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Women's Football News
Members of the Northern Ireland women's football community joined special guests at a gala dinner on Saturday night to celebrate the end of another successful season.
The 38th season proved to be the most exciting yet with the Premier League title decided on the last day, after Newry City Ladies dramatically clinched the trophy from the grasp of Linfield Ladies. In the Championship, Derry City Ladies concluded a fantastic year by securing the league and earning themselves Premier League status for the 2016 season.
Keynote speaker Rachel Pavlou (The FA National Women's Football Development Manager), was joined by other special guests at the gala dinner including DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA Michelle McIlveen, Anna Signuel (Scottish Women's National Coach) and a number of IFA members of staff.
Chairwoman of the NIWFA, Susan O'Neill, congratulated all the players, coaches, volunteers and officials for making the 2015 season such a success. Speaking after the ceremony Susan remarked: "The NIWFA Awards night is to celebrate the successes of the season. It is a great way to unite the teams and honour all our players.
"Congratulations to all the award winners and nominees and to everybody who participated and helped make the 2015 season so exciting."
Newry City Ladies captain Aoife Lennon won the flagship trophy on the night as she was awarded the NIWFA Premier League 'Player of the Year Award', while prolific goal scorer Kirsty McGuinness (Linfield Ladies) claimed the NIWFA Premier League 'Top Goal Scorer Award'.
In an exciting addition to the league this season the NIWFA Premier League 'Goal of the Season Award' was chosen by a Facebook poll with Marissa Callaghan's long range effort chosen as the overall winner with 41% of the votes (over 7,000 people viewed the goal and over 37,000 were engaged in the Facebook campaign).
The full list of award winners was as follows:
* NIWFA Premier League Player of the Year: Aoife Lennon (Newry City Ladies)
* NIWFA Premier League Top Goal Scorer: Kirsty McGuinness (Linfield Ladies)
* NIWFA Premier League Goal of the Season: Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville Ladies)
* UTV Player of the Year: Courtney Moore (Crusaders Strikers)
* NIWFA Championship Top Goal Scorer: Chloe McGlade (Cappagh Spurs)
* NIWFA Championship Player of the Year: Kerry Taggart (Dromore Amateurs Ladies)
* NIWFA North 1 Top Goal Scorer: Chelsea Sheerin (Killen Rangers)
* NIWFA North 1 Player of the Year: Cleo-Neece Taggart (Coleraine Ladies)
* NIWFA North 2 Top Goal Scorer: Celine Curtis (Foyle Belles)
* NIWFA North 2 Player of the Year: Celine Curtis (Foyle Belles)
* NIWFA South 1 Top Goal Scorers: Aisling McKenna (Portadown Integrated Ladies) and Allie Hamilton (Bangor Ladies)
* NIWFA South 1 Player of the Year: Lana Black (Portadown Integrated Ladies)
* NIWFA South 2 Top Goal Scorer: Rebecca Lavery (Craigavon City Ladies)
* NIWFA South 2 Player of the Year: Aine Smith (Ballynahinch Ladies)
* NIWFA Championship Fair Play Award: Armagh City Ladies
* NIWFA North 1 Fair Play Award: PSNI Ladies
* NIWFA North 2 Fair Play Award: Shankill United Ladies
* NIWFA South 1 Fair Play Award: Killyleagh YC Ladies
* NIWFA South 2 Fair Play Award: Newtown Forest Ladies
* NIWFA Overall Fair Play Award Winner: Newtown Forest Ladies
* Under 15 National League Players of the Year: Rachel Rodgers (Mid Ulster Ladies U15), Leah McEvoy (Cliftonville Ladies U15) and Emily Wilson (Crusaders Strikers U15)
A special Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by JC May, was presented to Stephen Calvert, the current manager of Crusaders Strikers, recognising 23 years of volunteering in women's football.
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