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Player Movements & Backroom Update

Quite a lot has been going on behind the scenes at the club and we would like to update supporters on player comings and goings and changes to the backroom staff.

Squad update:

We have quite a lot of players registered, because we know we’ll need a large squad as the winter wears on. That means some players aren’t featuring regularly in the first team. Occasionally a few of the missing players might be carrying injuries, which we try to update on, but this has to be done carefully.

A one off injury, with a known recovery time can be reported, but some squad members might be carrying long term niggling injuries, that restrict their time on the pitch. It wouldn’t be sensible to report on these as it would alert opposition teams to potential weaknesses in our players and we don’t want them to be unfairly targeted when they are fit to play.

Since our decision not to run a reserve side we have had a programme of loaning players out to get match fitness, safe in the knowledge that they are getting valuable experience and we can recall them if needed. Most of these deals are not strictly loans, because players can be registered for more than one club, if they are in separate leagues. Therefore, we usually try to find a place for our players in North West Counties Football League teams.

Occasionally it’s more appropriate for players to move to another UniBond team, such as Trafford or Clitheroe. This can’t be done as a loan and it means they can no longer be registered for us. However, we have a good camaraderie with many teams at this level, where we all try to help each other out and help players progress.

It is a two way process and such arrangements mean that we know our previously registered players will be encouraged to play in a similar style to FC United’s. Margy and his backroom staff keep an eye on every player’s development and carefully monitor their progress.

The following players are currently playing elsewhere:

John Buckley and Nick Swirad - are both at Daisy Hill. Daisy Hill’s manager is former Manchester College coach Craig Thomas and both John and Nick know Craig from their time at the college. John has been at Daisy Hill for a while and recently scored a hat trick from midfield. Nick is making a return to the club where he played a number of games at the end of last season.

Shaun Williams and Raducio King are at Trafford, but unfortunately haven’t been featuring much.

Carl Lomax re-signed for his former club, Ramsbottom, to regain match fitness after suffering a nasty bout of flu and has now moved on to Bamber Bridge. When a player has such a debilitating illness they can be more susceptible to injury, which is what happened to Carl who suffered from a number of niggling injuries. We wish Carl well and hope he rediscovers his fitness and form.

A few squad players aren’t featuring regularly, but are still at the club. That can be unsettling, because players hate not getting a game. Sometimes they might lose heart and start drifting away, but if they don’t move to another club we will hold their registration in case they return. One player who has become frustrated at waiting for a chance is Danny Williams.

We do try to encourage players to stick around and work hard to fight for a place in the team. If they’re good enough, they know they’ll get their chance. Danny is a very good player and an important member of the squad but we reluctantly let him go as we understand his desire for regular football. Karl Marginson spoke with Clitheroe and Danny made his debut for them on Saturday.

The following players are still hovering on the edge of the team:

Grant Shenton, last season’s youth team goalkeeper, is benefitting enormously from working with Sam Ashton and our goalkeeping coach, Karl Lineghan in the first team squad. This has helped Grant to get a trial at League Two club, Accrington Stanley, where it’s hoped he might be joining their reserve side.

Jamie Mack, another former youth team player, is very much on the fringes of the first team and is often on the bench. He proved his worth recently against Nantwich and when not playing he is gaining valuable experience from watching and being involved regularly with the first team, which can be a good grounding for a young player.

Abdi Ibrahim has taken some time to settle in and also made a welcome return against Nantwich and will spend the next few weeks concentrating on regaining his match fitness.

New players:

The search for new players never stops. Through the wide ranging network of contacts that our management team have built up, trialists come and go with much regularity, but we can’t update on these unless they sign for us, because if they’re any good we might alert other clubs and if they’re not right for us, then we’ve raised everyone’s hopes, including the player’s.

Sometimes new players are not so new - our latest ’new signing’ is Dave Neville, who is happy to be back with us after leaving in the summer. We’re often prepared to give ex-players another chance, but unfortunately, it’s never easy for returning players to get straight back in the team, which we always tell them before they wander off.

Backroom staff:

New Assistant Manager, Roy Soule has been settling in well following his return from the USA this summer. Initially he brought with him some poor American baseball cap wearing habits, but a Mancunian winter should put pay to that.

Roy’s appointment has freed up Darren Lyons to take on his new role as Head of Player Development. Daz is responsible for all aspects of developing our players, which includes having a link role between the youth teams and the first team. He’ll also help to manage the players on loan and will monitor any development work needed by regular first teamers. Daz is also continuing to have a role with training of the first team, especially since Dave Brown has given up coaching with FC United. It’s nice to welcome back old boys like Dave who want to volunteer to help us in order for them to gain a bit of experience as a coach, but unfortunately Dave wasn’t able to continue that role for as long as we’d hoped.

The backroom changes include a sad farewell to kitman, George Hayden, who has taken up the offer of a lifetime to work in Dubai. Andy Griffiths, who has taken on first team kitman duties, will be well known to many as the winner of our 12th man competition in season 2007-08. During his stint as 12th man, Andy became a talisman for the team after an unbeaten run, which eventually helped us to promotion via the play offs. Since then, Andy has remained a vital part of the backroom team and acted as George’s right hand man for all of last season. Dean Osborne has taken on kitman duties for the Youth team and will support Andy Griffiths with the first team kits, especially with some of the logistics, because Andy is based in Yorkshire.

Many thanks should go to Debbie Hayden, who has gallantly volunteered to continue her kit cleaning role until she leaves to join George in Saudi Arabia.

Our former Youth Team physio, Sam Rhodes, is now working with the first team and deputising when our regular physio, Mark Cooney, can’t make a game. Meanwhile Debbie Wilson has taken over Sam’s duties as physio for the youth team.

Women’s Team:

Our plans for an open age Women’s team have been postponed as insufficient players came through our Manchester College team. The existing women’s team at the College plays at Under 18s and we had made arrangements to support a team of College leavers as they move into adult football. However, a significant proportion of the team moved en masse to another established women’s team, which left us very short of players

Our purpose in establishing an open age women’s team was to encourage greater participation, which we continue to do by supporting the Manchester College women’s team who already play as FC United. We will now work with the college coaching staff to develop a wider base of players within the College and if enough players show an interest then we will support them in establishing an open age team in 2010-2011.

Youth teams:

After a summer of management changes Andy Whiteman and Chuks Akuneto have taken charge of the North West Youth Alliance team. The team have had a mixed start to the season, a couple of very good wins and a couple of heavy defeats, but this is a very young team and it’s early days yet. The team will have to manage without striker Roshgar Mousa for up to three months after he suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first of those defeats. The Manchester College team that Margy manages play on Wednesdays in the Football Conference Youth League and after three games they’ve had one of each, a loss, win and draw and currently sit 3rd in the table.


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First Posted ~ 15:22 Mon 12 Oct 2009
News ID ~ 2467
Last Updated ~ 12:36 Mon 21 May 2018