Belfast Telegraph

Champions hoping to land further accolades

 

In running: Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher
In running: Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher

By Graham Luney

Linfield are hoping their trophy winning season isn't over yet as the great and the good of the Irish League gather at Belfast's Crowne Plaza Hotel tonight for the NI Football Awards.

Two Blues aces - Andy Waterworth and Jimmy Callacher - are in the running for Danske Bank Player of the Year, along with Ballymena United's Adam Lecky.

And in the BetMcLean Manager of the Year category, Linfield boss David Healy will face a challenge from Ballymena United's David Jeffrey and Crusaders' Stephen Baxter.

The Spanish Dream Homes Young Player honour will, meanwhile, see Lecky's Sky Blues team-mate Kofi Balmer pitted against Glenavon centre-half Caolan Marron and Coleraine's Ben Doherty.

Not surprisingly, the Uhlsport Premiership Team of the Year is dominated by the Blues with seven of their players making the best 11.

The top side is Jonny Tuffey (Glenavon) Chris Casement (Linfield), Jimmy Callacher (Linfield), Josh Robinson (Linfield), Niall Quinn (Linfield), Jordan Stewart (Linfield), Jamie Mulgrew (Linfield), Jordan Forsythe (Crusaders), Paul Heatley (Crusaders), Andrew Waterworth (Linfield), Adam Lecky (Ballymena United).

Tonight's bash is a joint venture between the NI Football Writers' Association and the NI Football League to pay tribute to the stars of the 2019/20 season.

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Larne are guaranteed to add another honour to a memorable season at Inver Park, with three of their stars - Martin Donnelly, David McDaid, Ben Tilney - nominated for Championship Player of the Year while, further down the standings, Ryan McCready (Queen's University), Stephen McCavitt (Banbridge Town) and Niall Henderson (Annagh United) will fight for the PIL's top individual accolade.

The Women's Personality honour will, meanwhile, be contested by Cliftonville's Billie Simpson, Everton's Simone Magill and Rachel Furness of Reading, with Northern Ireland trio Craig Cathcart, Jamal Lewis, Stuart Dallas in the running for the International gong.

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