Stephen Kenny named soccer writers' Personality of the Year

Shane Supple, meanwhile, was named Goalkeeper of the Year.

IRELAND U21 MANAGER Stephen Kenny has been named SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland (SWAI) Personality of the Year for 2018 at the annual awards ceremony in Dublin this evening.

The 47-year-old oversaw Dundalk’s Premier Division and FAI Cup Double success at the end of last year, before the leaving the club to take up the role within the FAI.

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 21.44.10 Supple and Kenny with their awards this evening. Sportsfile Sportsfile

His appointment as Ireland U21 boss brought to an end a hugely-successful six-year spell at Oriel Park which included a run the Europa League group stages in 2016.

The Dubliner is set to replace Mick McCarthy as Ireland senior boss after Euro 2020.

He saw off two of his former players in Lilywhites pair Chris Shields (runner-up) and Pat Hoban (third) to claim the prize for the third time at the Conrad Hotel, having previously won it in 2014 and 2016.

Dundalk striker Michael Duffy, Bohemians manager Keith Long and UCD boss Collie O’Neill were among the nominees.

And while Long may have missed out on the award, Bohs did celebrate one win on the night – outgoing goalkeeper Shane Supple scooping Goalkeeper of the Year.

The 31-year-old earned a call-up to Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad for the first time but he was forced to retire from the game in November due to a persistent hip injury.

Former winners Gary Rogers (Dundalk) and Mark McNulty (Cork City) were second and third respectively.

Aine O’Gorman received the International Achievement Award after calling time on her Ireland career in 2018.

The Peamount United star won 100 caps for Ireland over a 12-year period.

Ahead of a huge weekend of Heineken Champions Cup action, Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey assess the provinces’ chances of putting a foot in the last eight:

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