The NIWFA celebrated the end of yet another successful season on Saturday 11th October when they hosted a glitzy and glamorous awards night at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast. Celebrating the success of the six league champions and announcing the player of the year and top goal scorer for each league was the focus for the night.
Kirsty McGuinness, from Linfield Ladies, walked away with the top accolades at the event receiving the Concentrix Premier Leagues ‘Top Goal Scorer’ and ‘Player of the Year’ awards.
Chairwoman of the NIWFA Susan O’Neill congratulated all the players, coaches, volunteers, officials and league sponsors Concentrix for making the 2014 league such a success. Addressing the guests Susan remarked;
“Our season has been an exciting affair at all levels. The women's game is played with passion, enthusiasm, grit and determination. We love this game and it shows on the faces of all the players - young and old! A big thank you must go to the NIWFA committee - without their dedication, passion and endless hard work the season would not have been possible."
The evening was compered by UTV's Denise Watson and special guests in attendance at the awards night included the Right Honourable Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon, Sara Booth and Jackie Blyth (from the IFA Football Development Department), UTV’s Dougie Beattie, Judith Hill and Sarah Moore, Gerard Lawlor (Chairman of the Northern Ireland Football League), Niamh Shiells and Debbie Cousins (from Advance Coaching).
Speaking at the event the Lord Mayor Councillor Nichola Mallon remarked;
“The Northern Ireland Women’s Football Awards give recognition to the incredible talent, commitment and passion in women’s football and I am delighted to be here tonight and give my support. Women’s football is finally starting to get the recognition and coverage it deserves and the sport is growing from strength to strength”.
The full list of award winners was as follows:
• Concentrix Premier League Player of the Year: Kirsty McGuinness (Linfield Ladies)
• Concentrix Premier League Top Goal Scorer: Kirsty McGuinness (Linfield Ladies)
• Concentrix Championship Player of the Year: Rachel Rogan (St Matthew's Ladies)
• Concentrix Championship Top Goal Scorer: Lauren Brennan (Sion Swifts Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 1 Player of the Year: Chloe McGlade (Cappagh Spurs Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 1 Top Goal Scorer: Chloe McGlade (Cappagh Spurs Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 2 Player of the Year: Emma Harpur (Killen Rangers Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 2 Top Goal Scorer: Kathleen Barnes (Carnmoney Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 3 Player of the Year: Louise Noble (Fermanagh Mallards Ladies)
• Concentrix Division 3 Top Goal Scorer: Rebecca Lavery (Craigavon City Ladies)
• Concentrix Under 17 Development League Player of the Year: Danielle Ford (St Oliver Plunkett Ladies)
A special Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Gerry May, was presented to Cheryl Lamont the current manager of Glentoran Belfast United. A former Northern Ireland international coach, Cheryl has been involved in women’s football for over 27 years as a player, coach and manager.
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