The list of nominees for the Three FAI International Awards for 2017 has been released.
Although the year was to end in disappointment for the Boys in Green at senior level, some members of Martin O’Neill’s squad truly cemented themselves as important players in the national setup.
To that end, James McClean, Shane Duffy and Darren Randolph have been nominated for the Senior International Player of the Year award.
McClean followed up his heroics in Vienna in 2016 wit the winner in Cardiff that sent Ireland to the World Cup playoffs. The West Brom man, having been in and out of the side prior to Euro 2016, is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.
So too is Shane Duffy, who emerged in the World Cup 2018 as Ireland’s strongest centre-back, putting in a number of commanding displays and coming up with a couple of important goals.
Randolph, meanwhile, performed admirably as the side’s last line of defence, and although he was not selected for this month’s friendly against Turkey, there is little to suggested that the Middlesbrough stopper will not be the number one for the Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Duffy also finds his name on the list of nominees for Young International Player of the Year. The Brighton centre-half from Cyrus Christie, who stepped up well in the absence of Seamus Coleman in the second half of the World Cup campaign, and Callum O’Dowda, who looks set to play an even bigger part in the squad with the retirements of some of the older generation.
For the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Player of the Year, two members of Cork City’s double-winning squad are up for the honour. Sean Maguire, who has since made a big impression in England following a summer move to Preston North End, has been nominated alongside former Turner’s Cross teammate Conor McCormack, who played a key role in the City midfield last season.
Former Dundalk playmaker Patrick McEleney, now also in England with Oldham Athletic, is the third name on the list.
The winners will be announced at the awards show on Sunday March 18th, wherein legendary commentator Jimmy Magee will be honoured with a special ‘Special Merit’ awards for his services to sports broadcasting.
2017 ‘Three’ FAI International Awards Nominees
Senior International Player of the Year
Senior Women’s International Player of the Year
Young International Player of the Year
International Goal of the Year
James McClean v Uruguay
James McClean v Wales
Jonathan Walters v Austria
Under 21 International Player of the Year
Under 19 International Player of the Year
Under 19 Women’s International Player of the Year
Under 17 International Player of the Year
Under 17 Women’s International of the Year
Under 16 International Player of the Year
Under 16 Women’s International Player of the Year
Under 15 Men’s International Player of the Year
Junior International Player of the Year
Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic)
Chris Higgins (St Michael’s)
David Joyce (Clonmel Celtic)
Intermediate Player of the Year
Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic)
Brian Fitzgerald (Cobh Wanderers)
Aidan Roche (Liffey Wanderers)
Colleges & Universities International Player of the Year
Sean McLoughlin (UCC)
Daire O’Connor (UCD)
Ross Then (DCU)
Schools International Player of the Year
Shane Blaney (St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny)
Neil Farrugia (St Andrew’s College, Blackrock)
John Martin (Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown)
Football For All International Player of the Year
David Bissett (Homeless World Cup squad)
Gary Hoey (Amputee squad)
Gary Messitt (Cerebral Palsy squad)
SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year
Sean Maguire (Cork City)
Conor McCormack (Cork City)
Patrick McEleney (Dundalk)
Special Merit Award