Milner and Hart up for PFA award

Milner has been nominated for the gong, for players aged 23 and

under at the start of the season, following his superb midfield

displays for Villa this season. Goalkeeper Hart has spent the

campaign on loan at Birmingham from Manchester City and has been

excellent between the sticks for Blues. Manchester United striker

Wayne Rooney and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas are the other

players in contention. Either could both join a very select band to

lift the PFA player-of-the-year award and its young player prize in

the same season. Only Andy Gray (1997) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007)

have managed it before, with Rooney in line to become the first

player to win the award three times, having already done so in 2005

and 2006. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor discussed the merits of

Hart and Milner when announcing the nominees. On Hart, Taylor said:

“He has shown the benefits of the loan system. It is much better

for him to be playing first-team football. I am really pleased he

has been given that opportunity. He has not let Alex McLeish down

and has the world in front of him.” As for Milner, Taylor

continued: “I feel really proud of James. His parents came to us

for help and advice from a very early age. He was determined to

make it to the top. People have said he is a water-carrier. He is a

lot more than that.”