RTÉ Sport has announced the shortlist for their Sports Person of the Year, Sports Team of the Year and a new award – the Sports Manager of the Year.
The RTÉ Sports Person of the Year shortlist features nine finalists. Darren Clarke, Michael Fennelly, Sean O’Brien, Katie Taylor, Rory McIlroy, John Joe Nevin, Kevin O’Brien, Alan Brogan, and Robbie Keane are all up for that gong following success in their respective fields.
The RTÉ Sports Team of the Year shortlist includes European rugby champions Leinster, All-Ireland football champions Dublin, Ladies’ football All Ireland and League champions Cork, the Republic of Ireland soccer team, Airtricity League champions Shamrock Rovers, All Ireland Hurling Champions Kilkenny, back-to-back All Ireland Camogie Champions Wexford and the Irish cricket team.
In recognition of the huge effort behind the scenes and on the sidelines this year RTÉ have introduced the Sports Manager of the Year award with eight nominees.
Kilkenny Hurling manager Brian Cody, Wexford Camogie Manager JJ Doyle, Shamrock Rovers manager Michael O’Neill, head coach with the IABI High Performance Unit Billy Walsh, Leinster rugby coach Joe Schmidt, Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, Dublin football manager Pat Gilroy and leading National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins.
The winners will be revealed at The RTÉ Sports Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One and www.rte.ie/sport (RoI), Sunday 18 December at 9.30pm.
Presented by Darragh Maloney, Michael Lyster, Clare MacNamara and Des Cahill, the live show will review what was a wonderful year for Irish athletes and teams and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2011.
The winners will be selected by RTÉ sports journalists, editorial staff and broadcasters and will be announced live on the night.
The awards ceremony will also see the honour of the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council’s Hall of Fame Award presented to an Irish sporting legend.
The Sports Person of the Year Award will be a close call following a hugely successful year for Irish sport both at home and abroad.
Clarke was nominated following his win in the British Golf Open. Fennelly is the GAA GPA All Star and Hurler of the Year. Sean O’Brien had a huge year that included a Heineken Cup victory with Leinster. He was also named ERC European player of the year.
Taylor continued her success and became five-time European Amateur Boxing Champion while McIlroy climbed to world number two in the golf rankings and won the US Open. Olympic hopeful Nevin is a World Amateur Boxing Bronze medalist.
Record breaking Ireland cricket hero Kevin O’Brien was nominated following his incredible innings against England at the Cricket World Cup.
Brogan is the GAA GPA Footballer of the year and an All-Ireland winner for Dublin while Keane captained the Republic of Ireland during their successful Euro 2012 qualification campaign.