Special Achievement winners on the night were the coaches who delivered All-Ireland ‘A’ and ‘B’ Colleges Hurling titles, along with the Division Three Football crowns for

Dungarvan Colleges and Dungarvan CBS, Pat Collins, Darren Duggan and Ger Walsh.

Anne Ryan was presented the Jack Furlong Award for her year-in, year-out efforts to the Dublin Branch of the Waterford Supporters Club while the families of three sadly missed Gaels and journalists – John A Murphy, Tony Mansfield and Seamus O’Brien, received awards on behalf of the three men who passed away within the past 12 months.

Concluding last Saturday’s formalities, County Board Chairman Tom Cunningham congratulated all the award winners and nominees on an outstanding year of achievement with both club and county.

“Since this award scheme was launched, it has become well established in Waterford’s sporting calendar, and it commands the support and respect of not only the general public, but of hurlers and footballers, young and old, throughout the Deise,” he said.

“Tonight we have honoured three greats, namely Seamus O’Brien, Tony Mansfield and John A Murphy with Special Merit Awards.

“These men devoted their lives to the GAA in their county and further beyond and if I was to tell you the full story of the life and times of these three men, I would need a book of several volumes to tell you of their full involvement in the GAA.”

Tom Cunningham added: “I’d like to thank the Committee for revamping this awards scheme; I think there was a great buzz here tonight and I hope it’s something we can maintain over the next few years.”

* Many thanks to the Waterford County GAA Awards Committee for their kind invitation to last Saturday’s Awards Ceremony.

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2013 Roll of Honour

Adult Player of the Year (Hurling): Seamus Prendergast (Ardmore).

Nominees: Killian Fitzgerald (Passage) and Jamie Nagle (Dungarvan).

Adult Player of the Year (Football): Gary Hurney (Ballinacourty).

Nominees: Paul Whyte (Kilrossanty) and Shane Ahearne (Stradbally).

Underage Player of the Year (Hurling): Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart).

Nominees: Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion) and Patrick Curran (Dungarvan).

Underage Player of the Year (Football): Paul O’Connor (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg).

Nominees: Conor Gleeson (The Nire) and Tom Devine (Modeligo).

Club of the Year: Passage.

Nominees: De La Salle and Abbeyside/Ballinacourty).

Special Achievement Award Winners:

Sean Power and Kevin Daly (Waterford Minor Hurling).

Pat Collins (Dungarvan Colleges Hurling)

Darren Duggan (Dungarvan Colleges Hurling)

Ger Walsh (Dungarvan CBS Football)

Jack Furlong Award: Anne Ryan (Dublin branch of Waterford Supporters Club)

Special Merit Award: The families of the late John A Murphy, the late Tony Mansfield and the late Seamus O’Brien.

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