Mick McCarthy comments on West Ham ace Declan Rice winning Ireland award

Declan Rice of West Ham United reacts during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and West Ham United at Cardiff City Stadium on March 09, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

The Hammers ace was named the Republic of Ireland young player of the year despite his England switch.

Declan Rice of West Ham United during training at Rush Green on March 14, 2019 in Romford, England.

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has had his say on the decision to name West Ham United ace Declan Rice the FAI Young Player of the Year just weeks after he changed his international allegiance England.

The 20-year-old recently saw his decision to become part of the Three Lions ratified by FIFA, who were quoted by Sky Sports News as saying earlier in March that "the change of association has been approved".

 

Rice was born in London, but he played for the Republic of Ireland at youth level as well as in three senior games, qualifying through parentage, but as they were friendlies, he could still switch to play for England, as he has done.

Not long before being handed his first England senior call-up by Gareth Southgate, the Hammers defensive midfielder was named the best young player by a panel of Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland (SWAI) for his three senior appearances last year in friendly matches.

Declan Rice of West Ham United in action during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and West Ham United at Cardiff City Stadium on March 09, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales.

Speaking at the Aviva Stadium, McCarthy is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "I wouldn't have given it to him. Would I heck! In my view, the decision should have been changed and the award given to someone who would really appreciate it. He is not going to appreciate it. He probably feels slightly embarrassed by it.

"I understand that he did deserve it because he won it on merit but for someone who has left and doesn't want to play for us, why on earth would you give it to him? Was it to embarrass him? To embarrass the FAI? I don't know. I would rather there was not an award that to give it to him. I said that if there is no one else, then don't give the award."

Rice has been impressive for West Ham this season, making 31 appearances in all competitions, of which 27 have been Premier League starts (Transfermarkt).

Declan Rice (C) of West Ham United warm up prior to the Premier League match between Cardiff City and West Ham United at Cardiff City Stadium on March 9, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

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