Buckley scoops writers' award
SPORTING FINGAL manager Liam Buckley was last night honoured for the unusual achievement of securing promotion and winning the FAI Cup in the same year when he was named the AVIVA/Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland 'Personality of the Year' for 2009.
The popular Dubliner becomes the 50th winner of the award.
Numerous past recipients of the award were in attendance at last night's jubilee dinner, including former Ireland managers Liam Tuohy, Brian Kerr and Eoin Hand -- and also Dan McCaffrey, the first winner back in 1961.
Buckley pipped Bohemians boss Pat Fenlon to the gong, with the Shamrock Rovers pair of Michael O'Neill and Gary Twigg, and Sligo duo Paul Cook and Raffaele Cretaro also in contention.
The 49-year-old Buckley missed out on the award during his successful career as a player with Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic -- two clubs which he went on to manage.
The former Irish international also spent time over in Belgium and Spain as a player with Waregem and Racing Santander, respectively.
Recent Ipswich Town recruit Brian Murphy picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year award for the third season in succession after another fine campaign between the sticks, which culminated in a call-up to the Irish senior squad for the World Cup play-off against France.
The loudest cheer of the night was reserved for the Special Merit Award, which went to Jim McLaughlin, the only three-time winner of the Personality prize.