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Stephen Ireland with Brian Marwood, Agent, Bernard Halford at new contract signing 0809
Season 2008/09

I never want to leave, says new-deal Stevie

  • 28 May 2009 19:38
  • Posted byPeter Ferguson

Stephen Ireland has signed a new five-year contract for the Blues - and insisted there is no reason why he should not spend the rest of his career at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Midfield maestro Ireland, deservedly voted Player of the Year by City fans last week after a tremendous campaign, has set his sights on a title challenge next season ... and a key role in the club's bright future.

After putting pen to paper on his new deal today, witnessed by (left to right) Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood, the player's adviser Paul Masterton, and General Secretary Bernard Halford, he admitted: "It was something that I've been worrying about for a few months but now it's done I can enjoy the summer.

"I never had any doubts about staying. Regardless, I was going to be here, and hopefully for the remainder of my career. I don't see why not. I really want to become a hero here, to hopefully achieve things.

I'm settled here - I love the club, I love the fans, and I don't see what's going to make me leave this club.

Stephen Ireland

"These are very exciting times. It's going to be interesting just 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."

Ireland justified his "Superman" nickname this season to earn plaudits from team-mates and manager Mark Hughes after putting himself through a rigorous summer fitness training programme before pre-season.

He added: "I've always trusted my ability, but it's only this season I've come out of my shell. I worked hard last summer to try and reach the targets I set myself. I reached some, the others are something to aim at next season.

"But I never take my place for granted. I don't think I ever would, I don't like to take my foot off the gas."

Commenting on Stephen's new deal, City Manager Mark Hughes told us, “Stephen’s new contract is great news for everyone concerned. He was outstanding all last season and is now one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He thoroughly deserves all the praise that has gone his way 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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