Antonio Valencia has been nominated for the Premier League Player of the Year prize at the forthcoming Northwest Football Awards, following his impressive 2011/12 campaign.
The Manchester United winger hopes to add the prestigious title to his already growing list of honours after the Ecuadorian swept the board at the Reds' end of season awards, taking home both the players’ and fans’ Player of the Year prizes, as well as the Goal of the Season gong.
Although delighted, Valencia admits his own personal achievement, however humbling, will never make up for the disappointment of losing the league title to rivals Manchester City on the final day of last season, with memories of those final few minutes at the Stadium of Light still raw.
“Yes, I am very happy. That said, I’d be much happier to have won the Premier League trophy,” Antonio told this month's Inside United.
“It was very special for me to win the club awards and I will aim to keep improving. But really it's all about winning trophies with the team rather than individual honours.
“I don’t really want to remember that day in May because it was such a great high followed by an unbelievable low. Yes, we were winning so we were quite calm. City were losing, then all of it sudden it all changed in two minutes. But that’s just what can happen in football. I felt sad for my team-mates and for myself, too, and I just hope it doesn’t happen again.
"But now it's just history. It's important that we turn the page now and look to the future.”
Valencia faces competition for the Northwest Premier League player award from Everton’s John Heitinga, Liverpool’s Martin Škrtel, Vincent Kompany of Manchester City, Wigan Athletic skipper Gary Caldwell, Ádám Bogdán of Bolton Wanderers and Yakubu, formerly of Blackburn Rovers.
In addition, United’s head physiotherapist, Rob Swire, has been shortlisted in the Medical & Sports Science Professional category, whilst the