James McCarthy left out of shortlist for 2023 Footballer of the Year

The Dublin midfielder is however one of 10 players from the All-Ireland champions nominated for an All Star

James McCarthy has failed to make the shortlist for 2023 Footballer of the Year.

The Dublin captain, who was at one stage favourite with some bookmakers to win the award, is no longer in the running for the accolade after the All Star selection committee instead opted for Brian Fenton (Dublin), David Clifford (Kerry) and Brendan Rogers (Derry) as the three nominees.

However, McCarthy is one of 10 Dublin players nominated for a PwC All Star. The Ballymun clubman made history in July when, along with Stephen Cluxton and Michael Fitzsimons, he won an unprecedented ninth All-Ireland SFC. The three most decorated footballers in the history of the game are among the 45 nominees.

A total of 13 counties are represented – which is a reflection of the new football championship format.


Kerry, beaten All-Ireland finalists, have nine players nominated, Ulster champions Derry have seven, All-Ireland semi-finalists Monaghan have four, there are only two from Connacht champions Galway, two as well from all of Armagh, Roscommon, Tyrone, Mayo and Donegal. Cork, Westmeath and Kildare have received one nomination each.

The shortlist for Young Footballer of the Year is Derry duo Eoin McEvoy and Ethan Doherty, and Roscommon goalkeeper Conor Carroll.

McCarthy isn’t the only player who might be disgruntled by not making the cut for a Footballer of the Year nomination, as Derry forward Shane McGuigan put down an outstanding year for the two-in-a-row Ulster champions.

Still, it is certain to be a history-making Footballer of the Year winner, irrespective of which one of the trio emerges victorious.

Fenton would become the first player to win the award on three occasions – having previously claimed it in 2018 and 2020.

And no player has ever won it in successive seasons, so Clifford, the 2022 recipient, could be the first back-to-back winner.

No Derry player has ever won the Footballer of the Year award in its current guise during the All Stars scheme. Henry Downey picked up the now defunct Texaco award in 1993 as did Jim McKeever in 1958, after captaining Derry to their first ever All-Ireland final appearance, but Rogers would be the county’s inaugural All Stars Footballer of the Year.

The winner of both the Footballer and Young Footballer of the Year award will be determined by the intercounty playing body, who will now be asked to vote on the two shortlists.

As for the 45 All Star nominations, all three goalkeepers picked are previous winners – Cluxton, Kerry’s Shane Ryan and Monaghan’s Rory Beggan.

But while Beggan had another superb season for the Farney County, the battle for the number one spot is likely to be between Cluxton and Ryan. Derry’s Odhran Lynch, Roscommon’s Conor Carroll and Louth’s James Califf also had outstanding seasons between the posts and can feel unlucky to miss out on a nomination.

Mayo’s David McBrien appears to be the standout absentee among the 18 defenders. McBrien had a fine breakout season for Kevin McStay’s charges, but the Ballaghaderreen clubman has failed to win a nomination.

Dublin’s David Byrne also fails to make the list, with only three backs from the All-Ireland champions nominated – Fitzsimons, Brian Howard and Lee Gannon. McCarthy has been nominated at midfield – from where he played the vast majority of his football this year – but he could still be moved to the half-back line when the selectors sit down in November to pick the final team of 15.

Kerry have four defenders nominated – Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan, Gavin White and Tadhg Morley. The Derry defensive contingent is McEvoy, Conor McCluskey and Gareth McKinless while Aidan Forker is Armagh’s only representative among the backs.

Conor McCarthy’s consistently superb displays throughout the year for Monaghan have been rewarded with a nomination, and he is joined among the defenders by team-mate Karl O’Connell.

Seán Kelly, who could have been in the conversation for Footballer of the Year only for injury and Galway’s early exit conspiring to end his season, is the Tribesmen’s only defender nominated.

The remaining four backs are Roscommon’s Brian Stack, Tyrone’s Pádraig Hampsey, Cork’s Rory Maguire and Donegal’s Brendan McCole.

At midfield, McCarthy, Fenton and Rogers are all nominated. They are joined by Derry’s Conor Glass, Diarmuid O’Connor from Kerry and Diarmuid O’Connor from Mayo.

Up front, Louth pair Conor Grimes and Sam Mulroy can feel aggrieved at missing out, as can Sligo’s Seán Carrabine and perhaps even Monaghan duo Gary Mohan and Mícheál Bannigan.

The evergreen Conor McManus is Monaghan’s sole attacking nominee but Dublin have more forwards among the 18 than any other county – with Colm Basquel, Paul Mannion, Con O’Callaghan and Cormac Costello included.

David Clifford, Paudie Clifford and Seán O’Shea are Kerry’s trio of forwards selected. McGuigan and Paul Cassidy are Derry’s nominees in attack, while Oisín Gallen’s impressive displays for Donegal have seen him make the 18.

Roscommon’s Enda Smith, who has never won an All Star, has also been nominated and could well be in the conversation for a place on the final team. The remaining forwards are Tyrone’s Darragh Canavan, Westmeath’s Ronan O’Toole, Armagh’s Andrew Murnin, Mayo’s Jordan Flynn, Kildare’s Ben McCormack and Galway’s Damien Comer.

The winners will be announced at the PwC All Stars banquet in Dublin’s RDS on Friday, November 17th.


Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)

Shane Ryan (Kerry)

Rory Beggan (Monaghan)


Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin)

Brian Howard (Dublin)

Lee Gannon (Dublin)

Jason Foley (Kerry)

Tadhg Morley (Kerry)

Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry)

Gavin White (Kerry)

Gareth McKinless (Derry)

Conor McCluskey (Derry)

Eoin McEvoy (Derry)

Conor McCarthy (Monaghan)

Karl O’Connell (Monaghan)

Seán Kelly (Galway)

Aidan Forker (Armagh)

Brian Stack (Roscommon)

Pádraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

Rory Maguire (Cork)

Brendan McCole (Donegal)


Brian Fenton (Dublin)

James McCarthy (Dublin)

Brendan Rogers (Derry)

Conor Glass (Derry)

Diarmuid O’Connor (Kerry)

Diarmuid O’Connor (Mayo)


Con O’Callaghan (Dublin)

Cormac Costello (Dublin)

Colm Basquel (Dublin)

Paul Mannion (Dublin)

David Clifford (Kerry)

Seán O’Shea (Kerry)

Paudie Clifford (Kerry)

Shane McGuigan (Derry)

Paul Cassidy (Derry)

Oisín Gallen (Donegal)

Conor McManus (Monaghan)

Enda Smith (Roscommon)

Darragh Canavan (Tyrone)

Ronan O’Toole (Westmeath)

Andrew Murnin (Armagh)

Jordan Flynn (Mayo)

Ben McCormack (Kildare)

Damien Comer (Galway)


Brian Fenton (Dublin)

David Clifford (Kerry)

Brendan Rogers (Derry)


Eoin McEvoy (Derry)

Conor Carroll (Roscommon)

Ethan Doherty (Derry)

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times