McCarthy slams decision to award Rice Young Player of the Year award

‘I wouldn’t have given it to him… Would I heck!’: Mick McCarthy slams decision to award Declan Rice Ireland’s Young Player of the Year award as he believes the midfielder wouldn’t ‘appreciate it’

  • Declan Rice won Republic of Ireland’s Young Player of the Year award this week
  • ROI manager Mick McCarthy slammed the decision to give Rice the award
  • McCarthy would rather the award went to someone who ‘appreciated it’ more
  • The midfielder switched allegiances to England weeks before winning the award

Mick McCarthy has slammed the decision to name Declan Rice the FAI Young Player of the Year just weeks after he defected to play for England.

Rice won the award for his performances for Ireland in 2018 but McCarthy – who is preparing for his second stint as national boss – would rather the award went to someone who appreciated it more or that it was scrapped altogether.

The 20-year-old West Ham defensive midfielder was deemed the best young player by a panel of Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland (SWAI) for his three senior appearances last year in friendly matches.

Mick McCarthy slammed the decision to give Declan Rice ROI's Young Player of the Year award

Mick McCarthy slammed the decision to give Declan Rice ROI’s Young Player of the Year award

Rice won Republic of Ireland 's Young Player of the Year despite his switch to England

Rice won Republic of Ireland ‘s Young Player of the Year despite his switch to England

Rice – who was born in London – has since pledged his international future to England and was called up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for upcoming matches against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

But the whole sage has left a sour taste in McCarthy’s mouth.

Speaking from the Aviva stadium as the FAI announced SportPesa as their new official betting partner, McCarthy said: ‘I wouldn’t have given it to him. Would I heck!

‘Initially, I said it should be given to someone that deserves it, and that was wrong, but he was playing and if he was the best player, then he deserved it.

‘In my view, the decision should have been changed and the award given to someone who would really appreciate it.

‘He [Rice] is not going to appreciate it. He probably feels slightly embarrassed by it.

Rice has impressed for West Ham this season and has been called up to the England squad

Rice has impressed for West Ham this season and has been called up to the England squad

RICE FOR IRELAND

2015 Under-16s (three matches)

2015-2016 Under-17s (six matches, two goals)

2016 Under-19s (six matches)

2017 Under-21s (five matches)

2018 Senior team (three matches)

‘I understand that he did deserve it because he won it on merit but for someone who has left and doesn’t want to play for us, why on earth would you give it to him? Was it to embarrass him? To embarrass the FAI? I don’t know.

‘I would rather there was not an award that to give it to him. I said that if there is no one else, then don’t give the award.’

McCarthy named his squad Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia with Luton striker James Collins the notable uncapped addition.

Everton’s James McCarthy, Hull midfielder David Meyler and Fulham defender Cyrus Christie are the high-profile names to have been axed while Burnley’s Stephen Ward has called time on his international career.

SportPesa are the official betting partner of The Football Association of Ireland. For more info visit: www.sportpesa.org

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