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Peamount stalwart and Wexford teenage sensation win big at end-of-season awards

Kilkenny pair Karen Duggan and Ellen Molloy claimed the Player and Young Player of the Season awards respectively.

PEAMOUNT UNITED STALWART Karen Duggan has been named Women’s National League Player of the Season, with Wexford Youths’ teenage sensation Ellen Molloy taking the young players’ equivalent.

unnamed (12) Player of the Season: Karen Duggan. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Duggan, who has been ever-present in the league since its inception in 2011, takes the top gong for the second time after another stellar season with Peamount. 

The Kilkenny midfielder led the Greenogue outfit to a league and FAI Cup double, consistently standing out in midfield.

She put the icing on her excellent season with a goal in last weekend’s cup final win over Cork City — and put the hurt of a handful of decider defeats to bed.

Former Irish international Duggan pipped clubmates Áine O’Gorman and Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, Cork City dual star Saoirse Noonan and Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery to the top award, with the ceremony broadcast on eir Sport 1 this evening.

“It definitely is my best season in football,” she said. “Winning the League last season was a monkey off our back for Peamount United, we felt like we were getting the club back to where it belonged.

“But with everything that happened this year, the group of girls that we have and finally getting our hands on the Cup trophy after many disappointments there, it was just a magnificent season.

“We really kicked on this year and it was such a tight-knit group and I’m just happy that we were able to repay all of the work that the people on the ground at the club deserve.”

16-year-old starlet Molloy, also a native of Kilkenny, capped off an exceptional debut season for Youths that also saw her earn two senior Irish caps.

2020-womens-national-league-awards Young Player of the Season: Ellen Molloy. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Cork City’s Eabha O’Mahony, Galway’s Shauna Brennan, Shelbourne’s Jessica Ziu and Treaty United’s Aoife Horgan were also nominated for the title.

“Everything went so fast,” Molloy said. “I was just hoping to make the team in Wexford firstly and then I had a great debut and it went from there. I’m delighted that it went so well and everyone at Wexford was so good to me.

Duggan was also named in the Team of the Season for a record sixth time, alongside team-mates O’Gorman. Ryan-Doyle and Irish defender Claire Walsh. Shels duo Slattery and Ziu also made the XI, alongside Molly (Wexford), Noonan (Cork), Brennan (Galway) and DLR Waves goalkeeper Eve Badana.

O’Gorman also collected the Golden Boot award for the third time, the Irish centurion — who plays in defence for Vera Pauw’s side — scoring 14 goals in 12 games. Shelbourne ‘keeper Rachael Kelly was also recognised with an honour after her five clean sheets.

There was also recognition for the late Michael Hayes, who sadly passed away last September, as he was honoured with a Services to the Women’s National League award.

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2020 Women’s National League Awards

Player of the Season
Karen Duggan (Peamount United)

Young Player of the Season
Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths)

Top Goalscorer
Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

Most Clean Sheets
Rachael Kelly (Shelbourne)

Services to the Women’s National League
Michael Hayes

Team of the Season
Eve Badana (DLR Waves)
Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United)
Pearl Slattery (Shelbourne)
Claire Walsh (Peamount United)
Shauna Brennan (Galway WFC)
Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths)
Karen Duggan (Peamount United)
Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne)
Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United)
Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United)
Saoirse Noonan (Cork City).

*The nominees & winners were selected from a voting process that was open to all WNL players & managers, along with input from a select committee.

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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