Niall O’Keeffe claims FAI Schools International Player of the Year award.
After a successful 2019 for Niall on both domestic and national fronts, Niall has been awarded player of the year for the international schools.
In 2019 Niall was an integral part of our under-19’s side who claimed the national league title, setting up 2 goals in the final versus Galway. Impressive performances has led to Niall being in around the first team set up prior to and since the return of football in 2020.
Speaking on winning the award Niall commented; ‘I’m absolutely delighted to win this award, it means a lot to myself and my family for all the hard work and commitment that is required. I would like to thank all those who helped me along the way to improve both on and off the pitch’.
Niall’s impressive performances with the national set up led to him being named as captain, something he is immensely proud of, ‘it is an honour to captain any team but it’s an even bigger honour to captain my country in a big tournament like the centenary shield where there is a lot of competition for places. To get the opportunity to do that is something I’m extremely grateful for’.
Looking forward, Niall now turns his focus onto both the first team and under 19 side whom he will feature for this season. ‘My aim now is to get as many games under my belt and put the team in a place where we can fight for leagues and cups be that with the first team or the under 19s. I just aim to do the best for myself and my team every opportunity I get.
Niall represented De la Salle secondary school while also playing with the blues. Niall has since moved on to study on the FAI/ETB course located at WIT Arena where he has had the opportunity to train in a full-time environment while also progressing with his education.
Another local player Lee O’Connor, now with Celtic FC and on loan at Partick Thistle was awarded the FAI U21 player of the year award so many congratulations to Lee and his family. The future is bright for Waterford football.