Cork City manager John Caulfield honoured by soccer writers
Double-winning boss claims personality of the year award
Cork City manager John Caulfield is presented with his personality of the year award at the the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland awards at The Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Cork City manager John Caulfield has been named as the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland personality of the year after a season in which his side secured the club’s first league and cup double.
Mark McNulty won the goalkeeper of the year award after a season in which his league form played a huge part in the club’s title success. That was then eclipsed to some extent by his cup final display, most obviously in the penalty shoot-out with the 37-year-old saving Michael Duffy’s spot kick to set Kieran Sadlier up to secure the City victory.
Dubliner Ronnie Nolan received the association’s special merit award. The now 84-year-old was a member of ‘Coad’s Colts’, the great Shamrock Rovers side of the 50s and 60s. The former Republic of Ireland international won five league titles and six cups, scoring the winner in the 1956 final against Cork Athletic. He later won a seventh while playing for Bohemians.
The Irish youth teams that completed a historic double of European titles were honoured at the annual banquet with many members of Brian Kerr’s two squads attending the event.
“At the time you don’t realise what a big achievement it was,” said Andy Reid, a member of the under-16 title-winning side that beat Italy in their final in Scotland. “You just roll with it and see what happens.
“I don’t think we realised how big a deal it was until we got back to Dublin. We had people at the airport, national media, it was like one of the Irish teams coming back from the World Cup back in the day. It hit home them that we had achieved something really big.”
Personality of the Year: John Caulfield (Cork City) Goalkeeper: Mark McNulty (Cork City) Special Merit: Ronnie Nolan. Guests of Honour: the European title-winning Under-18 and Under-16 Republic of Ireland teams of 1998.