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Seamus' delight at 'best 11' place


Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

SEAMUS Coleman says he is bowled over by the support of his peers after his fellow players picked him on the Premier League team of the year.

Coleman became only the second Irish player in six seasons to get the nod for the divisional team of the team at the annual PFA awards, following other Irish successes such as Stephen Carr, Richard Dunne, Roy Keane and Shay Given, and the Donegal man says that receiving an honour from his fellow pros is even more special.

"It's a massive honour. I suppose when the players have voted, it means that bit more," said Coleman.

"It's obviously great to be recognised by the fans and the media, but it's special when the players you play against week in and week out pick you in that XI. It's something special and if you ask a lot of players who get in that PFA team, they will say the same thing.

"Even though it is a team game, it's always nice to get personal accolades and be mentioned, especially with some of the players that are in the team.

"I was always hopeful [of being included], but at the same time I thought (Pablo) Zabaleta at Manchester City and (Branislav) Ivanovic at Chelsea had good years. They kept a lot of clean sheets and scored a couple of goals," added Coleman, only the 10th Everton player to get on the Premier League team of the season.

"I spoke to my brother at the start of the year and said that it would be nice to get in the team of the year, which would have also meant Everton will have had a good season. Obviously we had a bit of a slip-up on Saturday, but so far, it has happened for us." The Premier League was introduced over 20 years ago, but before Coleman got the nod this season, only nine players from the Republic had been voted on to the division's team of the year by the PFA: Paul McGrath, Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, Gary Kelly, Ian Harte, Stephen Carr, Steve Finnan, Shay Given and Richard Dunne.

Meanwhile, Everton boss Roberto Martinez said that Phil Jagielka remains on course to be involved in Saturday's home clash with Manchester City and rates Sylvain Distin's chances of featuring in the game as "50-50".

Jagielka has not played since late February because of a hamstring problem, while fellow defender Distin missed Saturday's 2-0 loss at Southampton due to a similar complaint.


"Phil has done really well in his programme and has developed strength in his muscles. He looks completely regenerated and is desperate to be available," said Martinez.

"It will be a late call whether he is available or not, but I would be surprised if he doesn't make the squad for Saturday. Distin again is pushing himself to be available.

"We need to carry on with the programme that he has and make sure that the treatment is bringing a good effect. I would say he is 50-50 for the weekend, but now we have hope that we will see Sylvain before the season ends, which is a fantastic bonus."

Everton announced earlier that full-back Leighton Baines is set to be fit for City despite picking up knocks to his knee and calf against Southampton.