Cullen and Rice claim Ireland accolades

Josh Cullen and Declan Rice


It was a successful night for West Ham United pair Josh Cullen and Declan Rice at the FAI awards on Sunday as both picked up prestigious accolades in their respective age categories.


Midfielder Cullen – who spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Championship side Bolton Wanderers – picked up the U21 International Player of the Year award after a series of impressive performances as skipper of the side.


Rice, meanwhile, was named U19 International Player of the Year – his second honour in as many years having been presented with the U17 equivalent last March.


The young centre-back, who has made such an impact in the Hammers’ first team this season, was called into the Republic of Ireland’s senior squad for the first time last week for their upcoming friendly against Turkey.


The 19-year-old has so far been an important figure in the U21s’ European Qualifying campaign too, often playing alongside Cullen in central midfield for the Boys in Green who so far have ten points from a possible 15 in Group 5, sitting behind just Germany in the table.


As well as Rice’s senior call-up, the Hammers duo have both been named in Noel King’s U21 squad for Thursday’s friendly against Iceland and next Tuesday’s qualifier at home to Azerbaijan.


Martin O’Neill’s senior squad take on Turkey in Antalya on Friday.