Belfast Telegraph

England's Declan Rice named Republic of Ireland Young Player of the Year

Declan Rice has won a Republic of Ireland award just as he is set to earn an England call-up after his international switch.
Declan Rice has won a Republic of Ireland award just as he is set to earn an England call-up after his international switch.

West Ham star Declan Rice has been named the FAI Young Player of the Year just one month after switching his international allegiance to England.

The FAI confirmed this afternoon that Rice is set to win the prize at the '3' FAI International Awards, taking place on Sunday March 17.

The voting took place before the youngster confirmed his intention to switch to England. Rice won three international caps in green during 2018, and produced a number of impressive performances.

In a statement, the FAI said that the decision to name Rice the Young Player of the Year despite his defection 'maintains the integrity of the voting process in conjunction with the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland'.

Rice will not be in attendance to receive the award, with the ceremony to be shown live on RTÉ this weekend.

Rice played Turkey, France and the USA, but since all three caps came in friendly matches, he was able to switch to England.

The midfielder is set to be named in Gareth Southgate's England squad on Wednesday afternoon, having been confirmed as the Football Association of Ireland's Young Player of the Year less than 24 hours earlier.

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