Vote for your Kenny’s Kids Ireland Player of the Season.
Another season down and it was certainly a positive one for a number of Ireland’s up and coming talents.
Last week, we asked Kenny’s Kids readers to nominate three players for a final vote and the three most frequent names turned out to be Mark Travers after his heroics for Bournemouth, Rotherham’s greatest showman Chiedozie Ogbene and Portsmouth’s finest keeper since David James, the one and only Gavin Bazunu.
Have a read about each players’ season below before scrolling down to the bottom of the page to cast your vote!
Ireland Player of the Season Nominees.
Nominee #1: Mark Travers
The first player nominated for the Kenny’s Kids Player of the Season award is Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers. The 23-year-old Kildare native led the Cherries to the Premier League with a catalogue of exceptional performances in 2021/2022 and won the Championship Golden Glove award in the process.
Although Bournemouth manager Scott Parker loaned in Newcastle stopper Freddie Woodman during the January transfer window, Travers’ performances were so strong that the Magpie failed to make a single appearance during his five month stay.
That’s because the Ireland international made himself irreplaceable between the sticks by keeping more clean-sheets than any other ‘keeper in the division with a total of twenty. He also made one EFL Cup appearance and kept a clean-sheet on that occasion too.
All in all, Travers proved to be a vital player in Bournemouth’s promotion charge and “epitomises” the football club according to his manager. Although Parker held reservations over Travers and his inexperience at the start of the season, the shot-stopper turned out to be one of their star players, saving his most impressive stops for when they mattered most at the tail end of the season.
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) April 10, 2022
Goals conceded per game: 1.18
Awards: Championship Golden Glove
To vote for Travers, scroll to the bottom of the webpage.
Nominee #2: Chiedozie Ogbene
Chiedozie Ogbene made himself an Ireland fan favourite in the last eight months but in this instance Kenny’s Kids readers have nominated the Corkman for his electrifying performances in the red of Rotherham United.
Although sometimes deployed as an impact player from the bench, Ogbene was nevertheless a key figure in the Millers’ run to the League One title. Playing primarily as a right-wing-back, the former Limerick FC speedster featured 45 times in the league and scored on three occasions. He also set up eight goals, including Georgie Kelly’s title clinching finish on the final day of the season.
It should be pointed out that Ogbene’s crowning moment of the campaign came not in the league but in the EFL Trophy. He assisted two goals en route to Rotherham’s Wembley final against Sutton United which took place just days after his miraculous bicycle-kick against Belgium at Lansdowne Road.
Evidently a man for the big stage, Ogbene waited until the 90th minute of normal time to set up his side’s equaliser and then proceeded to grab the headlines in extra-time by unleashing a wicked strike in the 96th minute. His reward was the second trophy of his professional career – the first being the FAI Cup during his Cork City days.
Try not to love Chiedozie Ogbene challenge (Impossible) 💥💥
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) April 3, 2022
Trophies: League One title, EFL Trophy
To vote for Chiedozie Ogbene scroll to the bottom of the webpage.
Nominee #3: Gavin Bazunu
Another League One star who has captured Irish hearts in the last twelve months is the exceptional Gavin Bazunu.
The 20-year-old had previous League One experience with Rochdale where he spent 2020/2021 on loan but it was difficult to evaluate his performances given the sheer volume of shots that he faced in the Dale’s unsuccessful relegation scrap. Despite showing promise in the Ireland jersey, the Manchester City loanee even lost his place in their starting line-up for a period as part of a steep but valuable learning curve under Brian Barry-Murphy.
Portsmouth always looked a more natural fit for the Firhouse man however and from completing 100 per cent of his passes in early season games to producing world-class saves throughout the Spring, he became a huge favourite with both his manager Danny Cowley and the Pompey fanbase.
After a season of 46 games and 17 clean-sheets for mid-table Portsmouth, Bazunu proudly scooped the club’s Players’ and Fans’ Player of the Season awards earlier this month and was backed by his boss to be “world class” sooner rather than later.
Gavin Bazunu's late late save to protect all three points for Portsmouth tonight 🇮🇪⚽️🔥
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) August 17, 2021
Goals conceded per game: 1.15
Awards: Portsmouth Players’ Player of the Season, Portsmouth Fans’ Player of the Season, League One Young Player of the Season nomination
To vote for Gavin Bazunu cast your vote below.