Friday, June 22, 2007

'We'll win again'

Source: The Prestwich Advertiser

FC UNITED of Manchester manager Karl Marginson is predicting another championship trophy for his club as they prepare to embark on their latest chapter.

Margy believes his North West Counties division one champions are good enough to make it three titles in a row and he isn’t planning any major additions as they take on the new challenge of the Northern Premier League first division.

And who would bet against the Manchester United fans’ club fulfiling their manager’s prophecy - he’s been spot on with his previous predictions.

Mystic Margy, who was last week named North West Counties manager of the year, said: “All the lads from last season that I have spoken to want to stay and I’m very happy with the squad we’ve got, so I can’t see there being many changes, if any at all.

“Last year we kept a lot of the same faces throughout and they gelled as a squad, not just as a team. Our record last year speaks for itself.

“We were playing in a very strong league that contained Nantwich Town, who were the FA Vase holders.

“We beat them twice and got a draw. Then there was Curzon Ashton who got to the semi final of the FA Vase, only to be beaten by the eventual winners.

“Salford City were another very good, competitive side who tested us early on but the players came through.

“To do the double in a league of that quality takes some doing.

“Next season will be tougher but I am confident with the lads we’ve got that we will win the league. I always am. You have to think like that as a manager.

“What we will see in the next league is teams that throw money at players, not literally obviously, but they pay ridiculous wages some of them. I know for a fact that a couple of teams in that league pay the same as clubs in Conference North, if not Conference National.

“Our players are at this club because they want to be and it’s nothing to do with money - if it was, believe me, they wouldn’t be here at all.”

FC will also be hoping to progress in the FA Cup as they enter for the first time.

Margy added: “It will be a great experience for players, fans and everyone connected to the club to take part in the biggest domestic cup competition in the world.

“We could get a big draw, which will give the fans a trip somewhere and we could earn a lot of money to be ploughed back into the club.

“But despite this obvious distraction, I can assure you we will be concentrating on the league.”

The Northern Premier League division one season will see each team play 42 games despite there being just 18 clubs.

To counter this, the teams have been split in to two groups. FC will play the following teams three times: Bamber Bridge, Chorley, Clitheroe, Lancaster City, Radcliffe Borough, Rossendale United and Skelmersdale United.

They will play the rest just twice. They are: Bradford Park Avenue, Bridlington, Curzon Ashton, Garforth Town, Harrogate RA, Mossley, Newcastle Blue Star, Ossett Albion, Wakefield, Woodley Sports.

Tony Howard

First published by the Prestwich Advertiser

Thursday, June 14, 2007

UniBond clubs in line for windfall

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
14/ 6/2007

EIGHT UniBond League are clubs hoping for a cash windfall of two home fixtures against FC United next season.

The expansion of the league, into which the Rebels have just been promoted, has brought a shortfall of clubs, with just 18 in the First Division North.

That would have meant 34 fixtures, so to make up the number to 42, the division will be split into two groups on geographical lines and the nine teams in those two groups will each play an extra match against each other.

The league's management committee meet on Saturday to decide on the final geographical split, but it seems likely that the Pennines will be used as a natural divider.

The problem with that is there are only seven clubs on the Yorkshire side of the hills, so at least two from the north west will be forced to join the "Yorkshire" group, a situation no-one wants as it could involve two long trips to play Newcastle Blue Star.

The complicated structure has already come under fire, with Skelmersdale United chairman Frank Hughes calling it a "Mickey Mouse" set-up.

FC general manager Andy Walsh also felt the split could give some teams an unfair advantage.

He said: "No-one knows yet what the exact split is, but we are told that there will be two conferences of nine clubs each, which means four extra home games and four extra away.

"The conferences will be chosen on the basis of proximity, but no-one is sure yet whether that means as the crow flies, road miles, or travelling time - they could deem Bury to be one of the eight clubs closest to the furthest club, Newcastle Blue Star, rather than putting us in with the likes of Curzon and Woodley.

"There are teams which are emerging as favourites for promotion, and if you end up in the same group as several of them, you are clearly at a disadvantage, as you will end up with three games against some of the better teams rather than just two."

Rebels should be among the favourites, but Curzon, Bradford PA and Newcastle have all seen significant investment.

FC will also enter the Manchester Premier Cup for the first time, as well as the FA Cup.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Brian Viner comment

Source: edited from The Independent

Who I Like This Week...

Paul Lawrie

And Who I Don't

All those Manchester United fans who waged such a frenzied and deplorable campaign of hate when the Glazer family took over their club. Those same Glazers, consistently lauded by Sir Alex Ferguson, have now presided quietly over a triumphant league championship campaign, and since it ended have already stumped up more than £50m in pursuit of further glory, with the signings of Owen Har-greaves, the Portuguese prodigy Nani and the Brazilian midfielder Anderson. And from the "Glazers out!" bile-merchants? A resounding silence, which I suppose is the nearest thing the Americans can expect to an apology.

Silly Vox, you left of the most important bit: