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The Spectator’s 2020 Awards

Dundalk FC Magazine
// 12 Nov 2020

Issue 11 of the DFC Magazine featured The Spectator’s end of season awards ceremony, The Speccies 2020, or perhaps they should be known this year as The Half Speccies!

The Tom McNulty Player of the Season Award
A tough call for the coveted McNulty award. There has been no standout performer throughout the season, but Patrick Hoban has ploughed the proverbial lone furrow up front admirably and is the front runner to be the (half) league’s topscorer, there have been moments of magic from Michael Duffy and Stefan Colovic, Dan Cleary and Brian Gartland, Chris Shields and Euro specialist Sean Murray. The Spectator’s nomination though goes to Gary Rogers who has probably been the side’s most consistently high performer,  repeatedly repelling one-on-ones and being the base on which much of Dundalk’s successes were built.

The Philly Hughes Memorial Goal of the Season Award
That Jordan Flores fella can hit a shot, can’t he? Great goal against Cork in February, and then he went one better with a worldie at Tallaght, THAT goal that went viral in this most viral of years.

The ‘2002 Cup Semi-Final’ Award for Game of the Season
Obviously, we can’t give the award to that game in Tallaght – it was a bona fide classic but a 3-2 defeat ain’t gonna cut it. Dundalk’s finest performances have probably been reserved for Europe. There were solid wins over Inter-Club and KI, 45 excellent minutes against Molde and a decent showing against Arsenal, but the superbly managed, professional and thoroughly deserved win over Sheriff in Moldova was outstanding.

Smoke from flares billow around Gary Rogers before the final home game of the 2020 season against Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park. Pictures: Ciaran Culligan

The ‘Reliving 2012’ Award for Worst Game of the Season
Hmm. Quite a few to choose from since the restart. The Champions League defeat against Celje in Budapest was a bitterly disappointing result off the back of a mediocre performance. At home performances varied from disappointing to dismal. The 3-0 shellacking in Sligo represented the nadir of an up and very down season.

The Grudging Admiration Award for Another Team of the Season
Once against Keith Long’s Bohemians impressed and they look well set for another competitive season in 2021. But there can only be one winner here, much as it pains  The Spectator to admit it. The team that dominated, playing super football on their inevitable march to success. Of course, we’re talking about… Arsenal.

The Magic Mons Award for Bogey Opposition
Well, they’ve stormed to the half-title,  so we might as well let The Hooped Minions of Beelzebub have this award too. They beat us in a ding-dong classic in Tallaght and in a very-2002-ish surreal reserves v men game in Oriel.

The Kildare County ‘Can We Play You Every Week’ Award
There were two pretty convincing wins over erstwhile title rivals Cork City, but it seems unduly schadenfreude-ish to select the relegated Leesiders for this award. There are no easy games in Europe, as we all know, but we’ll take our chances against teams from the likes of Andorra and the Faroes, please.

You can download issue 11 of the DFC Magazine here.