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First Team News

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Perfect day whets the Weiss appetite

Robinho and Vladimir Weiss 0809

Robinho and Vladimir Weiss 0809

Vladimir Weiss is still savouring his "perfect day" after his first-team debut against Bolton, but the up-and-coming winger is already planning to build on his Blues breakthrough next season.

The Slovakia-born teenager, whose father is manager of the national team, came off the subs' bench to replace City Player of the Year Stevie Ireland after 70 minutes of Sunday's final Premier League match.

Weiss, who featured in the FA Youth Cup-winning campaign of 2007-08, responded to a warm welcome from the 47,000 crowd by showing the pace and skills that mark him out as yet another Academy star to make the grade.

He said: "The fans might have remembered me a bit from the FA Youth Cup. They are a great crowd, and I'm really grateful for the welcome they gave me. I think making my debut was the best feeling of my life.

"I was praying for a nice day, because I don't like the rain! I said 'please, please let it be a sunny day.' And everything was perfect. It was a fantastic feeling, something that every footballer wants."

"The boss talked about it during the week and said I might get a game because there was nothing at stake for us. I really hoped I would play, but there were 27 in the squad, so I'm thinking: maybe, maybe not.

"But when the boss said to go and warm up, that's when I got the butterflies. I was nervous before I went on, I just wanted to get the ball. Shaun gave it to me, and I tried to beat my defender and won a corner."

Earlier this month Weiss was one of City's scorers in a 3-2 reserve win against a strong Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, but his No1 priority is always "to go around defenders - I play wide, that's my job".

Now Vladimir, 19, aims to stay in manager Mark Hughes' thoughts when next season gets under way. He said: "You have to take that first step, and it's always hard. Now I've got to fight to be involved in more games.

"I've played for the reserves all season, and the second half of the season I was with the first team quite a lot, on the bench and just waiting for my chance.

"I'll always respect the boss's decision. Next season hopefully I can stay with the first team. I'd love to be on the bench every game or even start.

"I want to play for City, I love this club. I've been here four years, I'm happy, and I want to stay. If I get chances to play, I will be the happiest man in the world."

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SWP fitness boost for England

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Berti's an all action City hero at last!

Glauber Berti 0809

Mark Hughes made the most popular substitution of the campaign as City's season eased to a close with the 1-0 Premier League win over Bolton ... he sent on Glauber Berti for a joyous farewell to Blues fans.

Match Report

Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers 24 May 2009