Oxford United winger Joel Cooper has been named as the Northern Ireland Football Awards Danske Bank Player of the Year winner.
"It’s a bit of a surprise to me to get this award. I wasn’t expecting to get a call about it, but I am delighted,” said Cooper. “Some great players have won it in the past, Jimmy Callacher won it last year and it’s great to keep it at Linfield for another year.
“It’s good to win both the young player and the senior award. It wasn’t a bad time for me at Linfield, two league titles and a Player of the Year award is something I’m very pleased about.”
Cooper becomes the seventh player in history to be awarded the Player of the Year prize after also picking up the Young Player of the Year award, which he won as a Glenavon player in 2016.
The others being:
Gavin White 2015 and 2018 – won Young Player and Player of the Year in same season
Stuart Dallas 2011 - won Young Player and Player of the Year in same season
Liam Boyce 2010 and 2013
Michael Gault 2003 and 2008
Noel Bailie 1990 and 1994
Mark Glendinning 1998 and 2005
“It’s been a crazy few months for me and while 2020 probably hasn’t been a great year for a lot of people it’s been brilliant for me,” said Cooper. “When I got the call from Oxford everything happened within a couple of days and it’s been a great couple of months. Getting the call up to the senior international squad is something that I wasn’t expecting, but I’m honoured to be a part of it.”