THE SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers' Ireland awards ceremony for the 2022 campaign take place in January in Dublin.
Among the deserved nominees for the men’s personality of the year accolade is Cork City FC manager Colin Healy.
During what was a highly competitive 2022 League Of Ireland First Division season, Healy helped to guide City to the title and automatic promotion back to the Premier Division.
The former Republic Of Ireland international has adapted to life impressively to first-team management. Healy has showcased his hand at adapting well to building a young squad, who have grown under his guidance.
2023 and Premier Division Football will be a very significant step up in terms of quality in terms of what this current City will have faced. But Colin Healy has shown, throughout both his playing and now management career at City, is more than capable of stepping up to the challenge at hand.
The fact that Healy is the only First Division manager nominated shows the recognition of the job he has done at City. Managing the Turner's Cross outfit is a big task, given the demands and expectations placed by the supporters. Healy also likes them and wants the best for the club and it will be interesting to see where the club can go in the next few years.
City have a good conveyor belt of talent coming through the underage system, some of which will come to fruition in the first team.
From working on my book Cork City FC Game Of My Life, this writer got an insight into the structures being put in place at the club.
2005 Premier Division winner with City, Dan Murray, spoke in the book about his role as U19s manager and developing players for Colin Healy’s first team.
“There is a really good set of players and a good group of coaches within the academy to work with. Colin Healy and Liam Kearney, they are putting everything in place which is really exciting for the future.
“I have really enjoyed the coaching part of it a lot more than I thought I was probably going to. I have been lucky to work with the players I have worked with in the academy the last few years with the U15, U17s and U19s. It has been really good.
“The pathway there for the players now is there for all to see because you can see the young lads that are getting into the first team and getting minutes.”
Another 2005 title winner Liam Kearney also is someone that is the current Head Of Academy at City, collaborating with Colin Healy.
“I have been a coach and a player, so now I am overseeing things as the Cork City Head Of Academy. I have been lucky that Colin Healy was the original Head Of Academy. I have a good relationship with Colin and if there are any questions or anything, he is very good to help me with them.
"I have enjoyed it. There is some serious talent coming through the club. It is my job to make sure we have a flow of players coming through if possible. If there are players we can sell, then that is another option as well.
"It is an important role to do and I am glad to be doing it. Over my time playing and coaching, I certainly have a good grasp of how big and things can escalate, how the crowds can come in if you are really doing well. That is Cork GAA as well, if things are going well, there are people jumping on the bandwagon everywhere.
"We have proven with the cup finals we have been involved in the last couple of years we have been involved in and back in the day in 2005, with the crowds that were coming in every week.
"If things are done right and the backing is there in terms of investment, there is no bigger club in Ireland than Cork City."
Alongside Healy, the other nominations for the men’s personality of the year accolade include Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley, who secured a third Premier Division title in three years and reached just a second-ever European competition group stage.
Shelbourne manager Damien Duff also is nominated. Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins is up for the personality of the year award as well, as are the Shamrock Rovers playing duo of Rory Gaffney and Andy Lyons.