Thursday, July 24, 2008

Neville set to join FC

Stuart Brennan
24/ 7/2008

THEY have had Ryan Giggs’s brother, Charlie Mitten’s great-nephew and have already signed the son of Remi Moses for the new season - and now FC United have snapped up a Neville!

Unlike the other three, midfielder Dave Neville has no family connections to famous Manchester United players, but turned out for the Rebels in Tuesday’s friendly at Altrincham, and is set to feature again in Saturday’s pre-season game at Tamworth.

And coach Darren Lyons reckons 22-year-old Middleton lad Neville could be the “steal of the season” if FC can improve his fitness.

“There are players out there who are talented enough but can be a bit lazy, and Dave falls into that bracket,” says Lyons, who used to play alongside Neville for top Sunday league outfit Langley Celtic.

“He was on Oldham’s books as a kid, but had a few problems when his mum fell ill, and ended up falling out with football. he drifted to Oldham Town and had a brief spell at Bangor City in the League of Wales, but ended up just turning out on a Sunday.

“We were after him last season but he broke his arm – but this season we signed Tunji Moses who is a mate of his, and the two of them travel to training together.

“He showed his potential against Altrincham, but needs to get fit. He is a big, strong lad, six ft one and 13 stone, but he is mobile and has two great feet.”

The Rebels will also give another run out to triallists Dave Roberts and Michael Burns.

Two FC defeats

24/ 7/2008

FC UNITED were beaten by a Football Conference side for the second time in a week as they went down 3-0 at Altrincham on Tuesday night.

Fielding several new signings, the reds acquitted themselves well but ran out of steam in the second half, leaving them with two losses from their two pre-season games to date following a 2-0 defeat at Kettering Town on Saturday.

Carlos Roca showed glimpses of his potential with regular forages on the Robins’ back line but clear-cut chances were few and far between for FC, who used a total of 17 players at Moss Lane. Danny Allen went close from the edge of the box and Nick Robinson missed a gilt-edged chance when Alty keeper Andy Ralph spilled the ball to him on the edge of the box.

But the home side scored with their first attack through Chris Senior before second half goals from Senior again and Gerg Young left United floundering.

It was a similar story at Kettering with plenty of possession for FC but no real cutting edge. But manager Karl Marginson will not be concerned by the defeats to two higher league teams as there is still more than three weeks to go to the start of the season with several players still bedding in.

Next up for FC is a trip to Tamworth on Saturday, July 26, kick-off 3pm.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The quality of Mersey

Edited from original article in The Times titled "Life gets hard for Arsene Wenger, also known as Mr Perfect"
Last week another “breakaway” club, AFC Liverpool, were born and they will start the new season in the Vodkat League first division, only nine promotions off the Barclays Premier League and three divisions below FC United of Manchester, who, having won promotion in each of their first three seasons, are, in theory, three years away from the Football League.

The contrast is that, whereas FC United have met with hostility from Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, and just about everyone else at Old Trafford, with United falling out with the Manchester Evening News over the space devoted to the “rebel club”, AFC Liverpool, run along similar lines by disenfranchised supporters, have been welcomed into existence by Liverpool, who are even running features on their “little brother” on their website.

To paraphrase, Lyndon Johnson, the former US President, it is surely far better to have them inside the tent, p***ing out, than outside the tent, p***ing in.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Poppies ease to home win

Published Date: 19 July 2008

By Mark Lea

Kettering Town recorded a 2-0 win over FC United of Manchester in their opening pre-season friendly at the A-Line Arena.

Guy Branston headed home his first goal for the Poppies from David Galbraith's sixth-minute cross.

But it took until two minutes from full-time for Mark Cooper's side to double their advantage through substitute Chris Hanna.

Kettering wasted a series of clear-cut chances - particularly through Chris Beardsley and new signing Gareth Seddon.

Beardsley's header rebounded off the bar while FC United striker Nick Robinson saw an effort disallowed for a foul at the start of the second half.

The Poppies finally got a second goal as Brett Solkhon released Jean-Paul Marna who unselfishly squared for Hanna, on trial after being released by Walsall, to tap into an empty net.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Coach and team sign on for United

18/ 7/2008

FA COACH Pete Freakes has been headhunted to front the FC United of Manchester Youth Academy.

He will start out with the lads of last season’s highly successful Manchester Youth under 17s team.

The players have one more year left at youth level and will then go into open age football.

FC United have said they will give all the youth players a chance to break into the first team and earn a contract.

Freakes said: "Some of these lads have been with me for seven years, and I feel I have a duty to try and ensure they have a future in football."

The team will play in the North West Alliance League.

Freakes is pictured with some of the silverware won by his Manchester Youth squad last season.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Parting City for the Reds

Tony Howard
17/ 7/2008

FC UNITED have signed the son of former Old Trafford star Remi Moses.

Tunji Moses is an all-action midfielder in the same mould as his famous father and FC boss Karl Marginson is expecting big things from him next season.

Moses joins FC from Salford City, but reds fans may have to wait until December to see their new man in action after he serves a suspension and recovers from an ankle injury.

Moses’ signing is a boost for United as they prepare for their first preseason friendly on Saturday, July 19.

Margy said: "I first came across Tunji when I was still playing for Radcliffe and he was at Oldham Town.

"I was impressed with his obvious tackling strength, which he gets from his dad, but also by his ability on the ball.

"He will add that bit of muscle to our midfield, which I felt we lacked on occasions last season.

"We’ve got some good ball players, but we sometimes lost the ball too much in midfield and struggled to get it back. Tunji will help with that.

"He got a knock in training and has to serve a ban, but it will give him time to settle in here."

Marginson used to watch Moses senior from the Stretford End at Manchester United in the 1980s.

He added: "Remi was a great player and I loved watching him. I went to the same primary school in Ancoats and he was a local hero. I knew his cousins when we were growing up so I’ve known the family a long time.

"I really hope Remi comes along to a game because it’s great to keep the links with United’s past alive at FC."

New additions Carlos Rocca and Kyle Wilson have settled in well and Marginson is looking forward to a few selection headaches next term.

"We’ve retained all the players from last season that we wanted to," he said. "And the new players are settling in well. There’s a couple of more midfielders who have agreed to come down to training, so we could be bringing in a few new names ahead of our friendly on Saturday."

FC travel to face the Conference North champions Kettering Town on Saturday, kick off is 3pm. Admission: £7/£5 adults, £3 concessions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wilson warns Rebels’ rivals

Wednesday 16th July 2008

By Liam Chronnell

NEW signing Kyle Wilson has sent out a warning to FC United’s title rivals.

The Rebels are chasing a fourth successive promotion ahead of the new UniBond Premier League season.

And 22-year-old ex-Skelmersdale hitman has revealed the Gigg Lane outfit mean business.

“We’re not here to make the numbers,” said Wilson, who was capped 15 times during his time as a Crewe Alexanadra trainee, playing in the same side as Stoke’s Scott Carson and West Ham’s Anton Ferdinand.

“We’re aiming for the play-offs if not even higher.”

FC start their pre-season campaign at Conference side Kettering Town on Saturday, followed by a trip to Altrincham three days later.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One in, one out at FC

10/ 7/2008

FC UNITED have lost key midfielder Nicky Platt but gained the services of former Manchester City youngster James Brackenridge.

Platt has signed for Conference North football club Stalybridge Celtic and is the fourth high-profile player to have left the reds in the close season with the others being Rory Patterson, Stuart Rudd and Josh Howard.

But manager Karl Marginson has reinforced his squad by snapping up teenager Brackenridge – an attacking midfielder who played for Sheffield Wednesday’s youth team and Mossley after leaving City as a 16-year-old.

Marginson said: "I’m very sorry to see Nicky go but he wants to try his luck at a higher level and we couldn’t stand in his way."

Brackenridge has been tempted back into football after missing most of last season following an abortive six-match stay at Seel Park and Marginson said: "James is a very talented player and I’m delighted he’s decided to play again. I’m looking forward to working with him."

FC will begin life in the UniBond League’s Premier Division with a home clash against Matlock Town on Saturday, August 16. United, who are tipped as outsiders to make it four successive promotions since their inception, then travel to Cammell Laird for their first away game on Tuesday, August 19, and will wrap up the season with a home match against last season’s title rivals and championship favourites Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, April 25.

Meanwhile, the club will stage an open training day at Burnage Rugby Club in Heaton Mersey between 1pm and 3pm this Saturday, July 12.

Marginson said: "As a kid I’d get two buses to the Cliff to watch Manchester United train and get autographs but these days you can’t get near the big clubs. We feel it’s important that supporters have access to the players. They can go along on Saturday, watch us train and have a chat and a photo afterwards."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

FC's cup draws

3/ 7/2008

FC UNITED have been handed one of the toughest possible draws in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Most clubs at FC’s level will go up against lower league sides but the Gigg Lane lodgers have been paired with UniBond League Premier Division rivals Nantwich Town with the away game set to take place on Saturday, August 16.

FC lost 5-1 when the two sides last met in a President’s Cup quarter-final in February, though Nantwich were later eliminated from the competition for fielding an illegible player in that match and FC went on to lift the trophy after being reinstated.

Meanwhile, FC will host local rivals Radcliffe Borough in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, October 18.

And they will play away at Salford City in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday, July 30, kick-off 7.45pm.

On the gate admission for the Moor Lane friendly will cost £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rebels stick to their principles

Stuart Brennan

1/ 7/2008

FC UNITED chief Andy Walsh says the club will not jeopardise its future by trying to compete with the big- spenders in the UniBond League.

The club has already seen star players Rory Patterson, Stuart Rudd and Josh Howard leave after helping to secure a third successive promotion for the Rebels.

But the club's general manager Walsh says that, although the playing budget has been increased for next season to reflect the move up to a higher level, there will be no crazy money paid out.

Patterson, who topped the UniBond First Division scoring charts last season, has reluctantly left after his £150-a-week deal at FC was trebled by big-spending rivals Bradford Park Avenue, who also play at Premier Division level next season after pipping the Rebels to the title.

Park Avenue have been backed by wealthy property developer Bob Blackburn, who has ambitions to guide the club back into the Football League and also snapped up Rudd after he was released.

FC have bounced back by signing pacy forwards Carlos Roca and Kyle Wilson, and also securing key midfielders Chris Baguley and Jerome Wright, and left back Bradley Howard.


Walsh says they will stick to their founding principles and not get involved in auctions for players.

"It's difficult to get across to people who look at our crowd figures of 2,000-2,500 and think we must be rolling in it," he said. "But the overheads that come with ground-sharing a stadium the size of Gigg Lane mean that every year is a struggle.

"It is a credit to our manager Karl Marginson and his players that we have achieved three successive promotions - we have definitely been punching above our weight.

"The playing budget has increased, but we will still be paying less than most clubs in our division."

Club members will vote next month on ticket prices for next season, but Walsh says that whatever the decision, the club will continue to cut its cloth accordingly.

He said: "It is a struggle, but that probably applies to every football club in the country apart from the top two or three. We believe that if something is worth fighting for, people will make the commitment, and the commitment of our supporters has been brilliant."

The key to the club moving forward is to build their own £5m community stadium, and eight sites have been identified in Manchester and Salford. Supporters raised £100,000 last season towards a stadium development fund, and have pledged another £40,000-a-year through standing orders.

But the club is also seeking funding from government and community bodies, and plans to build a stadium which will be of benefit to the entire community in which it is based.

It is hoped that it the stadium will incorporate all-weather pitches for use by local players, and a community room which will host events such as music gigs, comedy nights and bingo.