England duo Wayne Rooney and James Milner pick up PFA awards.
England duo Wayne Rooney and James Milner have picked up the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards respectively.
Centre-forward Rooney has enjoyed his most prolific season for both club and country, scoring 34 goals in all competitions for Manchester United, while also scoring nine goals as England qualified for the 2010 World Cup.
In receiving the award, Rooney becomes the first Englishman since Steven Gerrard in 2006 to win the coveted prize.
"It's a great feeling to win the Player of the Year award because it's voted for by the players," said Rooney. “It's something I'm really proud of and it's a great honour.
"I remember coming here in 2005 and 2006 to win the Young Player of the Year. I saw the players winning the main one and it's something I've aimed for since."
At only 24, Rooney was still eligible for the Young Player award but that went to Aston Villa’s dynamic midfielder Milner.
Also 24, Milner has played his way through the England ranks and now seems very much a part of Fabio Capello’s senior squad. He picked up his first seven caps this season while also producing some fantastic performances for Villa that have helped his side push for a Champions League spot.
And while Milner is recognised for his versatility, he has credited his fine form this season with a change in position.
"I've been moved into the middle and that suits me as it helps me influence the game a bit more," said Milner. "Maybe sometimes wide right you want to influence the game but you just can't get yourself into it."
Both players will hope to play a significant part in England’s World Cup campaign in South Africa and if they can continue their good form into the summer, England’s chances are sure to gain a welcome boost.
The full Premier League Team of the Year lines up as follows: Joe Hart (Man City on loan at Birmingham), Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Patrice Evra (Man Utd), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), James Milner (Aston Villa), Darren Fletcher (Man Utd), Antonio Valencia (Man Utd), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Didier Drogba (Chelsea).