Saturday 22 October 2016

Roy in house as Dundalk and Towell mop up at PFAI awards

Richie Towell had a brilliant season with Dundalk, winning the double and scoring 29 goals
Richie Towell had a brilliant season with Dundalk, winning the double and scoring 29 goals

Double winners Dundalk added even more trophies to their honours list as Richie Towell and Stephen Kenny took home the main prizes from the PFAI awards last night.

Former League of Ireland man - and current assistant to the national team - Roy Keane was at the event in Dublin and he applauded as Towell was named as Players' Player of the Year in the Premier Division by the PFAI.

"It's great to get the award but it's a team game and I wouldn't be here without my team-mates," says Towell.

He scored his 29th goal of a remarkable season to give Dundalk a win over Cork City in the FAI Cup final to land the double.

His boss, Stephen Kenny, won the prize for manager of the year - that award is made on the basis of votes from fellow managers while all other awards are voted for by the players. Kenny fended off competition from Division One title winner Shane Keegan (Wexford Youths) and Keith Long (Bohemians).

Brandon Miele capped off a good week, having made his Ireland U21 debut a few days earlier, by landing the Young Player of the year award ahead of rivals Ismahil Akinade (Bohemians) and Sean Gannon (Dundalk).

The Tallaght man had to be patient to get a chance at Shamrock Rovers but once he worked his way into the Hoops first team, he emerged as a real talent and earned promotion to the Irish U21 panel.

There was also recognition for Wexford for their promotion success as Danny Furlong was named as Player of the Year in Division One, his goals a key part in Wexford's title win.

Former Shelbourne man Wes Hoolahan is still in the thoughts of players in the game here as he was named as Overseas Player of the year, winning that award ahead of club-mate Robbie Brady and ex-LOI man Séamus Coleman.

Bohemians, who had manager Long and striker Akinade short-listed for awards, were busy in the last 24 hours.

Long has added two new faces to his squad for 2016 with the signing of attacking players Kurtis Byrne and Aymen Ben-Mohamed.

Byrne was part of the Dundalk side which won the double though the ex-Hibs man was a fringe figure with 13 league appearances, as all sub.

Former UCD star Ben-Mohamed joins after an impressive spell with Longford Town last season, while Adam Evans has agreed new terms with the Gypsies and will embark on a third season at Dalymount Park next term.

Dublin rivals St Patrick's Athletic have also added to their squad with three significant signings.

Ex-international Keith Treacy moves to Inchicore after a spell with Drogheda United, Mark Timlin follows the path of Shane McEleney in heading south from Derry City, while highly-rated Bray man Graham Kelly has also been signed by Liam Buckley.

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