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Irish Abroad end of season awards - Paddy Madden claims Player of the Year

Irish Abroad end of season awards - Paddy Madden claims Player of the Year

Mark Thompson, Getty Sport

As the 2012-13 season draws to a close we look back on the best that exported Irish talent had to offer across the campaign

AWARDS
By Ronan Murphy and Ryan Kelly

The 2012-13 season was one of ups and downs for Irish players playing in Britain, with, unfortunately, many more players finding themselves moving down rather than up. The Premier League ended with Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Wigan Athletic all relegated to the Championship, taking down a handful of Irish internationals.

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy is likely to find himself playing in the top tier once again next season, with plenty of suitors rumoured to be interested, but Reading's Irish contingent might not be so lucky. Alex Pearce had an impressive season with the Royals, and looks to be on the move, but Stephen Kelly, Ian Harte and Noel Hunt all look set to face away trips to Turf Moor rather than Old Trafford.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom for Irish players in the Premier League. Shane Long at West Bromwich Albion, as well as Everton's Darron Gibson and Seamus Coleman were impressive, while Norwich City duo Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan both shone and were rewarded with Ireland call-ups.

Hull City return to the top table next season thanks in no small part to impressive performances from the likes of Paul McShane, David Meyler, Stephen Quinn and Robbie Brady.

League One saw Yeovil Town promoted through the playoffs, and have striker Paddy Madden to thank for guiding them there.

In Scotland, Anthony Stokes picked up another SPL winners' medal with Celtic, while Darren Randolph's heroic performances helped Motherwell qualify for Europe and bagged the Ireland international a move to Birmingham City.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: PADDY MADDEN
    Age 
Club Games  Goals Honours
 23 Yeovil Town 39 24  Promotion from League One

Former Bohemians striker Paddy Madden endured a frustrating 18 months at Carlisle United after signing from the Gypsies in January 2011.

Having lit up the League of Ireland with many well-taken goals for Bohs, as well as on loan at Shelbourne, Madden found it more difficult cross-channel. Just two goals in 32 league games for the Cumbrians saw the Republic of Ireland under-23 international loaned out to fellow League One side Yeovil Town in October.

Madden immediately shone at his new surroundings, scoring twice on his debut, and going on a scoring streak which saw him net five goals in five games.

The Dubliner's initial one-month loan deal was extended to January, and then a permanent move was agreed as manager Gary Johnson's side found themselves among the League One contenders.

Madden was awarded the Player of the Month award in January, bagging six goals in three games, and was a mainstay as the Glovers reached the playoffs.

A cracking goal in the playoff final victory over Brentford ensured promotion to the Championship, while former employers Carlisle looked up from 17th position.

The 23-year-old will find himself performing in the Championship next season and will be Yeovil's key man as they look to impress in their first ever appearance in the second tier.

If Madden can repeat the successes of 2012-13, where he ended the season as top scorer, he will surely receive that eagerly anticipated phone call from Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ROBBIE BRADY
    Age   
Club Games  Goals Honours
 21 Hull City  32 4  Promotion from Championship

After earning a place on the fringes of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United team at the beginning of the season, Robbie Brady continued find his chances at Old Trafford extremely limited and, fuelled by a desire to continue his development, Brady sought a temporary move away from the club.

A second loan spell at Hull City in as many seasons brought the talented winger the nourishment of regular football and in January 2013, Brady made the enormous sacrifice of moving permanently away from the Red Devils.

"I want to stay playing [for Ireland], so I need to be playing as many club games as I can," Brady told Goal.com after his goal-scoring Republic of Ireland debut against Oman in October 2012.

"If that means I need to take a loan move, I will. We'll see what happens. I'd just like to play as much football as I can."

The gamble paid off for the Dubliner, whose hugely influential displays on the wing for the Tigers were an integral facet of their promotion to the Premier League.

IRISH ABROAD BEST XI: 2012-13

Darren RANDOLPH


Motherwell


Seamus COLEMAN
Richard KEOGH
Carl MCHUGH
Paul MCSHANE

Everton

Derby County

Bradford City

Hull City


Robbie BRADY
Darron GIBSON
Wes HOOLAHAN
Anthony PILKINGTON

Hull City

Everton

Norwich City

Norwich City


Paddy MADDEN
Shane LONG

Yeovil Town

West Bromwich Albion

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