The Soccer Writers Association of Ireland annual awards are taking place tonight in the Conrad Hotel in Dublin.
The main award is the Personality of the Year which nominees were shortlisted for in the last few weeks.
There have been many stand out people involved in a playing or coaching capacity this season with many levels of success.
But who will take the title?
Here are the nominees
The PFAI Player of the Year is the hot favourite for the Personality of the Year award in a season which seen him score 29 goals in all competitions, including the winner in the FAI Cup final in November. He won the Player of the Month award a record three times throughout the season and equalled the Premier Division record of 25 league goals, all from midfield. His form has since earned him a move to Championship side Brighton and led to calls for an Ireland call-up.
Last year’s winner of the Personality of the Year award arguably upped his game even further in 2015. Bettering the achievements of 2014 was always going to be a struggle but a league and cup double, as well as a strong European showing against BATE Borisov in July, meant things only got better at Oriel Park last year. In retaining the title for the first time in the club’s history, Kenny firmly established himself in the Dundalk FC record books with the club’s style of play earning huge plaudits as they hit a record number of league goals en route to the title, which was won in Kenny’s native Tallaght with three games to spare in early October.
What a season for the young manager. The 4 year plan that Keegan put in place to bring newly formed Wexford Youths to the Premier Division was accomplished last season in phenomenal fashion. Finishing six points clear at the top of the division and scoring a record 63 league goals in doing so shows what a high standard Keegan has set in with his coaches and players. Wrapping up the league title with two games to spare and being nominated for the PFAI Manager of the year would be the key highlight for Keegan in 2015.
The PFAI Young Player of the Year 2015 has had a very progressive season in Tallaght with Shamrock Rovers. Having made the return to Ireland from being released at Newcastle he started on the bench for Pat Fenlon’s side but his class and determination came through and Fenlon made him a key part of the first team and Miele repaid the manager with 11 league goals. The Dubliner will be expecting to add to his goals tally for next season and push Shamrock Rovers closer to the title.
Another hugely impressive performer as Dundalk claimed a double in 2015. The Player of the Month for May, the 23-year-old Galway native scored 11 goals this season, including nine in the league while also leading the way with 14 assists in the league and four more in other competitions, including setting up Richie Towell for the winner in the FAI Cup final.
The Corkman again had a massively successful season once again with coming just short of the league title and getting Cork City to the Aviva Stadium to contest the FAI Cup Final. Falling just short to Dundalk on both occasions but Caulfield has to be given massive credit for galvanising a club and City to contest at the top level of Irish football. Next season Caulfield will be looking to run a closer title race and pick up silverware in any of the cup competitions as he has bolstered his squad with high quality players.
With Dundalk’s successful double season just gone, I don’t believe you can look further than the Dundalk contingent. Daryl Horgan had a brilliant season with 11 goals but I think the award will be a battle between manager Stephen Kenny and star man Richie Towell.
With Kenny taking the award last year and Towell scoring 29 goals from midfield as well as the cup final winner & earning a move to Championship high flying side Brighton I would sway in the favour of the midfielder.
Predicted Winner – Richie Towell