After bagging four goals in the promotion-relegation playoffs, UCD's Colm Whelan has been voted SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month for November.
Whelan finished top of the voting ahead of runner-up, St Pat's Chris Forrester, with Sligo Rovers Johnny Kenny finishing third. He is the first player from the First Division to win the Player of the Month award since Ryan Swan in 2015
The Republic of Ireland U21 scored 25 goals in all competitions in 2021 as UCD finished third in the table, booking their playoff spot.
Whelan took centre-stage as UCD navigated their way through the five-team November playoff, scoring a brace in the 4-2 aggregate win over Treaty United and then scoring one and assisting another as they dispatched Bray Wanderers 2-0.
Finally, he scored what ultimately proved to be the winning goal in the decisive game in the RSC, relegating Waterford and sending the Students back to the top flight after two seasons in the First Division.
"To win the award is a great feeling," the 21-year-old said. "I'm over the moon.
"It’s nice to be recognised and to be the first player from a First Division club to win it since 2015 (UCD’s Ryan Swan)."
Whelan was also nominated for PFAI Young Player of the Year award and First Division Player of the Year award in 2021. The Kilkenny native was capped for Jim Crawford's Republic of Ireland U21 side, scoring in the 1-1 draw away to Luxembourg in September.