Belfast Telegraph

Linfield the big winners at NI Football Awards

Linfield's Chris Casement, Josh Robinson, Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye.
Linfield's Chris Casement, Josh Robinson, Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Merit Award Football Writers' Chairman Keith Bailie presents Brian Montgomery from the Ballymena Saturday Morning League with the award
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Larne's Tomas Cosgrove (left) and Martin Donnelly (right) at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Adam Lecky with his partner Amy at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Josh Robinson and Jimmy Callacher attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Chris Casement , Josh Robinson , Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Cliftonville Manager Paddy McLaughlin, Joe Gormley and Ballymena Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Larne's Martin Donnelly at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Kofi Balmer and Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Pat Jennings at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield's Niall Quinn , Jimmy Callacher Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 George Bests , Sister Barbara McNarry and her Husband Norman attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. George Best was inducted into the Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield's Niall Quinn , Jimmy Callacher Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 George Bests , Sister Barbara McNarry and her Husband Norman attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. George Best was inducted into the Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Kofi Balmer and Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Chris Casement , Josh Robinson , Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Bluefin Sport Championship Player of the Year Alyn Spratt of Bluefin Sport Êwith Marty Donnelly
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Belleek Premier Intermediate League Team of the Year. The Premier Intermediate League Team of the Year with NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Bluefin Sport Championship Team of the Year Alyn Spratt of Bluefin Sport Êwith the Sport Championship Team of the Year
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Premier Intermediate League Player of the Year. Ryan McCready from Queen's University with NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. International Personality of the Year Award David Kernohan from Reavey and Co Solicitors presents Gerry Armstrong on behalf of Craig Cathcart with the International Personality of the Year Award
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Jordan's Gift Goal of the Season award Jared Kennedy, Director of Jordan's Gift presents Ards striker Michael McLellan with the award
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Jimmy Dubois Non-Senior Club of the Year Timothy Dubois presents manager Paul Trainor Êfrom Crumlin Star with the aw
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Uhlsport Premiership Team of the Year Bryan Hutchinson of Uhlsport with the best players from this season
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Electric Ireland WomenÕs' Football Personality of the Year Electric Ireland's Anne Smyth presents the award to Billie Simpson from Cliftonville
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame Award Brian Hill from Ardtalla Wealth Management presents Barbara McNarry with the award on behalf of her brother George Best.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. (L-R) Linfields Niall Quinn, Jimmy Callacher, Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson.
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Danske Bank Premiership winners Linfield took the spoils at the Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza.

The Gibson Cup champions saw defender Jimmy Callacher named Danske Bank Player of the Year, while manager David Healy was BetMcLean Manager of the Year after their stunning campaign.

Seven of the Blues' squad were named in the uhlsport Premiership Team of the Year, including Andy Waterworth who was joint top scorer alongside Cliftonville's Joe Gormley.

Chris Casement, Josh Robinson, Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart and Jamie Mulgrew were the other Linfield players who got into the Team of the Year.

Crusaders duo Jordan Forsythe and Paul Heatley also made it into the Team of the Year after helping the Shore Road side win the Irish Cup, while Ballymena striker Adam Lecky and Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey round out the team.

Linfield centre-back Callacher had a stunning season as a rock in the centre of the Blues' defence while also posing a scoring threat from set-pieces in one of his best individual years.

The 27-year-old, who saw off forward duo Lecky and Waterworth to win the main prize on the night, also won Linfield's Player of the Year award.

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Healy, meanwhile, was a worthy winner of the Manager of the Year after turning around the Blues' fortunes in the space of a year following a down season in 2017/18, holding off David Jeffrey and Stephen Baxter.

Elsewhere, Ballymena centre-back Kofi Balmer was awarded the Spanish Dream Homes Young Player of the Year award after establishing himself as a mainstay in the heart of the Sky Blues' defence.

The 18-year-old has been gathering plenty of attention from clubs here and across the water and held off the talented pair of Caolan Marron (Glenavon) and Ben Doherty (Coleraine) to win the award.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye.
Merit Award Football Writers' Chairman Keith Bailie presents Brian Montgomery from the Ballymena Saturday Morning League with the award
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Merit Award Football Writers' Chairman Keith Bailie presents Brian Montgomery from the Ballymena Saturday Morning League with the award
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Larne's Tomas Cosgrove (left) and Martin Donnelly (right) at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Adam Lecky with his partner Amy at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Josh Robinson and Jimmy Callacher attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Chris Casement , Josh Robinson , Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Cliftonville Manager Paddy McLaughlin, Joe Gormley and Ballymena Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Larne's Martin Donnelly at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Kofi Balmer and Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Pat Jennings at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield's Niall Quinn , Jimmy Callacher Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 George Bests , Sister Barbara McNarry and her Husband Norman attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. George Best was inducted into the Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield's Niall Quinn , Jimmy Callacher Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 George Bests , Sister Barbara McNarry and her Husband Norman attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. George Best was inducted into the Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Ballymena's Kofi Balmer and Manager David Jeffrey at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/05/19 Linfield defenders From L-R Chris Casement , Josh Robinson , Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn attend the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Monday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Bluefin Sport Championship Player of the Year Alyn Spratt of Bluefin Sport Êwith Marty Donnelly
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Belleek Premier Intermediate League Team of the Year. The Premier Intermediate League Team of the Year with NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Bluefin Sport Championship Team of the Year Alyn Spratt of Bluefin Sport Êwith the Sport Championship Team of the Year
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Premier Intermediate League Player of the Year. Ryan McCready from Queen's University with NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. International Personality of the Year Award David Kernohan from Reavey and Co Solicitors presents Gerry Armstrong on behalf of Craig Cathcart with the International Personality of the Year Award
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Jordan's Gift Goal of the Season award Jared Kennedy, Director of Jordan's Gift presents Ards striker Michael McLellan with the award
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Jimmy Dubois Non-Senior Club of the Year Timothy Dubois presents manager Paul Trainor Êfrom Crumlin Star with the aw
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Uhlsport Premiership Team of the Year Bryan Hutchinson of Uhlsport with the best players from this season
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Electric Ireland WomenÕs' Football Personality of the Year Electric Ireland's Anne Smyth presents the award to Billie Simpson from Cliftonville
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame Award Brian Hill from Ardtalla Wealth Management presents Barbara McNarry with the award on behalf of her brother George Best.
Linfield's Chris Casement, Josh Robinson, Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th May 2019 Northern Ireland Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. (L-R) Linfields Niall Quinn, Jimmy Callacher, Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson.

Despite being relegated at the end of the season, there was one award for an Ards player: striker Michael McCready, who won Goal of the Season for his sensational strike against Cliftonville back in September.

Meanwhile, Larne dominated the awards in the Bluefin Sport Championship after they strolled to the title, with Martin Donnelly winning Player of the Year and six players being named in the Team of the Year.

Donnelly's strike partner David McDaid joined him in the team, as did midfielders Fuad Sule and Jeff Hughes, as well as defenders Tomas Cosgrove and Ben Tilney.

Goalkeeper Aaron Hogg was included after backstopping Carrick Rangers back into the top flight, with team-mates Caolan Loughran and Mark Surgenor also named in the team, while Dundela duo Ben Murdock and Jordan Hughes were also nominated.

Queen's University's Ryan McCready won Premier Intermediate Player of the Year, with Intermediate Cup champions Crumlin Star walking away with the Jimmy Dubois Non-Senior Team of the Year, while Electric Ireland Women's Personality of the Year went to Billie Simpson of Cliftonville Ladies.

There was one award handed out to a local player who is playing outside of Northern Ireland, with Watford and Northern Ireland international centre-back Craig Cathcart awarded the Reavy and Co Solicitors International Player of the Year.

And there was a fitting tribute to George Best, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame to conclude the night.

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