Sunday, June 25, 2006

Barrow man lands FC United job

Source: NW Evening Mail
Published on 24/06/2006

OLD Trafford rebels FC United have swooped for the signature of a Barrow football development officer.

John Thomason, 29, has worked as Football in the Community co-ordination officer with Barrow’s Community Regeneration Company for the past two years.

The former Ulverston Victoria High School pupil joined the booming North West Counties Division One club after seeing their advertisement for a football development officer on the internet.

“I will have quite a broad brief,” he said.

“I will be based in Manchester city centre, but my job will entail working all around the Manchester area.”

The post with the rebels is on a year-by-year contract basis.

Thomason has not yet met any of the players, or FC United manager, the former Barrow defender Karl Marginson, because his time has been spent working closely with club chief executive Andy Walsh.

Barrow Borough Council sports development officer Chris Athersmith said: “It has been a pleasure working with John for the past two years.

“He has co-ordinated a lot of successful football activities and has been a big asset to the company.”

Athersmith said the post left vacant by Thomason may be advertised, but it would depend on new funding being secured.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MEN: Sammy’s the latest Rebel fan

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: Manchester Evening News.

By Stuart Brennan

SAMMY McIlroy believes FC United can “go all the way’’ to the Football League on the back of their phenomenal crowd-pulling power.

The Manchester United legend, who guided Macclesfield Town out of the non-league pyramid and is now bidding to do the same with Morecambe, says that the rebel club have the support base to become a roaring success.

FC United were recently named as non-league football’s Club of the Year after averaging home gates of over 3,000 in their inaugural season, and McIlroy was on hand to present the award to manager Karl Marginson, who played under him during the glory years at Moss Rose.

Marginson shared the accolades for FC United’s remarkable season with assistants Phil Power and Darren Lyons, also former Silkmen who played under McIlroy.

McIlroy, who cut his managerial teeth by guiding Ashton United out of the North West Counties League – which is FC United’s challenge next season after promotion from the second division – says the new club have a great chance.

“For me working at that level was a great learning curve, because you are still handling players and still have the hassle of sorting things out when someone rings you on a Thursday to tell you they can’t play on Saturday because they have to work a late shift,” said the 51-year-old, who went on to manage Northern Ireland and Stockport County before returning to Conference management with Morecambe last season.

“Managing in non-league presents different challenges. I had a chat with the lads when I presented them with the awards and they told me that they got over 6,000 for the last game of the season, which is unbelievable.

Atmosphere

“That has to be a great advantage, and a fantastic atmosphere for the players, but there is the other side, in that it also gets the opposition players going as well.

“And Karl and the lads will know they have to have players who can handle that kind of atmosphere.

“But when you have support like that, players will want to play for you, and if they can keep bringing in players who are that little bit better as they move up the leagues, they can go all the way.”

Power, who still dons his boots for FC, was a star for McIlroy’s Macclesfield, helping them into the League and then scoring the goal that secured promotion to the old second division in their historic first season in 1998.

And both Lyons, who also still plays, and Marginson, turned out for the Silkmen.

“That is one of the reasons I agreed to present the awards,” says McIlroy. “They are all good lads and played their part in the great success we had at Macc.

“I bumped into them when Macc had a fund-raising game against a World XI in February, and since then I have looked out for their results, and it’s good to see lads like that still in the game.

“To be honest I never really saw them as management types when they were playing for me. Darren was very, very quiet, just did his own thing, while Phil was a character in the dressing room and Karl had a great, dry sense of humour, a bit of a comedian.”

McIlroy himself almost made history last season by taking Morecambe to the Conference play-offs where they narrowly lost out to Hereford. He would have been the first manager to take two different clubs into the League.

FC UNITED have been given a bye in the first round of the League Challenge Cup, but face the toughest test possible in the second round - a trip to FA Vase holders Nantwich Town. The game will take place on November 11.

Friday, June 16, 2006

FC play world's oldest club

Source: Prestwich Advertiser
by Tony Howard

FC UNITED will take on the world’s oldest football club as part of their pre-season schedule.
The reds will cross the Pennines for a war of the roses battle with Sheffield FC who are 150 years old next year and are the only club in the world other than Real Madrid to have been awarded the FIFA Order of Merit.
The Yorkshire club were given the prestigious honour for their historical importance and their chairman attended a glittering ceremony alongside Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.
In fact, Sheffield boast FIFA president Sepp Blatter among their famous members alongside England boss Sven Goran Eriksson and England cricket captain Michael Vaughan.
The match has been switched from Sheffield’s Coach and Horses ground to the nearby Don Valley Stadium to cope with what is expected to be a big crowd.
A Sheffield FC spokesman said: "We are expecting a crowd of up to 6,000 which will no doubt include a large contingent from Manchester.
"Therefore, it was thought wise to switch venue.
"Everyone at the club is looking forward to the match.
"We are the world’s oldest football club and FC United are one of the youngest. It should be an interesting encounter."
The game will take place on Saturday, July 29, kick-off 3pm and ticket details will be announced nearer the time.
FC will also play AFC Wimbledon at Gigg Lane on Saturday, July 22.
Reds fans will be expecting a sizeable travelling contingent for a home game for the first time as the Londoners average around 2,000 for their games.
The Dons were formed by fans of Wimbledon FC who were moved to Milton Keynes and renamed Milton Keynes Dons by the club’s Norwegian owners.
They and FC therefore have common ground and the blues were instrumental in helping to get FC United of Manchester off the ground in June 2005.
Meanwhile, tickets are being sold for the landlords versus tenants game at Gigg Lane on Wednesday, July 26. FC take on Bury with an 8pm kick-off.
Prices will be £7 for adults and £2 for juniors, senior citizens and disabled supporters.
Tickets can be purchased from the main reception at Gigg Lane during opening hours which are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
The reception will also be open on Saturday, July 8, from 10am to noon; Saturday, July 15, from 9am to 5pm; and late opening until 9.30pm on Tuesday, July 18.
Alternatively tickets can be purchased by post at: Bury Football Club, Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR or by phone on: 0161 764 4881.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

jungeWelt: Das Fußballspiel wird einfachen Menschen weggenommen

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: jungeWelt

Gespräch mit Andy Walsh, Karl Marginson und Dave Chadwick vom FC United Manchester. Über ManU, Geldsorgen, Leidenschaft, Aufstiegschancen, Nazifans und die Frage, wer Weltmeister wird

Viele Fans von Manchester United wollten es nicht hinnehmen, daß der Traditionsclub letztes Jahr vom US-amerikanischen Milliardär Malcom Glatzer gekauft wurde. Also gründeten sie einen neuen Verein, den FC United Manchester. Andy Walsh ist der Vereinspräsident, Karl Marginson der Trainer und Dave Chadwick (Foto oben) der Kapitän der Mannschaft.

Glückwunsch zum aktuellen Aufstieg. In die wievielte Liga eigentlich?
Dave Chadwick: Ich glaube, in die achte. Vielen Dank. Wenn wir jedes Jahr weiter aufsteigen würden, würde es vier Jahre bis zum Wiederaufsteig dauern – in die vierte englische Profiliga.

Die Saison 05/06 war die erste Spielzeit des neuen Clubs FC United. Was war gut und was war hart?

Chadwick: Ehrlich gesagt: Es war toll! Allein die Massen, die zu uns kamen! Es wurden von Spiel zu Spiel mehr. Und wir wurden immer besser, haben nur drei Saisonspiele verloren. Als der Aufstieg klar war, haben wir jede Minute genossen.

Andy Walsh: Die Schwierigkeit lag darin, alles erst aufzubauen, das war ein Haufen Arbeit. Schlechte Erfahrungen gab es nicht, nur Schwierigkeiten.

Erst protestierten Sie als ManU-Fans gegen die Übernahme des Clubs durch Malcolm Glazer: Nun haben Sie Ihren eigenen Club. Was hat sich für Sie verändert?
Walsh: Für mich sehr viel. Früher war ich nur Zuschauer, jetzt helfe ich, einen Club so zu leiten, daß die Fans die Kontrolle ausüben. Ich hatte auch noch nie in meinem Leben so wenig Zeit, zum Fußball zu gehen. Aber das alles war notwendig. Sehr viele Leute können es sich nicht mehr leisten, hochklassigen Fußball in England zu sehen, besonders, wenn sie ihre Kinder mitnehmen wollen. 30 Prozent unserer Zuschauer sind unter 18 Jahren, das ist einzigartig in England.

Karl Marginson: Hoffentlich geht es so weiter mit dem Aufsteigen. Wir brauchen ein paar neue Gesichter, um uns zu verstärken. Dazu eine Reservemannschaft und eine Jugendmannschaft, um dem Club als Fußballverein stärker zu machen und eine Basis zu schaffen, aus der man schöpfen kann.

Was ist mit dem geplanten Frauenteam?
Walsh: Nicht in der kommenden Saison. Ein Schritt nach dem anderen.

Herr Chadwick, ist es ein ganz normaler Job, für den FC zu spielen?

Chadwick: Es ist was besonderes. Etwas, was ich noch nie erlebt habe. Früher, in anderen Teams, spielten wir vor vielleicht 200 Fans. Jetzt haben wir im Durchschnitt 3000 Zuschauer. Das ziehen wir uns Woche für Woche rein und genießen das sehr.

Walsh: Beide, Karl und Dave, arbeiten Vollzeit, bei uns spielen sie sozusagen halbtags.

Marginson: Ich stehe früh auf, fahre Essen und Gemüse aus.

Wie schaffen Sie das alles?
Marginson: Hab' ich schon immer gemacht. Wenn du im non league football spielst, geschieht das aus Liebe zu dem Sport. Du mußt sowieso arbeiten, um deine Familie zu versorgen. Bei mir wird allerdings die Zeit jetzt schon knapp, so viele wollen mit dir reden, bedenkt man allein dieses riesige Menge an Fans. Letzten Endes mußt du deine Arbeit um den Fußball herum organisieren.

Werden Sie vom FC United bezahlt?
Chadwick: Doch schon.

Walsh: Ja, wir zahlen eine gewisse Summe. Im Durchschnitt so 150 Euro die Woche.

Wie reagieren die Fans anderer Vereine auf den FC United? Sind Sie in deren Augen Abtrünnige, Rebellen oder Freiheitskämpfer?
Chadwick: Eine Mischung aus allem. Viele stehen hinter uns. Andere sind mißgünstig, warten nur darauf, daß wir 'ne volle Bauchlandung machen.

Walsh: Unter den Manchester-United-Fans gibt es verschiedene Ansichten. Fans anderer Clubs bekunden uns mit Botschaften ihre Unterstützung. Mittlerweile reift unter den Fans der Premier-League-Vereine die Erkenntnis, daß das Fußballspiel den einfachen Menschen weggenommen wird. Nicht nur von den Kosten her, die das verursacht. Auch die Anstoßzeiten werden ständig nach Belieben des Fernsehens geändert.

Also ein politisches und soziales Problem gleichermaßen?
Walsh: Definitiv.

Deshalb heißt die Vereinssatzung des FC United auch »Manifest«?

Walsh: Das ist eher als eine Art Absichtserklärung zu verstehen. Manchmal fühlst du dich nicht mehr als Fußballclub, sondern gewissermaßen in heiliger Mission unterwegs: Das Spiel im Namen der einfachen Menschen, die zu unseren Begegnungen kommen, vom Kommerz zurückzufordern. Unsere Zuschauer sind junge Leute, viele aus der Arbeiterklasse, die es sich im Gegensatz zu früher nicht mehr leisten können, zu Spielen der Premier League zu gehen. Allein mit meinen zwei Kindern zu einem Spiel zu gehen, kostet mich inzwischen 100 Pfund. Für mich hat Glazer Manchester United übernommen, um meine Loyalität zu meinem Fußballclub auszubeuten. Aber ich werde nicht für ihn die Schulden bezahlen, die er gemacht hat, um den Club zu kaufen. Irgendwann war da die Grenze erreicht.

Marginson: Wir haben Fans in vielen Ländern, die uns unterstützen. Weil sie sich Manchester United nah fühlen und ihnen die Ideale unseres neuen Clubs einleuchten: Den Fußball den einfachen, arbeitenden Menschen zurückzubringen. Der Top-Fußball ist heutzutage eine Domäne der Corporations, vom Geld getrieben. Die Leidenschaft, die Fußball eigentlich ausmacht, gerät ins Hintertreffen. Die Hälfte des Wochenlohnes für den Stadionbesuch auszugeben, kommt für viele einfach nicht in Frage.

Chadwick: Die Leute können sich nicht mal mehr ihren Pie oder ein Programmheft leisten.

Marginson: Wir wollen Fußball den jungen Leuten wieder als gute Erfahrung rüberbringen – einfach raus zum Platz zu gehen, den Geruch von Hot Dogs und Pies, die Gesänge, die Rivalität und den guten Humor zwischen den Fans bemerken. Die meisten Kids gucken Fußball nur vorm Fernseher – im Privatkanal Sky TV.

Walsh: Wir wollen sie aber auch inspirieren, selbst zu spielen. Wenn sie ihre Helden auf dem Platz selbst sehen, versuchen sie es wahrscheinlich eher mal, die Tricks und Bewegungen nachzumachen, und kriegen einfach Lust aufs Fußballspielen. Jugendliche, die Fußball nur durchs Fernsehen kennen, haben nicht den Drang, selbst zu spielen. Als Club wollen wir auch eine größtmögliche Gemeinschaft erreichen, gute Verbindungen aufbauen.

Glazer hat 96 Prozent der ManU-Aktien und den Club damit in eine Privatgesellschaft umfunktioniert. Der FC United soll vom Statut her eine Non-Profit-Vereinigung sein. Wie klappt das mit der Finanzierung?
Walsh: Uns wurde ein Verlust von 30000 Pfund für dieses Jahr vorausberechnet, jetzt haben wir einen Überschuß von 20000. Das beweist, daß die Leute uns angenommen haben, Aber es wird jedes Jahr eine Herausforderung bleiben - die Spieler zu bezahlen und die Stadionmiete, denn wir haben ja noch kein eigenes. Je mehr Leute wir anziehen, desto mehr Arbeit ist im Hintergrund nötig. Einen Club professionell zu betreiben, kostet jede Menge Geld, Zeit und Nerven.

Identifizieren Sie sich vollends mit dem FC United? Oder ist dieser neue Club doch eher eine Verbindung auf Zeit – mit der Hoffnung, irgendwann mit gutem Gewissen zu ManU zurückzukehren, wenn sich die Lage dort verändert haben sollte?
Marginson: Wir fühlen, daß der FC United mehr ist als nur ein Fußballclub.

Walsh: Ich sehe mich selbst immer noch als ein Fan von Manchester United. Aber die vielen desillusionierten Fans als Gruppe zusammenzuhalten, das kann nur der FC leisten. Vielleicht kommt irgendwann die Möglichkeit, den ManU zurückzukaufen, den Club in die Hände seiner Anhänger zu überführen? Dieser Tag ist noch weit. Für uns persönlich wird es den FC immer geben, sogar wenn die Fans zu Manchester United zurückkehren und ihn übernehmen würden. Was wir bisher erreicht haben, zeigt, daß es einfach das Verlangen nach einem solchen Club gibt.

Mitte Mai hat der FC United ein Freundschaftsspiel bei Lok Leipzig absolviert. Auch das ist eine Neugründung von Fans, allerdings war ihnen vorher der alte Verein, der VfB Leipzig durch Konkurs verlustig gegangen. Hat Ihnen das Spiel gefallen?
Chatwick: Wir hatten so etwas vorher noch nicht gemacht, waren alle sehr aufgeregt, denn wir haben uns sehr gefreut, eingeladen zu werden.

Marginson: Für uns alle und für die Fans eine riesige Erfahrung. Es war absolut phantastisch, wie wir aufehnommen wurden.

Welche Übereinstimmungen gibt es zwischen den beiden Clubs?
Walsh: Wir haben eine andere Geschichte, warum wir da stehen, wo wir sind. Die Gemeinsamkeit ist die, daß die Fans Kontrolle über ihren Fußballclub haben wollten. Ohne die Entschlossenheit von Matthias Löffler und John Marley, die die letzten zwölf Monate versuchten, dieses Spiel wahr werden zu lassen, wären wir nicht bis nach Leipzig gekommen. Das zeigt die Bedeutung der Fans im Fußball. Im Top-Fußball gibt es das nicht mehr, da zählt nur das Geld, und die Rolle der Fans wird schwächer – was von Vereinsseite sogar gewünscht wird. Das Spiel in Leipzig war ein Symbol für die Bedeutung des einfachen Fußballfans für – wie wir sagen – das größte Spiel der Welt.

In der Zeit vor dem Spiel in Leipzig berichteten die Medien viel über Neonazis in ostdeutschen Fußballstadien, Leipzig eingeschlossen. Hat der FC United gezögert, dorthin zu fahren?
Walsh: Ja, wir haben gezögert. Ein paar Monate vor dem Spiel sind wir nach Leipzig gefahren, um sicher zu gehen, daß alles in Ordnung ist. Außerdem trafen sich Mitglieder von uns, die in Deutschland leben, mit den Organisatoren und dem Präsidenten von Lok, um sich ein Bild davon zu machen, wie dieser Club strukturiert ist. Ich meine, jeder Club hat seine Probleme mit lästigen Fans dieser Art. Die Frage ist, wie er damit umgeht. Daß Lok Leipzig etwas dagegen tut, hat uns beruhigt. Für uns bedeutet das Freundschaftspiel auch, daß Fußball Schranken überwinden kann und daß Freundschaft über Grenzen hinausgeht.

Wer wird dieses Jahr Fußball-Weltmeister?
Walsh, Marginson, Chatwick: Brasilien.

Was ist mit England?
Walsh, Marginson, Chatwick: Keine Chance. Wenn sie Glück haben Viertelfinale. Höchstens.

Das Gespräch führte Gabriele Damtew

Manchester United (ManU) ist neben Arsenal London, Chelsea und dem FC Liverpool der wichtigste englische Fußballclub. Letztes Jahr übernahm der US-amerikanische Milliardär Malcom Glatzer die Mehrheit der ManU-Aktien. Und zwar auf Pump – Kredite in Höhe von rund 800 Millionen Euro sind nun die Schulden des Clubs. Allein für 2006 soll die fällige Zinstilgung bei 90 Millionen Euro liegen. Bis 2011 werden die Eintrittspreise jährlich um rund neun Prozent steigen. Aus Protest gegen dieses Gebaren gründeten rund 5000 ManU-Fans den FC United Manchester, gemäß dem Aufdruck eines T-Shirts, das sie verkaufen: »Unser Club – unsere Regeln«. Darunter ist eine geballte rote Faust gedruckt.

In aller Eile wurde im Sommer 2005 eine eigene Mannschaft zusammengekratzt. 900 Spieler aus aller Welt bewarben sich, die meisten aus der Fanszene. Nach einem Casting unter der Leitung von Trainer Karl Marginson blieben von 228 eingeladenen Spielern 18 übrig. Drei sind Halbprofis mit einem Gehalt von 70 Pfund pro Match. Inzwischen hat der FC United einen Zuscherrekord von über 6000 Fans. Gerade ist der Club mit elf Punkten Vorsprung Meister der zweiten nordenglischen Counties League geworden, das bedeutet Aufstieg in die achte Liga. Demnächst sollen auch eine Frauen- und zwei Jugendmannschaften antreten.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

FC United’s flying start delights Chadwick

Source: This is Lancashire

By Marc Higginson

FC United captain Dave Chadwick admits it's finally starting to sink in' after a monumental inaugural season was capped by the skipper lifting the league championship in April.

"Now we have all had time to reflect, we are all very proud of our achievements," said Chadwick.

"To be so successful in our first season was fantastic and I can't wait for next season to start now.
continued...

"With a couple of new signings, we can do well again."

Most semi-pro footballers might be planning a rest in the summer months, but Chadwick is about to enlist the help of a personal trainer to ensure he is at optimum fitness when the kick-off to the new campaign gets under way.

"One of our new signings Stuart Rudd knows a personal fitness trainer and we are both going down to meet him this week and he is going to give us a programme to follow right up to pre-season," explained Chadwick.

"I didn't have much of a pre-season this year because I was carrying some niggling injuries, so I am hoping to get a good one in this time.

"We have got some exciting pre-season friendlies lined up and I just can't wait to get going again."

Chadwick was also bowled over by the success of the club's post-season friendly with fellow fans club Lokomotiv Leipzig.

"It was brilliant to see 7,500 fans making the trip to Germany and it felt like we were playing in a proper European game with all the flares going off and the foreign chanting," said the central defender.

"It was one of the best experiences of my life and was just reward for all the lads."

Meanwhile, United manager Karl Marginson has added Abbey Hey striker Steve Moore to his squad ahead of next season, and he will join Rudd in the battle for a striking berth next season.

Rudd scored 47 goals for Skelmersdale last season, while Moore bagged 26. The hot-shots will battle it out with fans favourites Rory Patterson and Steve Torpey for a place in the starting line-up.

"Stuart will prove to be a good signing for us," added Chadwick. "He is proven quality."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

6,000 crowd as Sheff get 'real'

Source: Sheffield today

SHEFFIELD FC are to play the controversial club that describes itself as the real Manchester United - and the clash could attract a bumper 6,000 crowd.

The oldest football club in the world has arranged to play FC United, the Red Devils' breakaway team, at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, on July 29.

FC United were formed by disillusioned United fans last summer after the acrimonious takeover of the club by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.

Many of the club's fans believe that the takeover signalled the end of fan power and tradition in the English game. They decided to effectively go on strike out and start a new club at grassroots level.

They played in the North West Counties League and next year will play in Division One after achieving promotion in their first season.

They'll be bringing a familiar face with them as well in the shape of former Blades defender Robert Nugent.

Sheffield say they hope a crowd of up to 6,000, with a large following from Manchester expected.

That attendance would be larger than the average home attendances of both Rotherham and Chesterfield.

To kick off the pre-season games, Sheffield will take part in a unique "home nations" tournament on July 22 and 23 at their Bright Finance stadium.

The club will play Newi Cefn Druids and Cliftonville, the oldest clubs from Wales and Northern Ireland, plus a select side from the Isle of Man.

Sheffield will also face Hartlepool United on August 2, while Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have agreed to send sides to the Bright Finance Stadium on July 31 and August 1 respectively.

07 June 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sportsbrief

Source: Wandsworth Guardian

FOOTBALL: Following last year's sold out pre-season friendly against FC United of Manchester, AFC Wimbledon will return the favour by travelling up north for a return fixture on Saturday, July 22. The Dons will make the trip to play the Manchester United breakaway club at Bury's Gigg Lane ground before further pre-season friendlies at home to a Crystal Palace youth side on Tuesday, July 25, at Aldershot on Saturday, August 5, and at Kingsmeadow against Kingstonian on Saturday, August 12. For details visit afcwimbledon.co.uk

FC United's travelling army come to Town during pre-season

From the Warrington Guardian

CANTILEVER Park will welcome FC United and their travelling army for Warrington Town's first home pre-season friendly.
The North West Counties League Division One club, which was set up last year by disenchanted Manchester United fans and attracted a gate in excess of 6,000 for their final home match of the season, travel to take on Town on August 2.
By that time Town will have already played five away matches, with a friendly against Greenalls on July 20 the pick.
The Yellows, who will again play in the UniBond First Division next season, have also arranged trips to Heswall on July 15, Congleton on July 22, Ashton Town on July 25 and Mossley on July 29.
After the FC United match, Town travel to Ashton United on August 5 before home friendlies against Prescot Cables on August 8 and Marine on August 12.

FC United snap up Boro target

Source: This is Lancashire
By Marc Higginson

RADCLIFFE Boro have been foiled in their chase for striker Steve Moore, after the Abbey Hey front-man decided to sign for FC United of Manchester.

Boro were hoping to add Moore to the squad in place of the now departed Steve Foster, but were beaten to the 26-goal striker's signature by the newly formed fans club.

Boro might be playing in a league two divisions higher than the Red Rebels, but the lure of playing in front of crowds touching 5,000 proved crucial.
continued...

"We are disappointed to lose out on Steve, but you can understand why he would want to go to FC United. We offered him a good financial package and showed him the facilities we have to offer, but he decided FC United was where he wanted to go," said Boro manager Andy Johnston.

"In a way, we are not on a level playing field with FC United and they are a bit like Chelsea in the Premiership. However, we are still working hard to try and bring in players and we hope to have our squad of 16/17 ready for when pre-season training starts at the beginning of July."

Another of Boro's striking targets - Jody Banim - has also moved clubs. The diminutive goal machine, who played a crucial part in saving Boro from relegation last season while on loan, has signed for Droylsden from Stalybridge.

Boro boss Johnston said: "We made no secret of the fact that we wanted Jody at the club on a permanent basis but we never put in a bid because we couldn't afford the financial package that other clubs were offering.

"We offer good wages, but cannot afford to be paying big wages and big transfer fees.

"Jody has always stayed in close contact with the club and if there is a chance to call in a favour from him, like last season, we will take that opportunity."

Red Rebels target next season boom

Source: Bury Times

By Marc Higginson

FOOTBALL may stop over the summer at most clubs, but not at FC United of Manchester.

The North West Counties Division Two champions have just come back from their debut European' game in Germany and already have one eye on next season.

The Red Rebels drew 4-4 against fellow fans club, Leipzig, earlier this month in a match that was a welcome respite from the rigours of a long, but equally successful season.
continued...

"The trip to Germany was good for team spirit and helped the lads to bond, away from the pressures of the league," said United assistant manager Phil Power.

"We have a little break now before pre-season training starts at the beginning of June, but the lads are already itching to get going again next season."

And, Power admits that he is looking forward to helping to build a side that can challenge for honours once again.

"We have identified the areas we need to strengthen for next season, and we are looking to bring in some good players," said the 39-year-old former Macclesfield Town striker. We are looking for a centre-half and a couple of strikers. We don't want to name names before we have signed anyone, but the players we have ear-marked are genuine quality."

United have also put into place plans for a reserve and youth team next season. Potential players have been invited to apply through the club's website, and Power is excited about the potential of the club's new set-up.

"There are always players that slip through the net of the bigger clubs, and it would be great if we could find one or two of them and bring them through," he said.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stars turn out for Chris

Source: Salford Advertiser.
Thursday, June 1.
By Tony Howard

AN EX-ENGLAND international, a former Manchester United stalwart and several soap stars joined the people of Salford to raise ?7,000 for local lad Chris McGuirk. Former England midfielder Peter Reid, ex-Manchester United winger Ben Thornley and a host of Coronation Street actors formed an 'All Star' team for a charity match against fans' club FC United of Manchester at De La Salle's Lancaster Road fields on bank holiday Monday, May 29. Money from the 1,500-plus crowd means fundraisers now have ?160,000 towards their target of ?200,000 to build scrum half Chris a house suited to his disability needs after he broke his neck playing rugby for De La Salle last year.

Nearly 2,000 people attended both events and, with two charity dates still on the calender, Chris' friends-turned fundraisers, led by John Camilleri, are confident he will return to Salford from Southport spinal injuries unit by the end of the year. The 'All Star' team included Coronation Street actors Andy Whyment (Kirk), Alan Halsall (Tyrone), Richard Fleeshman (Craig Harris), Sam Robertson (Adam Baldwin), DJ Mike Sweeney and Rhodri Giggs, brother of United winger Ryan. There was also a fun fair and bouncy castle for kids and musical entertainment from Salford band Hanky Park.

Chris, 21, said: "I can't say how grateful I am to everyone who's got behind me. We had the Black and White Ball on Saturday and my dad and a few of the lads did the dance they've been practising and everyone had a top time. "Then to see the crowd turn out for the match was brilliant - it just gets better. I'd like to thank FC United as well all my friends, family and the people of this area who have supported me. It's a cliche but I am taking every day as it comes. My arms are getting better and I'm improving all the time. The support really spurs me on."

Peter Reid has been involved with the Chris McGuirk Appeal from the start. He said: "I've been to Southport to see Chris and from the minute I met him I could see he's a game boy. He's a great example, because we all moan about things but he's got on with it and shown an amazing attitude." Former Manchester United winger and now Salford City midfielder Ben Thornley added: "All of us who play sport know how serious the situation is and we want to help as best we can.

"The people of Salford have come together and it shows what a fantastic place this is. I'm a Salford lad and I'm proud when you see what the people here can achieve."

Another proud Salfordian, Mike Sweeney, said: "This has been a great example of the community pulling together. It's a genuine working class movement where people are helping one of their own." FC United triumphed 11-7 in the charity game with fans bidding for the chance to take on Reidy and his men in the second half. The remaining events are a golf day at Swinton Park Golf Club on Wednesday, June 28 and a rugby tournament on the weekend of August 26 and 27, with the final at the Willows.

For information contact John Camilleri on: 07908 667 806.

Chris McGuirk

Source: Prestwich Advertiser.
Thursday, June 1.

By Tony Howard

FC UNITED joined an ex-England international, a former Manchester United stalwart and several soap stars in a charity game to raise funds for an injured rugby player.

The Gigg Lane lodgers came to the aid of 21-year-old Chris McGuirk who was left paralysed when he broke his neck playing for Salford side De La Salle last December, when his friends launched an appeal to raise ?200,000 to build a house suited to his disability needs.

Chris is currently being treated at Southport's spinal injury unit and can only leave when he has a suitable home. The reds faced an All-Star team including ex-England footballer Peter Reid, former Manchester United winger Ben Thornley, Coronation Street stars Andy Whyment (Kirk), Alan Halsall (Tyrone), Richard Fleeshman (Craig Harris), Sam Robertson (Adam Baldwin), radio DJ Mike Sweeney and Rhodri Giggs, brother of United winger Ryan.

FC boss Karl Marginson was pleased United could do their bit. He said:"Everyone who plays sports can feel for Chris after what happened. I've had my share of injuries while playing, but what happened to Chris doesn't just mean he'll miss a few games, it's affected his whole life so we were happy to get involved It was a great day and the match was a laugh. I was quite impressed with Mike Baldwin's lad [Sam Robertson] - he scored a nice chip." Peter Reid was given the run around in midfield as the reds triumphed 11-7. He said: "FC United are great for getting involved and their supporters are fantastic. The team play to a very good standard and 20 years ago I might have got near them but today I just couldn't!"

Chris was overwhelmed with the support he received. He said: "I can't say how grateful I am to everyone who's got behind me. To see the crowd turn out for the match was brilliant. I'd like to thank FC United as well all my friends, family and everyone else who's supported me especially John Camilleri who has organised everything. "It's a cliche but I am taking every day as it comes. I'm improving all the time. The support really spurs me on."

Top Ref for FC Game

Source: Radcliffe Borough FC website:

The 'Boro are scheduled to have one of the premierships top referee's officiating one of their pre-season fixtures. Mark Halsey from Bolton has agreed with the club he will referee the July

15th friendly with FC United depending on him having no professional engagements given him in the period leading up to the game. Halsey is one of the most respected referees in the premiership and last season officiated in 21 premiership games showing 37 yellow cards and 5 red cards.

He is a regular at Stainton Park when he has no official games and has
kept up with the 'Boro' results towards the back end of the season. Secretary Dave Murgatroyd said: "Mark has been on a number of occasions to the club when he has not had a game and has kept up with our results in last season's relegation fight, which is brilliant for a top referee not to lose or abandon his links in the lower regions of the game.

"We asked him if he would like to officiate in a couple of the pre-season games and we were delighted when he said he would. "It will help Mark with his fitness and give us the opportunity to see one of the country's top referees live at the Inn2Gether stadium."

Referee Halsey who has been on a number of occasions to the Inn2Gether Stadium, has become one of the most respected referees in the country and his manner and knowledge of the game has made him a favourite with the players and managers of the Premiership clubs in relation to referring their games.

He first began officiating in 1989 and became a premiership referee some 10 years later in 1999, the following year he became a FIFA referee. Halsey has refereed in many high profile games including the 1998 Play Off Final Manchester City v Gillingham - 2002 FA Cup Final 4th Official Arsenal v Chelsea - 2002 FIFA World Disabled Championships - Referee 2000 Toulon Under-21 tournament - 2001 World Student games in Beijing and finally 2004 Belgium v France - His First Full International.


with thanks to Radcliffe Borough for this article