Despite only figuring in the All-Ireland semifinal and final, his impact on Kilkenny’s McCarthy Cup success was such that Carey was always going to be an automatic selection.
The only controversial omission was Clare’s Seanie McMahon at center-back, while Paul and Eoin Kelly of Tipperary became the first set of brothers to be honored since Offaly’s Johnny and Billy Dooley in 1994.
The football lineup proved to be far more contentious, however, with Cork’s Colin Corkery failing to win a place in the forward line despite his outstanding form during the Championship. Dublin’s Ray Cosgrove was selected at full forward, with Colm Cooper of Kerry and Tyrone’s Peter Canavan, who won his fourth award, in the corners.
Kevin Cassidy became the first Donegal player to be selected since 1993, while Sligo’s Eamonn O’Hara’s inclusion at center forward meant he was only the third player from his county to to win an award.
Davy Fitzgerald (Clare); Michael Kavanagh (Kilkenny), Brian Lohan (Clare), Philip Larkin (Kilkenny); Fergal Hartley (Waterford), Peter Barry (Kilkenny), Paul Kelly (Tipperary); Colin Lynch (Clare), Derek Lyng (Kilkenny); Eoin Kelly (Waterford), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Ken McGrath (Waterford); Eoin Kelly (Tipperary), Martin Comerford (Kilkenny), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny).
Hurler of the Year: Henry Shefflin. Young Hurler of the Year: Eoin Kelly (Tipperary).
Stephen Cluxton (Dublin); Enda McNulty (Armagh), Paddy Christie (Dublin), Anthony Lynch (Cork); Aidan O’Rourke (Armagh), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), Kevin Cassidy (Donegal); Darragh O Se (Kerry), Paul McGrane (Armagh); Steven McDonell (Armagh), Eamonn O’Hara (Sligo), Oisin McConville (Armagh); Peter Canavan (Tyrone), Ray Cosgrove (Dublin), Colm Cooper (Kerry).
Footballer of the Year: Kieran McGeeney. Young Footballer of the Year: Ronan Clarke (Armagh).