Ronan Coughlan named SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month

Ronan Coughlan named SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month

Waterford striker Ronan Coughlan has been named the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month for November after helping his side secure promotion back to the Premier Division after a two-year absence.

The 27-year-old scored a penalty in the Blues' promotion/relegation playoff against Cork City, a match that ensured top-flight football would be at back at the RSC in 2024.

It was the final strike of a stellar season for Coughlan, who scored an extraordinary 37 goals in league and cup action.

He has created a little bit of history too, in becoming the only First Division player in the 52-year history of the award to win the Player of the Month twice in one season.


In a vote of SWI members, Coughlan just pipped St Patrick's Athletic's Jamie Lennon to the prize. The midfielder was named Man of the Match in the Saints' FAI Cup Final victory over Bohemians earlier this month. His teammate Sam Curtis finished a very close third in the ballot.

Coughlan's 37-goal haul set a new scoring record for the second tier - surpassing Andy Myler's 29 in 2001 - and equaled the all-time League of Ireland goalscoring record, set by Cork's Jimmy Turnbull in 1936.

His double win comes 50 years after the first - and only - Waterford player to earn two Player of the Month awards in one season, Alfie Hale.

The striker's first win this year came in April after he an extraordinary eight goals in that month, including four in a 30-minute spell as Waterford beat Athlone Town 4-3.


Speaking after receiving his award, Coughlan said: "It's a great achievement for myself to be the first player from the First Division to win the award twice in one season. It's special when you win it in any month but to win the last one is extra special with the month that I had personally.

He added: "It was a seriously successful season for myself, as an individual. Ultimately, that's all well and good but you want to win something and achieve something at whatever club you go to. That was my main objective when I came to the club, to get the promotion.

"We didn't do it the easy way. When you watch Galway, you see that they've won the league, they've finished, I wished we had done it that way. We came through the playoffs - it's not an easy way to do it by any means."

An FAI Cup winner with St Pat's in 2021, Coughlan says the playoff final win at Tallaght Stadium ranks just as highly as a career highlight for him. He said: "I had won the cup with Pats where it's a once-off night, an unbelievable spectacle and that was the first time I'd really won something.

"That night - I couldn't have dreamed of. Then this is continual, throughout the season, up and down. The cup final was ecstasy whereas this is more relief - to finally get over the line after a long season of ups and downs, and to finish on such a high, it's right up there for me."

The forward has just completed his UEFA B License, on a course set up by the players union, PFAI. He already has an eye on coaching and management when his playing days are over.

"It's fantastic what the PFAI can offer you in terms of getting on the ladder. When I sit down with my family and my girlfriend to talk about what the future holds, I can't really see it away from football. I'm a real student of the game. I'm enjoying it."

The six-man shortlist for November's Player of the Month award also featured St Patrick's Athletic's Joe Redmond, Coughlan's Waterford teammate Connor Parsons, and Dylan Watts of Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers.