Declan Rice wins FAI young player of the year award
"Declan Rice will not be in Dublin for the '3' FAI International Awards ceremony."
Declan Rice has won the FAI's young player of the year award. Yes, that Declan Rice.
The West Ham United midfielder played three games for the Republic of Ireland in 2018 and was the man of the match each time. However, after a lengthy deliberation process that lasted months, Rice opted to switch allegiance to England.
In his statement announcing the decision, he stated that it was an honour to play for Ireland but he is a "proud Englishman."
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) February 13, 2019
Rice has had his registration transferred to the country of his birth and it would not be a surprise to see him named in Gareth Southgate's squad later this month.
He will never play for Ireland again and he certainly won't be in Dublin to collect the FAI award on March 17.
On Tuesday afternoon, the association released a statement about Rice winning the accolade, which reads:
"The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that West Ham United's Declan Rice has won the Young Player Of the Year award at the 29th '3' FAI International Awards taking place on Sunday, March 17.
"The award was voted for by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland.
"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.
"Declan Rice will not be in Dublin for the '3' FAI International Awards ceremony, which will be live on RTÉ2 from 20:30."