Paul Smyth rounds off breakthrough season with QPR Young Player of Year award

NI's Paul Smyth has been named as QPR's Young Player or the Year
NI's Paul Smyth has been named as QPR's Young Player or the Year

Northern Ireland's Paul Smyth had rounded off a memorable breakthrough season by being named Queens Park Rangers' Young Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old prospect described the past year as 'whirlwind'.

He tweeted: "Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me as Young Player of the Year. It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far and I’ve loved every second! I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and hope to keep impressing the fans next season!"

Having secured a move from Linfield to the Championship club last summer, Smyth made a dream start to his R's career when, on his first-team debut, he netted a New Year's Day winner against Cardiff City.

In March, after an 11th-hour call-up by boss Michael O'Neill, Smyth came on as a sub to score the winner for Northern Ireland in the closing stages a friendly against South Korea at the National Stadium.

O'Neill introduced him from the bench for his senior debut, and within four minutes he had fired Northern Ireland in front.

His goal and acrobatic celebration that day will live long in the memory as NI claimed a 2-1 win.

Smyth beat Darnell Furlong and Eberechi Eze to the QPR accolade. He will be presented with his award ahead of kick-off against Birmingham City this afternoon.