Declan Rice has been named FAI Young Player of the Year a day before he set to be called up the England squad by Gareth Southgate.
Rice who is currently playing with Premier League side West Ham and is only 20 years of age, his performances with the Hammers have been superb this season so far. After much decision making and thinking he opted to switch his allegiance to England. According to RTE Sport, Rice was born in London and has Irish grandparents. However, he considers himself a mixed nationality. His switch to the Three Lions was confirmed last week by FIFA. Rice played three international friendlies for Ireland. RTE Sport also report that Rice will be included in Southgate’s squad for the upcoming games in the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Czech Republic and Montengro.
There has plenty of debate and conversation over his switch and the naming of him as FAI Young Player of the Year is only going to add fuel to the fire for tweeters and the like. He is expected to be named in the English squad tomorrow afternoon. In relation to the FAI football awards, the FAI said the Young Player Award was voted on by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccers Writers Association and the statement note that at the time of voting Rice was still an Ireland player.
“At the time of the vote, Declan Rice was an Ireland international and qualified for the Young Player category in a year that saw him win three senior caps, all in ‘3’ International Friendly games.
“Declan Rice has since opted to switch his allegiance to England. The FAI has completed his international transfer via the FIFA protocols and wishes him well in the future.
“This award maintains the integrity of the voting process in conjunction with the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland and the FAI thanks the jury members for their decisions relating to the awards.
The statement also said that Rice will not be attendance for the ceremony on Sunday.