Matthew Williamson has been named Player of the Month for March at the Irish FA JD Academy in collaboration with UEFA.
The 16-year-old goalkeeper was named as the winner as the Academy players got back out on the training pitch after lockdown restrictions eased.
Williamson, who plays his club football with Linfield, was selected ahead of his peers for showing a ‘fantastic attitude’ and ‘commitment and dedication’ to make the most of the opportunities given to him.
Asked what winning the award meant to him, the Glenavy native replied: “Winning this award meant lots to me as all of the hard work I put in has paid off and it just shows that’s if you put everything into what you do it will always pay off. It was a great feeling to be awarded with this Player of the Month award.
“I am working on my development in the Academy to try and be the best I can be. I always want to get better every day, always wanting to be better than the day before, and winning this award has made me want to push on and I know I can give a lot more.”
Matthew is a dream to work with and the whole team is delighted to see him getting better and better all the time
His advice to other young players is: “Always work the hardest and always try to improve every day and be better than the day before. Always try to do that little bit more than the other player in your position.
"I’ve always been told ‘if you really want it, you will get it’ and as I’ve seen, if you put the hard work in you will get the rewards. And it’s a great feeling when the rewards come.”
Carmel Fyfe, the Irish FA’s Elite Performance Operations Manager, said: “Matthew is such a deserving winner. His commitment and dedication to his overall development shines through in everything that he does. He continuously shows a fantastic attitude; he clearly wants to be the best he can; and always makes the most of the opportunities given to him.
"Matthew is a dream to work with and the whole team is delighted to see him getting better and better all the time. Congratulations, Matthew!”
Matthew joins Mitchel Watterson (February), Shea Brennan (January), Bobby Harvey (December), Rian Brown (November), Caolán Donnelly (October) and Luca Doherty (September) as a recipient of the award.