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Trinity Sport Scholar Sadhbh Doyle Scoops the FAI U-19 International Player of the Year Award

Published: August 18th, 2020

Trinity Sport Scholarship student Sadhbh Doyle recently won the Three sponsored FAI U-19 International Player of the Year Award for 2019. The dentistry student is also a key player for Trinity women’s soccer team and current league champions Peamount United Football Club. Commenting on receiving the award, Doyle said, “it was an amazing feeling to be chosen as the U-19 international player of the year. I really wasn’t expecting to be chosen as we had such a talented team last year, so it was a nice surprise for me. It’s nice to think that all the work and the time I’ve spent trying to improve my game has been recognised in some way.”

The annual FAI International award celebrates players’ performances in the previous international season. Speaking about her sporting highlights of 2019, Doyle mentions the World University Games in Naples which took place in July 2019, “it was a surreal experience and one that I will always have great memories from. We played against Brazil, Russia and South Korea which is a rare opportunity as all the competitions I’ve played in previously have been European ones. We managed to come third in the world, which is the highest any Irish football team has come in the competition. I learned so much from the competition and I will always have great memories from the trip.”

Doyle has been a mainstay in the international setup all the way from under-15 to under-19, when asked about her first encounter with the international set up she admits that it was a daunting prospect: “When I first played for Ireland at U15 level I was extremely nervous. I was quite shy and found it intimidating at the beginning, but once I got on the pitch and started to play, I slowly started to feel more comfortable. By the time I reached U17 and U19 level, I was a lot more confident on the pitch and always felt settled at training camps and tournaments.

Doyle has learned her craft at the highest level, playing against the very best in the world at her age group for several years, “There’s a lot more pressure to play better football and keep the ball in international football, it involves a lot more movement and thinking about positioning. You can’t really afford to shut off in a match because the likes of Spain and the Netherlands will be on your heels ready to pounce. You learn so much from playing against the big teams in competitions and you learn how to play and adapt against different opponents.”

Speaking about her international career highlight to date, Doyle mentions reaching the European Finals at U-17 level: “This was a huge achievement, as only eight teams reached the finals of this tournament. We topped our group in the qualifiers to get there, we had such an amazing group of players who clicked on and off the pitch. We played against England, Norway and the Netherlands and even though we didn’t do as well as we had hoped, we all took something from that experience.”

Commenting on the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown had on her sporting life Doyle said, “we had running programmes and zoom gym sessions over lockdown, this helped us keep fit and was a source of motivation as we were all in it together. It’s great to be back training and playing matches now!”

When asked what her goal is for the coming season, the answer was, “my goal is to enjoy my football and improve my game, there is huge competition for places at Peamount United Football Club, so this keeps everyone on their toes. I’m also really looking forward to the Champions League, which will hopefully go ahead in October – I’ve never played in this competition before so that’s very exciting!”

Congratulations to Trinity Sport Scholarship student Sadhbh Doyle on winning the FAI U-19 International Player of the Year Award.