The SSE Airtricity League/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for April is James Talbot of Bohemians.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper has been a revelation for the Gypsies since arriving at the club during the off-season.
Having spent five years at Sunderland, the former Home Farm schoolboy was initially expected to compete with Shane Supple for a starting berth.
However, the Bohs number one was forced to announce his retirement just a day after Talbot’s signing due to a persistent knee injury.
Since then, the youngster has been immense between the sticks for Keith Long’s side, despite his inexperience in senior football.
He conceded just one goal in April – a late Patrick Hoban penalty – and recorded six clean sheets as they kept up the pace with title challenges Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers.
“I could possibly say I’m surprised to win the award but it’s good to get acknowledged when you’re doing well personally and as a collective,” Talbotsaid.
“I’m really happy with my start as I have worked hard with Benno (goalkeeping coach Chris Bennion) from day one and he has helped me to come on leaps and bounds.
“That said, I’m in no way sitting comfortable as I need to work harder to get the best out of myself.”
Talbot picks up the award ahead of team-mate Daniel Mandroiu, who finished second, and third-placed Michael Duffy of Dundalk.
“Dano has serious talent,” Talbot added. “The things he does in training are ridiculous and he is a great lad, which is an added bonus. He put in some unbelievable performances in April, so I’m surprised he didn’t win.”