West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has won the FAI Young Player of the Year award despite the 20-year old opting to pursue his international career with England.
Rice had impressed in his three appearances for the Boys in Green during the summer before pulling out of the squad in August after interest from Gareth Southgate and England.
The FAI announced Declan Rice’s victory and released the following statement outlining that the West Ham man will not be in attendance at the awards ceremony on Sunday.
“The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that West Ham United’s Declan Rice has won the Young Player Of the Year award at the 29th ‘3’ FAI International Awards taking place on Sunday, March 17.
The award was voted for by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland.
At the time of the vote, Declan Rice was an Ireland international and qualified for the Young Player category in a year that saw him win three senior caps, all in ‘3’ International Friendly games.
Declan Rice has since opted to switch his allegiance to England. The FAI has completed his international transfer via the FIFA protocols and wishes him well in the future.
This award maintains the integrity of the voting process in conjunction with the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland and the FAI thanks the jury members for their decisions relating to the awards.
Declan Rice will not be in Dublin for the ‘3’ FAI International Awards ceremony, which will be live on RTÉ2 from 20:30.”