Declan Rice named FA Ireland's Young Player of the Year

Declan Rice in action for Ireland
Image: Declan Rice has swapped Republic of Ireland for England

Declan Rice has been named as the Republic of Ireland's Young Player of the Year.

The announcement comes days after FIFA ratified Rice's switch of international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.

The 20-year-old played for the Republic of Ireland's youth teams before representing them three times at senior level.

But those three appearances all came in friendly internationals, allowing West Ham academy graduate Rice to switch to England.

A statement from the FAI read: "The award was voted for by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland.

Declan Rice during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United at Vitality Stadium on January 19, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom 1:02
Declan Rice said last month that switching his international allegiance to England was hard but is looking forward to future call-ups.

"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 three International Friendly games.

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"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."

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