Cork City lead the way with two nominations in the first SSE Airtrcity/SWAI Player of the Month nominations of the new season.
John Caulfield’s defending double-winners have made a fine start to the new Premier Division season, winning their first three league games in addition to retaining the President’s Cup with a 4-2 victory over Dundalk at Oriel Park.
To reflect this, Kieran Sadlier and Graham Cummins have seen their names included on the list. Big things are expected of Sadlier this year as the creative attacker begins his first full season at Turner’s Cross. Two goals in three games and bursts of threatening creativity have seen the former Sligo Rovers man hit the ground running.
Cummins, meanwhile, has picked up where he left off in the League of Ireland by scoring four goals in February – a particularly impressive feat given he was sent off after half an hour in his debut and missed the next match through suspension. He returned from that ban with a hat-trick against Sligo Rovers.
Bastien Hery has carried over his form from 2017 into a new year and a new club. The classy French midfielder has played a big role in newly-promoted Waterford’s solid start to the new season and scored an early contender for goal of he season with a spectacular strike against St. Patrick’s Athletic at the RSC.
Bohemians’ Dan Casey gets the nod, primarily for his two-goal showing against Shamrock Rovers on the opening day. The 20-year-old has settled into the Bohs’ team very nicely over the past six months or so and looks set to go from strength to strength.
Derry City’s Ger Doherty has made a fine start to the season even if his team as a whole have taken a while to get going. A good display in the 2-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers was followed up by a clean sheet and late penalty save against Bohemians show that Doherty is poised to produce the sort of form once again that saw him included in the 2017 PFAI Team of the Year.
Finally, Daniel Cleary of Dundalk has settled well into his new surroundings following his move from Birmingham City. Early signs of forming a partnership with fellow new signing Stephen Folan have been positive, and the clean sheets speak for themselves.
The winner, and first Player of the Month of the new Premier Division season, will be announced next week.