Stephen Bradley and Pearl Slattery were the big winners at the annual SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland awards

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20th January 2023

Stephen Bradley and Pearl Slattery were the big winners at the annual SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland awards

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley and Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery were the big winners at the annual SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland awards in Dublin on Saturday evening.

Bradley was named Men's Personality of the Year, becoming the first man in the 63-year history of the award to claim the honour in consecutive years.

He guided Shamrock Rovers to a third straight league title last season and also returned the Hoops to the group stages of European competition for the first time in 11 years as his team qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Bradley beat Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins and Rovers' striker Rory Gaffney, who finished second and third respectively, in the vote.

Long-serving Shels' skipper Slattery became just the second woman to win the Women's Personality of the Year award after playing a key role in Shelbourne's double winning campaign in 2022.

She follows in the footsteps of the inaugural winner, Wexford Youths' Kylie Murphy.

The experienced Dubliner saw off competition from Aine O'Gorman (second) and Shels’ teammate Jessie Stapleton (third) in the ballot, as voted on by Soccer Writers Ireland members.

David Manning, Marketing Director at SSE Airtricity, commented, “As proud sponsors of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division, Men’s First Division and Women’s Premier Division, we also have a long-standing partnership with the members of Soccer Writers Ireland. This is our 12th year sponsoring the Personality of the Year Awards and we are thrilled to be celebrating another fantastic season, paying tribute to the hard-working players, staff, and personalities who help the continued growth of our domestic leagues.”

Shamrock Rovers' Alan Mannus was crowned Goalkeeper of the Year, pipping Brian Maher and Nathan Shepperd to claim the prize for a joint-record third time. He previously won in 2010 and 2020.

Saturday evening's banquet marked the return of the event for the first time since January 2020.

Vera Pauw and the Republic of Ireland women's team were the recipients of the International Achievement Award to recognise a year in which their qualification for this summer's FIFA World Cup in Australia was an Irish sporting highlight.

Pauw lead the Girls in Green to eight victories throughout the year which culminated in their memorable Hampden Park victory over Scotland in October, sealing a maiden qualification in the process.

After over 40 years working for Bohemian Football Club, Lynn O'Neill received the Liam Tuohy Special Merit award for her dedication and selfless contribution to the club and domestic football in general spanning five decades.

The 2022 football league season was action-packed from start to finish. Shamrock Rovers were crowned champions of the Premier Division for the third year running with Derry City pushing them close until the very end. The SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division was unbelievably exciting, down to the final day for the second year running, with Shelbourne coming out on top again. Winning consecutive league titles is an incredible achievement and we congratulate all involved with Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne on achieving this. We are also excited to welcome Cork City back to the Premier Division following their brilliant season and success in the SSE Airtricity First Division.

Thank you to all the members of Soccer Writers Ireland for their support and work throughout the year. You have all helped shine a brighter spotlight on our domestic leagues which is greatly appreciated and has helped the continued growth of domestic football in Ireland.

Congratulations from all at SSE Airtricity to the nominees and recipients of the annual SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland awards, we wish you all the best of luck in the season ahead.