The nominees of the 33rd FAI International Awards have been confirmed ahead of a ceremony on Tuesday, June 20 in The Round Room in The Mansion House.
The performances taken into account are from June 2022 to June 2023, while the SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year takes in the entirety of the 2022 season. A jury from Soccer Writers’ Ireland helped with the selection of certain categories to help honor those who excelled over the previous year.
The local interest lies in a trifecta of talent with Carlows Aoife Kelly and Peter Grogan along with Will Smallbone.
Aoife started out playing with St. Pats Boys in the Carlow league before securing a switch to Shelbourne. After impressive performances in the under-17 international squad, Kelly then opted to join the likes of Stephanie Roche and Aine O’Gorman at Shamrock Rovers at the beginning of last season.
Next up is Crettyards own Peter Grogan, who attends St. Mary’s CBS in Carlow. Grogan now plays his trade with Bohemians where he won Under 17 Player of the Year after scoring 21 goals in 16 games. He also has his scoring boots on in his debut for Ireland representing the country against Wales in the Centenary Shield.
Of course, Will Smallbone was born in Basingstoke in England, however, represents the Boys in Green due to his Kilkenny-born mother. There is apparently a number of Premier League clubs now interested in the midfielder after his performances on loan with Stoke this season. Will also was awarded Man of the Match in his senior debut against Latvia. In the last year he scored his first goals for the Republic of Ireland U21 team, scoring a brace in a 3–0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 at Tallaght Stadium. He followed that up by scoring a volley from outside the box three days later, to open the scoring in an eventual 3–1 win over Montenegro U21.
WOMEN’S UNDER-17 INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
UNDER-18 SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Peter Grogan (St. Mary’s CBS, Carlow)
Brian Cunningham (Presentation College, Athenry)
Senan Mullen (St. Aidan’s Comprehensive School, Cootehill)
MEN’S UNDER-21 INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR