Karen Duggan, UCD Waves, is presented with her player of the year award by Irish manager Colin Bell. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

UCD Waves star Karen Duggan was honoured at the FAI International Football Awards after she left Donnybrook last weekend as the new senior women’s player of the year.
The 25-year-old, who has also played for Peamount United, was nominated for the award alongside current UCD teammate Aine O’Gorman, and former Peamount teammate Stephanie Roche.
She spoke afterwards about how delighted, yet surprised, she was to win. “It’s a complete shock, I’m absolutely honoured.
“Every time that I get the jersey, I’m playing to get it back the next day.
“I’m not looking towards receiving awards, but it is a huge honour to play for your country and get recognised it. It is something you dream about when you are young.”
Duggan had to bide her time before she got a chance to nail down a place for the Irish senior team but it proved worth the wait for herself and the country.
“I think I probably hold the title for the longest apprenticeship served on the bench but when I got that chance to step up to the starting 11,
“I’m just working towards getting back in the next day, and the day after that.
“There is huge competition for places, which is helping me to improve my game.
“It has been a long road but it makes it all worth it to be part of something like this,” said Duggan.
Another winner on Sunday was former St Kevin’s Boys prodigy, and Irish hero, Robbie Brady.
The Burnley midfielder-cum-fullback won no less than three awards as he was honoured for his superb performances at Euro 2016 in France.
The Dubliner won player of the year and young player of the year after scoring twice in France – including the late winning goal against Italy that won the award for goal of the year.
Brady beat off stiff competition for the top prize in the form of Seamus Coleman and Jeff Hendrick, which he acknowledged at the ceremony.
“I’ve been fortunate enough on this one; the other two nominees had fantastic years. I’m honoured to have just pipped them, but it’s a massive honour for me and for my family,” said Brady.
Shelbourne Ladies star Roma McLauglin picked up the award for Under-19 player of the year ahead of Lucy McCartan and Amanda McQuillan.
The Donegal woman is a new signing at Shels having moved from Dublin rivals Peamount United.

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