Having bided his time, to the consternation of Irish fans, before breaking into the Republic set-up, Seamus Coleman has been rewarded with a nomination for international player-of-the-year. The Everton defender is up for the award alongside goalkeeper David Forde and captain Robbie Keane.
Following Ireland’s disastrous showing at Euro 2012, Giovanni Trapattoni overhauled the playing staff by incorporating Coleman, and Everton club-mate James McCarthy – nominated for young player, into the starting line-up. Despite the 6-1 mauling at home at the hands of Germany, Coleman was one of the few Irish players to emerge from the game with his reputation enhanced.
Further excellent displays followed, most notably against England in Wembley and world champions Spain in New York. Following Trapattoni’s dismissal, the Donegalman was handed the captain’s armband in Cologne by interim manager Noel King.
Goalkeeper David Forde earned rave reviews for his performances away to Sweden and at home to Austria. He also pulled off point-black saves to deny England in Wembley last summer but some were critical of his showing in the qualifying return leg against the Swedes at the Aviva Stadium.
Robbie Keane became Ireland’s record caps holder last season when he led the side out against the Faroe Islands. For good measure, the LA Galaxy striker scored all three in a 3-0 win. Netting eight times in 2013, Keane also opened the scoring at home to Sweden when our World Cup hopes looked to be revived. After Trapattoni’s departure, Ireland’s record goalscorer proved he’s still an asset to new boss Martin O’Neill by grabbing the first in the manager’s first game in charge against Latvia.
The young player of the year award will be contested by Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy, and James McClean.
The international goal of the year nominations are Wes Hoolahan vs Poland, Shane Long vs England, and Robbie Keane vs Faroe Islands.
The winners will be announced on 2 March live on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie
Wes Hoolahan vs Poland
Video: Christopher Keeley
Shane Long vs England
Robbie Keane vs Faroe Islands
Video: Peter O’Doherty
3/FAI International Football Awards
Senior international player of the year: Seamus Coleman, David Forde, Robbie Keane.
Senior women’s international player of the year: Louise Quinn, Shannon Smyth, Julie-Ann Russell.
Young international player of the year: Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy, James McClean.
3 international goal of the year: Wes Hoolahan, Robbie Keane, Shane Long.
SSE Airtricity League player of the year: Killian Brennan, Ger O’Brien, Richie Towell.
U21 international player of the year: Shane Duffy, Sean Murray, Aiden O’Brien.
U19 international player of the year: Sam Byrne, Shane Griffin, Pierce Sweeney.
U19 women’s international player of the year: Katie McCabe, Sarah Rowe, Claire Shine.
U17 international player of the year: Jack Byrne, Cody Mulhall, Jake Mulraney.
U17 women’s international player of the year: Megan Connolly, Keeva Keenan, Savannah McCarthy.
U16 international player of the year: Anthony Dolan, Robert Duggan, George Poynton.
Junior international player of the year: Paul Breen, Darren Dunne, Shane Waters.
Intermediate player of the year: Martin Cramer, Andrew Neville, Malachy McDermott.
Football for All international player of the year: Marc Bigger, Joe Markey, Noel O’Donnell.
FAI Schools international player of the year: Alan Browne, Alex Byrne, Jack Doherty.