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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 30 September 2020

'I’ve learned a lot in the last 18 months' - Ex-Liverpool youngster Cleary earns Player-of-the-Month award

The Dundalk defender has produced some impressive performances of late.

Dundalk's Daniel Cleary (file pic)
Dundalk's Daniel Cleary (file pic)
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

DUNDALK DEFENDER DANIEL Cleary has been announced as the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for August.

The 23-year-old impressed at the back as he made six appearances in all competitions last month, as Dundalk retained their lead at the top of the Premier Division and earned spots in the FAI Cup quarter-final and the EA Sports Cup final.  

Cleary was also effective down the other end, scoring three goals in wins over Derry City and UCD.

It is the first time the ex-Liverpool academy player has won the award since joining Dundalk ahead of the 2018 campaign, with Derry City’s David Parkhouse second and another Lilywhites player, Michael Duffy, third.

“The last time I was nominated for the award was back in February 2018 after my first couple of games, so it was great to be nominated again and I’m delighted to win it,” he said.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 18 months or so since arriving in the League of Ireland. I’ve grown as a player during that period but I think I’ve got more to give and I’m looking forward to showing that.”

sse-airtricity-swai-player-of-the-month-award-for-august Cleary poses with his award. Source: Eóin Noonan/SPORTSFILE

The treble remains a possibility for Vinny Perth’s side. They currently sit 10 points clear at the top of the table. They play Derry in the EA Sports Cup final this Saturday, while they also have an upcoming clash with Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-final.

“We’re in flying form at the moment,” Cleary added. “Since we were knocked out of Europe, we have kicked on in the domestic competitions.

“There’s no point thinking three or four games ahead when we’ve got another big one against Derry this weekend and an important league match at Waterford next Friday.

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“We’ll just take it game by game and see where that leaves us at the end of the season.”

With the warm-up games out of the way, Murray, Bernard and Gavan discuss the renewed cause for optimism, impressive individual player form, and a potential quarter-final versus either South Africa or New Zealand.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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