The Kildare & District Football 24th Annual awards ceremony took place last Friday evening in the sumptuous surrounding of the very festive Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge.
Close on 200 guests celebrated what was another successful season for the KDFL in 2017, which kicked off on Saturday April 1. Over 630 league games and 161 cup games were played during the season which culminated in the awards ceremony on Friday.
Special guests on the evening included FAI Chief Executive Officer John Delaney and Leinster Football Association President Gerry Gorman.
In his speech LFA President Gerry Gorman complimented the Executive of the League on a another successful season and paid tribute to it’s member on taking the brave move to one calendar year football almost ten years ago. He said the League were to the forefront on their decision to make the move which has paid huge dividends in it’s retention of membership.
He also recognised the dedication of it’s hard working Executive and the late Adrian Melia.
FAI CEO John Delaney in his address congratulated all in attendance on their success this season including Suncroft AFC on capturing the coveted Senior League and League Cup double.
He said all were to be commended on their continued development of the game at grassroots level and offered the FAI staffs assistance to any Club who wish to apply for grant aid from the various bodies. He said they will be more than willing to help in any way possible to continue any clubs goals.
He paid tribute to the Executive including Michael and Regina Casey who have been involved in the league since it’s foundation in 1994. In closing he also paid tribute to League photographer Adrian Melia who had sadly passed away recently and said he will be missed by all in particular the KDFL.
In recognising Adrian’s extraordinary achievements the FAI will be posthumously award Adrian the FAI John Sherlock Services to football award at the FAI Annual Delegates Dinner to be held in Cork next year.
Adrian’s work will also be acknowledged in a special feature in the programme for the Republic of Ireland next’s home game.
League Secretary Regina Casey in her address prior to the presentations thanks all in attendance including it’s many sponsors, media partners, Kildare-Laois ISRS Referees Branch-associate leagues and in particular all the clubs for taking the time out to attend and celebrate together.
She also thanks the four photographers who had come along this evening to capture all the photos, Justin Burke of Justin Burke Media, Ed Scannell The Herald, Tony Keane of the Leinster Leader and Piotr Kwasnik of the Kildare Nationalist.
The presentations on the evening included all League, Cup, Shield and plate winners and runners up and 18 special award winners including the Club of the Year award which was presented to Suncroft AFC for the second time in their history. They won the award in the inaugural year of the League in 1994/94.
The League now look forward to a very short break over the Christmas and new year period and the Executive will reconvene mid January in preparation for the 2018 Season.
They would like to take this opportunity to thank all their Clubs for the continued co-operation and wish you all a very happy Christmas and safe and sporting 2018.
The full list of winners were - Masters Div 2 Player of the Year: Pat Winders (Sallins Celtic FC); Master Div 1 Player of the Year: Jamie Gray (Naas United); Womens Div 2 Player of the Year: Samantha Cully (Clane United FC); Womens Div 1 Player of the Year: Laura Mathews (Naas AFC); Div 3 Player of the Year: Aaron Seery (Clane United FC); Div 2 Player of the Year:
Kevin Osborne (Grange-con AFC); Div 1 Player of the Year: Niall Fagan (Inny FC);Prem Div Player of the Year: Aram Vartanyan (Monread FC); Senior Div Player of the Year: Stephen ‘Sir Reggie’ Riordan (Caragh Celtic FC); Managers of the Year: Neil Barnby / Richard Reid (Suncroft AFC); Adrian Melia Photo of the Year: Kildare Town AFC; League Cup Man of the Match: Gary ‘Gazza’ Connolly (Suncroft AFC); Fair Play Award: Castle Villa AFC; PRO of the Year: Brendan Wyse (Allenwood Celtic FC); In Appreciation: Charlie Wynne (CR Wynne Feeds); Special Merit: Monread FC; Young Player of the Year:
Dean Bowers (Caragh Celtic FC); Womens Player of the Year: Amy Phelan (Kildare Town AFC); KDFL Player of the Year: Darren Kilbey (Suncroft AFC); Special Service: Eddie ‘Nipper’ Hennessy (Clonmullion AFC); Club of the Year Award: Suncroft AFC.