PFAI Young Player of the Year

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The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland Players' Young Player of the Year (often called the PFAI Players' Young Player of the Year, the PFAI Young Player of the Year, or simply the Young Player of the Year) award is given to the footballer in the top-flight of Irish football, the League of Ireland, who is seen to have been the best player of the previous season and is under 23 years of age.

The shortlist is compiled by the members of the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland (the PFAI), and then the winner is voted for by the other players in the league.

The award was first given in 1982, and was won by Bohemians player Jacko McDonagh. The most recent winner of the PFAI Young Player of the Year award was Brandon Miele of Shamrock Rovers.

UEFA Euro 2016 saw three former winners of the award making appearances at the finals tournament in France, with two of them (Wes Hoolahan of the Republic of Ireland and Niall McGinn of Northern Ireland) scoring goals for their countries.

List of winners[edit]

Highlighted players are winning the award for a second time.


Year Player Club
2016 Republic of Ireland Seán Maguire Cork City
2015 Republic of Ireland Brandon Miele Shamrock Rovers
2014 Republic of Ireland Daryl Horgan Dundalk
2013 Republic of Ireland Richie Towell Dundalk
2012 Republic of Ireland Christopher Forrester St Patrick's Athletic
2011 Republic of Ireland Enda Stevens Shamrock Rovers
2010 Republic of Ireland Shaun Williams Sporting Fingal


Year Player Club
2009 Republic of Ireland Conor Powell Bohemians
2008 Northern Ireland Niall McGinn Derry City
2007 Republic of Ireland Mark Quigley St Patrick's Athletic
2006 Northern Ireland Kevin Deery Derry City
2005 Northern Ireland Paddy McCourt Derry City
2004 Republic of Ireland Daryl Murphy Waterford United
2003 Libya Éamon Zayed Bray Wanderers
2003 Republic of Ireland Wes Hoolahan Shelbourne
2002 Republic of Ireland Robbie Martin UCD
2001 Republic of Ireland Richie Foran Shelbourne
2000 Republic of Ireland Richie Baker Shelbourne


Year Player Club
1999 Republic of Ireland Richie Baker Shelbourne
1998 Republic of Ireland Colin Hawkins St Patrick's Athletic
1997 Northern Ireland Gary Beckett Derry City
1996 Republic of Ireland Michael O'Byrne UCD
1995 Republic of Ireland Billy Woods Cork City
1994 Republic of Ireland Jim Crawford Bohemians
1993 Republic of Ireland Richie Purdy Dundalk
1992 Republic of Ireland Tony McCarthy Shelbourne
1991 Republic of Ireland Barry Ryan Limerick
1990 Republic of Ireland Vinny Arkins / Republic of Ireland Tony Cousins Shamrock Rovers / Dundalk


Year Player Club
1989 Northern Ireland Liam Coyle Derry City
1988 Republic of Ireland Paul McGee Bohemians
1987 Republic of Ireland Martin Bayly Sligo Rovers
1986 Republic of Ireland Liam O'Brien Shamrock Rovers
1985 Republic of Ireland Peter Coyle Limerick
1984 Republic of Ireland Joe Hanrahan UCD
1983 Republic of Ireland Ken DeMange Home Farm
1982 Republic of Ireland Jacko McDonagh Bohemians

Breakdown of winners[edit]

Winners by club[edit]

Club Number of wins
Derry City 5 (1989, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2008)
Shelbourne 5 (1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003)
Bohemians 4 (1982, 1988, 1994, 2009)
Shamrock Rovers 4 (1986, 1990, 2011, 2015)
Dundalk 4 (1990, 1993, 2013, 2014)
St Patrick's Athletic 3 (1998, 2007, 2012)
UCD 3 (1984, 1996, 2002)
Limerick 2 (1985, 1991)
Cork City 2 (1995, 2016)
Sporting Fingal 1 (2010)
Waterford United 1 (2004)
Bray Wanderers 1 (2003)
Sligo Rovers 1 (1987)
Home Farm 1 (1983)

Winners by country[edit]

Country Number of wins
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 31 (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
 Northern Ireland 5 (1989, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2008)
 Libya 1 (2003)


  • In 2000, Richie Baker became the first – and so far only – player to win the award twice. He achieved this feat by winning the award in successive seasons
  • In 1990, the award was shared between Vinny Arkins and Tony Cousins. This is the only year that the award was shared.
  • In 1989, Liam Coyle became the first player from outside of the Republic of Ireland to win the award.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]