Sunday 24 March 2019

'Rice should not have won award' - McCarthy

Ireland boss says prize should have gone to someone who deserves it and not England

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Mick McCarthy has revealed his anger at the decision to give the FAI's Young Player of the Year award to England recruit Declan Rice.

The Ireland senior team boss says he would have preferred to have no award at all than to give it to someone who had declared for a rival nation.

McCarthy and his squad will attend the FAI international awards in RTé on Sunday night ahead of the first game of his second spell as manager but Rice, controversially chosen by a panel of journalists as winner of the Young Player award for 2018, will not be there.

"When I was told that he was getting it, I said, 'No way, why would he get it?' You should give it to someone who deserves it. And that was wrong," McCarthy said in Dublin yesterday as he named a trimmed-down 23-man squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

"What I did say was that you give it to someone who appreciated it. And in doing so, everyone looks stupid. He is not going to appreciate it, he probably feels slightly embarrassed by it.

"For someone who has left and does not even want to play for us, why on earth would you consider doing it?

"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."

Irish Independent

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