Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reds blow as Patterson explores new Avenue

Source: The Bolton News

FC United have suffered a major blow ahead of the new season after star striker Rory Patterson joined UniBond Premier League rivals Bradford Park Avenue.

The breakaway club's longest-serving player has signed a more lucrative contract with the big-spending Yorkshire outfit who, along with FC, were promoted from the Division One North last season.

Patterson, the league's top scorer last term with 41 goals, will team up with strike partner Stuart Rudd, who has also moved to Bradford after being released by the Rebels. But manager Karl Marginson has moved quickly to find replacements - signing former England Under-19s hitman Kyle Wilson and ex-Altrincham forward Carlos Roca.

"I tried to sign Kyle at the back end of last season but it didn't work out," he said of 22-year-old Wilson, who has played for Altrincham and Droylsden. "I am delighted he's on board for the new campaign.

"Kyle's already had some great footballing experiences including playing in the Football League for Crewe as well as international experience.

"Kyle and Carlos Roca will be great additions to the squad and will undoubtedly entertain supporters when they pull on the shirt.

"They are both quick, young, exciting footballers and fit into the type of team we are building and how FC United should play football. And there will be more to come."

But the Reds boss admits losing Patterson was a blow. He added: "Rory knows how much he is valued by me and the club but we cannot come anywhere close to the kind of money being offered by Bradford. Everyone is grateful to Rory for his efforts over the last three seasons; the goals he has scored and his all-round contribution have been a large part of the club's success."

Last season's player of the season Jerome Wright, Chris Baguley, Bradley Howard and Sam Ashton have all signed new deals with the club.

But, in a further blow, midfielder Josh Howard, who spent most of last season on the sidelines with injury, is rumoured to be joining NWCL Division One side New Mills after deciding his future lies away from Gigg Lane.