quote

First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

Ireland aims to be fighting fit again

Stephen Ireland 0809

Stephen Ireland 0809

Stephen Ireland will be kick-boxing and yomping up the hills of Glossop this summer as he returns to the punishing personal training regime that fuelled his award-winning season for the Blues.

Overwhelmingly voted Player of the Year by City fans and narrowly pipped for the PFA Young Player of the Year trophy, midfield maestro Stevie was rewarded this week with a new five-year contract by the club.

But there is no resting on his laurels for action-man Ireland - and his City team-mates are so impressed by the effects of his summer activities that they are enquiring whether they can get the benefit as well.

He said: "Nedum Onuoha and Benjani have both been asking about having a go. I've already started my fitness programme again. I'm doing power-lifting and Olympic-lifting weights at my gym in Glossop. There's a bit of kick-boxing in there and cage fighting too – all of it carefully supervised I should add!

"I'm there until eleven at night on occasions working on my fitness. I want to be even stronger next season and the manager is fine with it. Last season we had eight weeks off - this year we only have five, so I decided to start a bit earlier so I would get the same kind of results."

Ireland is convinced that his unorthodox summer stint was a key factor in his best season so far for City. He added: "What I aim to do is make sure that I am the very best player that I can be and fulfil every bit of my potential. I'll be ready to go from the moment we report back in July.

I will have the same mentality going into the next season as I did in this one. You should never forget that you are only ever as good as your last game.

Stephen Ireland

 

"There is plenty more to come in all aspects of my game. It is not easy to say I always did this well or that not so well, because every game is different.

"Some days it's a battle, you get by-passed and just have to work hard for the team; others are full of great passing and technique. That's why you have to be multi-dimensional and why I'm working on my all-around game."

First Team News

Ten years on, Dickov is picture perfect

Paul Dickov vs Gillingham goal celebration 1999

It's the most famous photo there is of one of City's most memorable matches ... striker Paul Dickov slides on his knees and celebrates his lifeline Wembley goal against Gillingham in the Division Two play-off final.

First Team News

Follow Vlad to the top, Boy Blues told

Vladimir Weiss 0809

Mark Hughes has told the Academy's bright young men that Vladimir Weiss's step up to the first team should be an inspiration to renew their own efforts to break through.

First Team News

Super Stevie converts his critics

Stephen Ireland 0809

Player of the Year Stephen Ireland has admitted he knew he needed to win over some Blues fans going into this season - and senses that manager Mark Hughes has had to overcome the same obstacle.