First Team News

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Stevie shows the way to go

Stephen Ireland and Elano Blumer 0809

Stephen Ireland and Elano Blumer 0809

Nedum Onuoha has joined the chorus of approval for Stephen Ireland after his team mate was named as City's Player of the Season.

The pair have been in the same side since their Academy days, with the Irish midfielder breaking into the first team a year after Nedum.

Both have enjoyed fine seasons, but when asked by mcfc.co.uk for his highlight of 2008/09, a selfless Nedum said,

"I have been very happy and proud to see what Stephen has done this year. He has always been the best player I have played with, right the way through from Under 16s level. It is great to see him getting the accolades that I always thought he would get.

"Without him we are a completely different team, just a year or so ago people were saying that he had problems here and there, but he has worked hard and proved everyone that said that to be completely wrong".

Nedum foresees even more to come from his pal, who has hit the target 13 times this season, and he adds,

"He is fulfilling all the potential we all saw a few years ago, but at the same time he has a lot more to come, which is also very exciting. Stevie is the sort of player who is never happy with what he has got, when he reached eight goals for the season, he wanted to get to 10. Then he told me he wanted to get to 15, and he is still trying to improve on what he does. That's a great way to approach your game".

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Mark Hughes and Daniel Sturridge at Player of the Year 0809

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Stephen Ireland at Player of the Year awards 0809

Stephen Ireland was cheered by hundreds of young fans at the LIVE4CITY End of Season Bash as he accepted the LIVE4CITY/Junior Blues Player of the Year Shield from eight-year-old Connor Allen from Chester.

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Nedum's personal best

Nedum Onouha 0809

Nedum Onuoha has hailed the changes brought in by Mark Hughes this season that have seen the defender finish the campaign so strongly.