Westmeath's Aonghus Clarke in action alongside Jack Doyle of Laois. Photo: Denis Byrne.

Westmeath star named on McDonagh Cup team of year

Westmeath hurling ace Aonghus Clarke has been selected on the GAA/GPA 2020 Joe McDonagh Cup team of the year.

The versatile Clarke, a mainstay for his club Castletown Geoghegan and Westmeath in recent years, is the only Lake County player on the chosen fifteen.

Clarke was named at centre-back, where he featured for Shane O’Brien’s charges early in the campaign. After a poor run of results, Clarke subsequently featured at centre-forward for the Maroons, firing 0-9 and 0-13 respectively as they bounced back to beat Meath and Carlow.

Aonghus is a son of the late Finbarr Clarke and his brother Joe is a former Westmeath hurler. Hailing from a family steeped in Westmeath sport, both Aonghus and Joe have also been prominent footballers with St Malachy's over the years.

McDonagh Cup winners Antrim lead the way with seven players included in the line-up, with prolific forward Conor McCann named as the tournament’s player of the year.

The selection process for the GAA/GPA 2020 Joe McDonagh Cup Champion 15 included player and coach feedback and was finalised by an independent selection committee of journalists and referees.

GAA President John Horan praised all those who were honoured. He said: “These awards give us an opportunity to salute the outstanding performers in what was an excellent Joe McDonagh Cup competition. My congratulations to all of those who have been selected and on behalf of the wider Association thank them for the effort they produced in such difficult circumstances in 2020.”

GPA CEO Paul Flynn said: “Congratulations to the 15 players who have been selected for the Joe McDonagh Cup Team of the Year. Your performances marked you out as the best among many outstanding performers in 2020. Congratulations too, to Conor McCann on his fully merited awards. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the

FLynn also thanked all the players who competed in the Joe McDonagh Cup last year. "The lift you helped give to your counties and to the country in very challenging times should not be forgotten,” he added.

2020 Joe McDonagh Cup Team of the Year

1. Brian Tracey (Carlow)

2. Tomás O’Connor (Kerry)

3. Matthew Donnelly (Antrim)

4. Stephen Rooney (Antrim)

5. Jason Diggins (Kerry)

6. Aonghus Clarke (Westmeath)

7. Ger Walsh (Antrim)

8. Shane Nolan (Kerry)

9. Keelan Molloy (Antrim)

10. Niall McKenna (Antrim)

11. Shane Conway (Kerry)

12. Daniel Collins (Kerry)

13. Chris Nolan (Carlow)

14. Conor McCann (Antrim)

15. Ciaran Clarke (Antrim).

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