Thursday, April 20, 2006

Now the fans sing: Glory, glory, FC United . . .

Source: Bury Times

By Marc Higginson

FC United of Manchester assistant manager Phil Power was full of praise for his side's monumental feat after they clinched the North West Counties Division Two title in their inaugural season.

The breakaway club clinched the title and promotion when they hammered Chadderton 4-0 at Gigg Lane last Wednesday night. Goals from Steve Torpey, Rob Nugent, Will Ahern and Rory Patterson's penalty ensured the celebrations could begin into the night.

The Red rebels will be presented with their trophy after Saturday's home game against Great Harwood Town on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

And, Power can't hide his delight at the progress his side have made: "The lads have done brilliant to win the league so soon.

"We have had a couple of little dips along the way, but we have always responded the right way and we could end up winning the league by a considerable margin come the end of the season.

"We would have more than settled for winning it by one point when we started off last July!"

The silverware is the jewel in the crown of a club that has averaged home gates of over 3,000 and continue to confound their critics.

Power said: "Our fans have been magnificent all season and they make sure every game feels like a cup final. The lads should never need motivating when they go out and play in front of all those supporters.

"I'm pleased that we will get the trophy in front of our home fans and it should be a great day and a party atmosphere."

However, Power has admitted that the management team will not rest on their laurels and are already planning for next season.

"We will enjoy the promotion party, but we have to start thinking about next season as soon as possible," said Power.

"It is going to be much harder next season, and we need to strengthen. The lads have done well this season but we are always looking to add to the team. We have had a chat with the players and they know that we are a scalp for every team we play, so we always have to perform to our potential.

"We have a few targets already and it's our job to lure them to the club. However, that shouldn't be too hard with our fan base and we're already getting phone calls from people wanting to play for us."

The club will field a reserve team next season, and Power sees that as another step in the right direction.

"The reserve team will help us to bring through some younger players and means we can keep players, who are not playing, match fit," said the former Macclesfield striker.

"That should mean that we can have a bigger squad and people like myself and Daz Lyons can stick to the coaching, whereas the both of us have had to play every now and again this season."

Power is also eager to praise everyone at Gigg Lane, and within Bury, who have welcomed the club with open arms since its inception.

"It's been fantastic for the lads to play at a league ground and it has become our home' now.

"I'm not sure what is going to happen next season, but I would love it if we could carry on playing here. I know the fans have enjoyed it at Gigg, and the players certainly have."

One thing is for sure, Gigg Lane has played a pivotal part in footballing history over the last twelve months especially the Manchester Road End, which the vociferous United fans have turned into their very own mini Stretford End'.