Manchester City's Stephen Ireland Scoops Award

City star breaks United's dominance...
Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland has been voted Greater Manchester's Player of the Year in a local poll.

The award has been dominated in recent years by Manchester United players, but readers of The Manchester Evening News this year opted to hand the award to one of the most improved City players of recent seasons.

The Irishman was delighted to have received the recognition of the public, and was determined not to let last season's standards drop.

"At the start of last season my only aim was to get into the team, so to finish the season with an award like this is amazing for me," he said.

"It's a proper honour, especially when you see the calibre of the players who have won it for the last three years. I take these things really seriously, but it only shows that I had a good season last year, and now I am entirely focused on this season. It would be nice to stand here receiving such an honour at the end of this season as well!

"The team has gone from strength to strength. We are winning away from home as well, and scoring goals from set-pieces which we didn't really do last season."

United's Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo had picked up the award for the last three seasons.

Zack Wilson, UK