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Page last updated at 18:59 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 19:59 UK

Man City secure new Ireland deal

Stephen Ireland
Ireland has shone for Manchester City this season

Stephen Ireland has signed a new five-year contract at Manchester City.

The Irish midfielder has been rewarded for an outstanding season in which he won the club's player of the year award ahead of the more illustrious names.

"I never had any doubts about staying," Ireland, 22, told the club's website. "Hopefully, I'm going to be here for the remainder of my career.

"I don't see why not. I'm settled, I love the club and the fans and I don't see what's going to make me leave."

Ireland's existing deal ran until the end of the 2010-11 season, but his new agreement lasts until 2014.

At this stage last year, there were questions over his future at the club as the academy graduate seemed to lose his way under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

But he forced his way into Mark Hughes' side at the start of the season, and has never relinquished his place despite a total overhaul of the City midfield under the club's billionaire owners.

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Ireland added: "These are very exciting times. It's going to be interesting to see what the line-up will be at the start of next season and how far we can push on.

"Hopefully we can compete for the title and get back into Europe."

Hughes said: "Stephen's new contract is great news for everyone concerned. He was outstanding last season and is now one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

"He thoroughly deserves all the praise after the hard work that he undertook last summer, and I know that he is already aiming to do even better for us next season and beyond."



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see also
Interview - Stephen Ireland
09 May 09 |  Football Focus
Man Utd dominate PFA awards list
14 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Man City must be braver - Ireland
10 Apr 09 |  Europe
Ireland remains out for Republic
19 Jan 09 |  Internationals


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Malta Sport CITY REWARD IRELAND WITH NEW FIVE-YEAR DEAL - 40 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Ireland commits future to City - 44 hrs ago
FIFA.com Ireland: I never want to leave City - 48 hrs ago
Abu Dhabi National Ireland pens new five-year City deal - 50 hrs ago
The Australian Ireland signs five-year deal - 50 hrs ago


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