‘Madness’: Reaction as Rice named Ireland’s Young Player of the Year
The 20-year-old has swapped allegiances to England’s national team.
The decision to name Declan Rice as the Republic of Ireland’s Young Player of the Year has been described as “madness” by fans on social media.
The 20-year-old was revealed as the winner of the award on the eve of his maiden England call-up, after switching allegiance from the nation he represented at both youth and senior levels.
Journalist Neil O’Riordan was on the jury which selected Rice for the accolade and defended the decision, but admitted he is “fully aware of how ridiculous it looks now”.
I was on the jury which selected Declan Rice for Young Player of the Year. Fully aware of how ridiculous it looks now but we were asked to pick best u25 player in 2018. You could not have given it to anyone else on that basis; I wasn’t going to change vote because it looks bad.— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) March 12, 2019
“Fully aware of how ridiculous it looks now but we were asked to pick best u25 player in 2018,” he tweeted.
“You could not have given it to anyone else on that basis; I wasn’t going to change vote because it looks bad.”
However, fan @Blue_Footy described the situation as “madness”, adding: “Why not cancel his name and award it to the next player in second position.”
Ireland named Declan Rice the young player of the year even though he has decided to represent England at senior international level.— Sarrismo™ (@Blue_Footy) March 12, 2019
Madness. Why not cancel his name and award it to the next player in second position.
Rice reportedly told Ireland manager Mick McCarthy he wanted to switch to England “to win things”.
Pointing this out with regards to the prize, sports writer Mark McCadden added: “If only he knew.”
And to think Declan Rice told Mick McCarthy, according to the Ireland manager, that he switched to England because he wanted "to win things".— Mark McCadden (@markmccadden) March 12, 2019
If only he knew.
The FAI has confirmed that Rice will not be at the awards ceremony on Sunday.
Instead, Press Association Sport understands he will be preparing to link up with his new England team-mates, as he is set to be immediately drafted into the Three Lions set-up by Gareth Southgate.
Irishman Mike Sheridan said of the situation : “It’s like we broke up with our girlfriend but refuse to change the profile pic of us.”
It’s like we broke up with our girlfriend but refuse to change the profile pic of us 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/EnKcHM0jB4— Mike Sheridan (@Immikesheridan) March 12, 2019
The FAI Young Player of the Year Award has been won by Declan Rice.— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) March 12, 2019
Stop the world. Let me off. It's done.
Richard Chambers commented: “Stop the world. Let me off. It’s done.”
However, fellow journalist Darren Cleary said Rice “deserves” the accolade.
To be fair to FAI and SWAI, 2018 was a brutal year for Irish football. Declan Rice was easily the best young player. He deserves the accolade.— Darren Cleary (@RadioCleary) March 12, 2019
“To be fair to FAI and SWAI, 2018 was a brutal year for Irish football,” he tweeted. “Declan Rice was easily the best young player.
“He deserves the accolade.”