Sullivan wins August Airtricity SWAI Player of the Month
Shamrock Rovers midfielder Pat Sullivan has been named the Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for August.
The Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland award was presented to the Hoops star by Jason Cooke, Head of Communications with Airtricity, at Tallaght Stadium.
Sullivan starred for his club domestically and also in three European ties as Shamrock Rovers prevailed in Belgrade thanks to a memorable strike from the 28-year-old. It capped an eventful 18 months which saw Sullivan bounce back from injury to become a driving force for the Hoops in the aftermath of their Premier Division success last season.
“I was training away, working hard after the rehab which followed the operation in the summer of 2010, especially so during the final weeks of last season”, recalled Sullivan.
“I felt fit and strong at the time, but I didn’t have match practice behind me and given how well the lads were playing I was never likely to feature at the time.”
However, since he returned Sullivan has been in inspired form. He becomes the second Hoops star to land the award in as many months, following on from Conor McCormack.
Rovers began the month of August with a juicy European tie at home to FC Copenhagen before Bohemians were defeated at Dalymount Park. A six goal drubbing of UCD followed before a 3-2 win over Galway was sandwiched between those two cracking ties against Partizan Belgrade.
“The games came so thick and fast during the month we didn’t have a chance to dwell on it (Belgrade), between training and games we hardly had two days off, but it’s great to be involved”, said Sullivan.
“We had another Premier Division game just four days after Belgrade, so we got on with things soon after that with a game against Tallaght at UCD.
“No one could have predicted the sort of summer and season we’ve had, and if we can get a result this weekend then we can go into the last five, six or seven games in contention”, said Sullivan.
Sullivan played much of his schoolboy football at Leicester Celtic before spells at Longford Town, Cork City, UCD and Drogheda United followed. However, eight months after he joined the Hoops Sullivan suffered a knee injury and surgery led to a lengthy layoff. In the intervening months Sullivan showed remarkable character and dedication to return to the game, and take his place in the Hoops starting eleven this term.
“Everything we achieved domestically in August was kind of lost in the aftermath of Belgrade, but we’ve kept pace with everyone else and we are in a decent position to challenge”, concluded Sullivan.