Sunday 24 March 2019

'I wouldn't have given it to him...chuck it in the Liffey' - Mick McCarthy has his say on Declan Rice award

Mick McCarthy and (inset) Declan Rice
Mick McCarthy and (inset) Declan Rice

Roy Curtis

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy would have dumped the 2018 Young Player of the Year award in the Liffey rather than presenting it to Declan Rice.

The hugely talented West Ham tyro was controversially confirmed as the winner by the FAI earlier in the week despite his high profile defection to his native England.

Kevin Kilbane and Niall Quinn were among those unhappy with the decision of a judging panel of soccer journalists.

And McCarthy believes the runner-up should have been promoted following Rice's divisive switch.

"I said, 'don't give it to him.' I said, 'give it to someone who deserves it,' and then I stopped. I said, 'no, that's unfair.' Because quite clearly, he did deserve it, he won it because of his performances.

"I said, 'give it to somebody who would appreciate it, not somebody who is going to be embarrassed by it or [for it to be used as] another stick to beat the FAI with.

"Because it's the journalists' award, and I just said, 'you all wanted to protect the integrity of the award,' which they gave to him in good faith. It's not the FAI award, it's been given by the journalists.

"And then, they all insisted they give it and then there's a shitstorm and it's the FAI that's getting it. Well, I don't think that's right, in any shape of form.

"No, I wouldn't have given it to him. And if they couldn't give it to anybody else because he won it, don't give it to anybody. Chuck it in the Liffey."

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