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."