Cantwell wins Inaugural Player of the Year Award
One of the top awards that football players can win is the Football Writers Player of the Year Award. The likes of Scott Parker and Wayne Rooney deservedly won this award in recent years and are understandably very proud of the award. They get a great deal of press and kudos for along with the prize itself. Rugby also has a similar award, recent winners include Leinster’s Seán O’Brien who also won the European award. For many years we who watch women’s sports have wondered why there isn’t and equivalent prize as the women’s games are just as hard fought. However, Guinness have recently added sponsorship of the men’s award with a similar award for the Rugby Writers of Ireland Women’s Player of the Year.
Lynne Cantwell is the first winner of the prestigious honour. Lynne plays for London’s Richmond and Ireland as centre-cum winger. She is Ireland’s most capped player, putting on the green jersey no less than 67 times to date. Although Cantwell now lives in the UK, having just won the English Premiership with Richmond, she played much of her career with UL-Bohemians and had a great deal of success.
It is great to see Irish female athletes get some praise, it is about time these awards spanned both genders as both work hard to meet their potential and should be awarded equally. Rugby has been on the up in Ireland over recent years with the men’s team doing so well in the 6 nations and Leinster joining Munster and Ulster as champions of Europe. The women are also successful however, and this award goes some way to addressing the lack of appreciation they get from the sporting community.