Paisley named November Airtricity SWAI Player of the Month

Shelbourne defender Stephen Paisley has been named the Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for November.



The Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland award was presented to Paisley by Jason Cooke, Airtricity’s Head of Corporate Communications, at Tolka Park, Dublin.


Paisley starred for his club domestically and was awarded the Man-of-the-match award in the FAI Cup Final defeat to Sligo Rovers after a heroic shift at Aviva Stadium.


“It’s a hard one to forget for sure, we played well and I got Man of the match which was nice but to go close to winning it, and not, was tough”, said Paisley.


He manfully kept the Bit O'Red at bay until their second half equaliser which forced extra-time, and another dramatic penalty shootout.


“Even when we had a man sent-off I never felt we were discouraged, the work ethic and attitude was evident. We genuinely felt we could still win it.”


In front of 22,000 fans Paisley and the other members of the Reds back four – Ian Ryan, Sean Ryan and Andrew Boyle – kept favourites Sligo at bay for 48 minutes.


“It was a real sucker punch to concede as we did just after half time, but even after that setback we stuck to our game plan. Some people probably thought Sligo were going to run riot once they equalised, but that never happened.”


Although Shelbourne came out second best in the shoot-out, the 2011 campaign was a memorable one for a club that returned to the Premier Division after a five year gap.


“Aside from the goal I never felt that we were hugely threatened in the second half, the defence was terrific and the work-rate in midfield was exceptional. It ran right the way through the team – Philly Hughes in attack gave his all too”, added Paisley.


With caps from under-16 through to under-21 level, Paisley has packed no shortage of experience into his career having spent four seasons at Manchester City at the turn of the millennium. Having won the competition with Sporting Fingal and Longford Town (twice) Paisley was no stranger to the traditional end of season close, but this is the first time he has won an Airtricity/SWAI prize.


The Bank of Ireland Global Markets employee took two weeks off from the game after the showpiece, but he has already returned to the gym in advance of the 2012 campaign.


Earlier this year Paisley linked up with Alan Mathews for the second time in his career, and what followed was memorable as the Cherry Orchard graduate backboned the team with distinction.

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