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Video - Walters and Long are the big winners at the FAI awards

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Walters a worthy winner
Walters a worthy winner

Jonathan Walters was crowned as senior international Player of the Year at the Football Association of Ireland awards on Sunday night, while there was also a special award for Shane Long.

Walters was the outstanding candidate for the top prize after his sparkling performances and crucial goals helped Ireland to seal their place in the Euro 2016 finals.

"If you look back at qualification, people wrote us off early on," he said as he received his award.

"During the group there were other teams saying that there were only three teams in it.

"Teams write us off at their peril and it’ll be the same again in (France). In this group we’re the underdogs against three very good teams and I'm sure they’ll already write us off."

Walters put Ireland's success in qualifying down to the team spirit within the squad and insisted that the closeness of the squad off the pitch shows on it.

"We’re all so close and when we go away it can be long trips. You’re away from your family and children for a long time but every time we’re here it’s enjoyable.

"Every single player is close and the members of staff as well. We’ve got a real togetherness and I think it shows out there and we showed it in qualifying out on the pitch."

Southampton striker Long was always destined for recognition and his iconic goal in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany set up a famous win against the world champions back in October was duly elected as goal of the year.

Here is a full list of award winners:

Senior International Player of the Year

Jonathan Walters

Senior Women’s International Player of the Year

Denise O’Sullivan

Young International Player of the Year

Robbie Brady

Three International Goal of the Year

Shane Long v Germany

Special Merit

Regions’ Cup team

Hall of Fame

Tony Cascarino

International Personality of the Year

Gianluca Vialli

Under 21 International Player of the Year

Alan Browne

Under 19 International Player of the Year

Ryan Manning

Under 19 Women’s International Player of the Year

Megan Connolly

Under 17 International Player of the Year

Connor Ronan

Under 17 Women’s International Player of the Year

Amanda McQuillan

Under 16 International Player of the Year

Jayson Molumby (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Under 16 Women’s International Player of the Year

Heather Payne (Salthill Devon)

Under 15 International Player of the Year

Lee O’Connor (Villa – Waterford)

SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year

Richie Towell (Dundalk)

Junior International Player of the Year

Jimmy Carr (St Michael’s)

Intermediate Player of the Year

Kenneth Hoey (Rockmount)

FAI School’s International Player of the Year

Connor Ellis (Colaiste Phobail)

Football For All International Player of the Year

Mark Duffy (Special Olympics Ireland)