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Eóin Noonan/SPORTSFILE Duffy pictured with his award at the Marker Hotel in Dublin on Saturday.
# Take a bow son
Double-winner Michael Duffy named PFAI Player of the Year following stellar season with Dundalk
It was a successful night for Dundalk with Stephen Kenny collecting Manager of the Year and Jamie McGrath named Young Player of the Year.

IT WAS A thoroughly successful night for all those involved with Dundalk at the PFAI banquet on Saturday night, with Michael Duffy, Jamie McGrath and manager Stephen Kenny all collecting awards following a fruitful season at Oriel Park.

Duffy was named Player of the Year, McGrath Young Player of the Year and boss Kenny Manager of the Year a week after the Lilywhites defeated rivals Cork City at the Aviva Stadium in the FAI Cup final in front of 30,000 spectators to complete the double.

UCD captain Gary O’Neill was named First Division Player of the Year following an immensely impressive 2018 down at the Bowl where the Students collected the First Division title and made it all the way to the semi-finals of the FAI Cup for the first time in a decade. Their manager, Collie O’Neill, was also named First Division Manager of the Year

Stephen Kenny James Crombie / INPHO Stephen Kenny was named Premier Division Manager of the Year after leading Dundalk to their second double in four years. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Aine O’Gorman collected a Special Achievement Award having recently announced her retirement from international football with over a century of caps to her name.

Denise O’Sullivan was named International Women’s Player of the Year following a terrific season with North Carolina Courage where she won the National Women’s Soccer League and named her club’s MVP for 2018. 

Six members of Dundalk’s double-winning side were named in the PFAI’s Premier Division Team of the Year for 2018, with Duffy competing alongside team-mates Chris Shields and Pat Hoban for Player of the Year.

Duffy’s win comes off the back of a terrific season at Oriel Park where the winger has attracted the attention of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and is being heavily tipped to earn a call-up to the national team.

Niall Quinn presents Michael Duffy with the Player's Player of the Year Award Tommy Dickson / INPHO Former Ireland international Niall Quinn presents Duffy with his award last night. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

O’Neill explained that his absence from this week’s provisional squad to face Northern Ireland and Denmark was, in part, due to processing paperwork as the 24-year-old switches from Northern Ireland, who he represented at underage level.

The Ireland boss singled out Duffy for praise earlier this season.  “I’ve got a lot of time for him,” the manager said at the end of August.

“I think he’s an exceptionally talented player. It didn’t happen for him at Celtic. He wouldn’t be the first young player to have gone over there and not come through.

“He definitely has the ability to go past players, it’s nice to see. He’s a definite talent, there’s no question about that.”

PFAI Awards 2018

Premier Division Player of the Year: Michael Duffy (Dundalk)

Premier Division Young Player of the Year: Jamie McGrath (Dundalk)

Premier Division Manager of the Year: Stephen Kenny (Dundalk)

First Division Player of the Year: Gary O’Neill (UCD)

First Division Manager of the Year: Collie O’Neill (UCD)

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Women’s International Player of the Year: Denise O’Sullivan (NC Courage)

Premier Division Referee of the Year: Neil Doyle

First Division Referee of the Year: Adriano Reale

PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year

Goalkeeper: Shane Supple (Bohemians)

Defenders: Sean Gannon (Dundalk), Sean Hoare (Dundalk), Sean McLoughlin (Cork City), Darragh Leahy (Bohemians)

Midfielders: Chris Shields (Dundalk), Bastien Hery (Waterford), Robbie Benson (Dundalk)

Forwards: Kieran Sadlier (Cork City), Patrick Hoban (Dundalk), Michael Duffy (Dundalk)

PFAI First Division Team of the Year

Goalkeeper: Dean Delany (Shelbourne)

Defenders: Conor Kane (Drogheda United), Daniel O’Reilly (Longford Town), Liam Scales (UCD), Derek Prendergast (Shelbourne)

Midfielders: Sean Brennan (Drogheda United), Gary O’Neill (UCD), Daire O’Connor (UCD)

Forwards: David O’Sullivan (Shelbourne), Georgie Kelly (UCD), Dylan McGlade (Longford Town)

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