Killybegs native Seamus Coleman has been named Everton's player of the month for November.
The 22-year-old was presented with the award by David Room of sponsors TW Steel at a special dinner at Liverpool's Hilton Hotel on Tuesday afternoon.
And although Coleman was disappointed not to make his international debut in the Republic of Ireland's 2-1 defeat against Norway in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium, the former St Catherine's and Sligo Rovers defender showed fine form for his club.
Arguably the highlight was his first Premier League goal, which he scored in a 2-2 draw against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. For the second half of last season, Coleman was on loan at the Seasiders and helped the club to promotion via the play-off finals when they defeated Nottingham Forest over two legs and then Cardiff City by three goals to two in an exciting Wembley final after a sixth-place league finish.
Coleman showed his growing maturity by refusing to celebrate the Blackpool goal and the gesture was well-received by the home support.
"I was delighted when I got the text to tell me I had won," Coleman said of his player of the month award on Tuesday. "I had a good month and it was great to get my first Premier League goal."
Meanwhile, the former Irish U-21 captain's place on the right side of Everton midfield may be under threat as manager David Moyes is considering bringing United States international Landon Donovan back to Goodison Park. Donovan had a successful loan spell last season from LA Galaxy and it is understood that Moyes is seeking a similar deal this term.
"I'd be delighted to see Landon back and I'm not just saying that,"
Coleman said. "He's a good lad, and he gave the fans a lift. But I'm going to keep working hard, and if he comes good luck to him but I'll be fighting for the place. If he came back it might give the team a bit of an added spark again too. I'd be the first to welcome him back. He was very popular among the lads and was always good to me."
Coleman this week also thanked captain Phil Neville, who has had a
massive impact on his development at the club. Coleman has played in a wide midfield position this season, with Neville guiding him through games, while Tim Cahill, according to Coleman, has also had a fantastic influence on the side.
"Phil's helped me so much and you hear him every single minute of the game, shouting at you," Coleman added."It's good because it keeps you tuned in for the full 90 minutes and it's a great help for me. I don't think I've every played without him behind me this season. I don't know what that would be like, my ears may get a bit of a break if he's not there! But he's brilliant, he's a very good motivator.
"Tim's unbelievable and in my opinion he's one of the best in the world in the air. It shows what kind of player he is and his character that he wants to keep getting in the box to get goals and he always seems to be in the right place.
"Even with the crosses Leighton Baines puts in from the left back position, he knows just like everyone does, if Tim Cahill's in there - nine times out of 10 he's going to get an effort on target or get a goal."
Everton sit 15th in the Premier League, but Coleman believes that his team need to take confidence from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea. Jermaine Beckford came from the bench to snatch a 1-1 draw after Didier Drogba had given the Stamford Bridge hosts a first half lead.
"I'm delighted with how I've done in the last month, but it's disappointing for the team that we didn't pick up more points. We just haven't got results and I think we just need to take confidence from the Chelsea game, turn a new leaf and start getting some performances in and points as well."