Sheppard claims Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award

Shamrock Rovers forward Karl Sheppard has been named the Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for October. The Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland award was presented today to Sheppard by Jason Cooke, Airtricity's Head of Corporate Communications, at Tallaght Stadium.


Sheppard starred and scored for his club domestically and in Europe as the Hoops travelled to Greece where they met the might of PAOK Salonika.


The striker began the month with the opening goal in a four-nil home win over Drogheda United at the Tallaght Stadium.


Interestingly, in every game Sheppard started the Hoops took all three points on offer.


Having missed out on the midweek draw with Bohemians, Sheppard struck both goals upon his return as Bray Wanderers were beaten.


"It wasn't a bad thing in hindsight that I wasn't selected for the Bohs game, it seemed to put a bit of fire in my belly. Competition for places is healthy in any team", said Sheppard.


"The Bray result was huge, if we didn't win it would have put us in a difficult situation but that win gave us an edge over the rest, for sure. "It was a big win and one that really seemed to give us the belief to go on and reclaim the Championship, we were determined to not let it get away from us after that."


Sheppard netted with a minute remaining at the Carlisle Grounds before Rovers picked up three further points at home to Derry City. "It was nice to score goals for sure, but the reality is I was only as good as the service around me, and the supply and support I got from everyone at the club all season was huge."


The Toumba Stadium in Greece witnessed Sheppard score in the Europa League as the livewire continued his terrific form.


"Of the goals I got in October the one against a club with a huge pedigree, and budget like PAOK was my favourite. It was my first start in Europe so it was nice to score", added Sheppard.


Later in the month Sheppard bagged the opener, the catalyst for an emphatic final day defeat of his former club, Galway United.


"It was nice to score in a game against a club where I played before, and hopefully Galway United will do the business and stay up on Friday night", added Sheppard.


Sheppard of course spent three seasons in his late teens cross-channel at Everton, and the Portmarnock native is certainly enjoying his football in the West of the capital. "It's been a great season and it's a nice honour to win the Player of the Month prize for a second time", concluded Sheppard who won the prestigious award in April 2010, while at Galway United.

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