Cullen's pride

  • by Staff Writer
  • Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Josh Cullen has spoken of his pride at being named Republic of Ireland U21 Player of the Year.

The 21-year-old midfielder was granted the award following a season in which he featured heavily for the Republic's under 21s and broke through to West Ham's first team, with appearances in the early rounds of the FA Cup.

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"It was a proud moment for me to be recognised and awarded by your country," he said. "It's another little great accolade for me to get.

"It's always nice and a great personal reward every now and again to get recognised and pick up an award. I've had a few over the start of my career and hopefully there will be more personal and team trophies and awards to come along the journey."

Cullen, who has been captaining the Under 21s recently added: "It's been a good year for me at international level and it's a massively proud moment for me, every time I pull on the green jersey and represent my country.

"It makes the feeling even better and even greater when I get to lead the lads out and captain my country. It's gone from this time last year, starting this qualifying campaign and I've come to captaining the side."

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There was double success for young Hammers when Declan Rice was named as the Republic's Under 19s Player of the Year - a player Cullen knows only too well. "Dec and I get on really well off the pitch and we've known each other a long time now," he said.

"It's great to play alongside him for Ireland. It helps that he's a very good player as well. I think it helps, having a good relationship with somebody off the pitch, it always helps on the pitch as well."

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