Leanne Kiernan has been named the Ireland Women’s Player of the Year after a fantastic 2018 for the international team.
The West Ham United striker, who has five goals and three assists in all competitions for the Irons this campaign, scored three times for the Republic of Ireland during their FIFA 19 World Cup qualification campaign, with the team unfortunate to miss out on a place at the Finals in France this summer.
The 19-year-old’s efforts on the international stage have been rewarded with the Senior Women’s Player of the Year award, announced at the FAI International Awards on Sunday night.
Kiernan was unable to attend in person, having played the full 90 minutes of West Ham’s 1-0 away win to Aston Villa in the FA Cup quarter finals on Sunday afternoon, but was presented the trophy by head coach Matt Beard in a ceremony at Rush Green Stadium.
Leanne Kiernan is the Senior Women’s International Player of the Year#FAIAwards #COYGIG pic.twitter.com/SHJOoGXCvF
— FAIreland (@FAIreland) March 17, 2019
“It’s an absolute privilege to win this award,” Kiernan said. “This is a huge highlight in my career. I can’t put into words how emotional I am to have received this. It is a real honour; not just for me, but for my family too.
“I want to thank Colin [Colin Bell, Republic of Ireland head coach]. He has brought me so far in my career and I am so grateful for that. I would also like to thank all of my coaches who have helped me along the way, and, last but not least, my teammates. If it wasn’t for them, I definitely wouldn’t have this won this award.
“I want to keep improving as a player now and start something special with Ireland in the next international campaign.”
This award continues a fantastic start to 2019 for Kiernan, who was also declared the Anglo-Celt Overall Sports Star of the Year for 2018 for her incredible form since the start of last year.