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Talented youth given a chance as Margy makes changes

Manager Karl Marginson is to give youth a chance as he looks to reshape his side and turn around a season characterised by inconsistent form.

Last season’s youth graduates Grant Shenton and Jamie Mack were joined on the bench at Matlock by Cedric Krou and Stephanos Ioannou with former youth team player of the season, Nick Swirad, who was re-signed from Rossendale in time to start the match.

"After Saturday I decided that the squad needed a shake up and the game at Matlock presented an early opportunity to blood some promising talent that we have coming through our youth structure," said Margy.

"Nick has been receiving rave reviews at Rossendale but was getting homesick and asked to be released. Jamie is an exciting talent but has been hit with a niggling injury this season. He is back in full training now. Grant is another great prospect champing at the bit for a chance between the posts."

The management team have made a number of signings this season as they have looked to improve the squad and sign cover for injuries and absences but not every signing has worked out as hoped and Adriano ’Celi’ Riggoglioso has been released.

Margy explained: "Celi has been really unlucky, he is undoubtedly a quality player but his FC debut included a harsh sending off and the resulting suspension coincided with the worst winter in living memory and Celi had no real time on the pitch to show us what he could do.

"As he acknowledged himself in the programme recently, these things happen in football and after a long chat we reluctantly decided to release him; the squad needs to develop in a different direction and he understands the situation, he is a great lad, very honest and I am genuinely sorry things turned out as they did."

’We are still looking to improve our squad and there are specific areas that we know we need to strengthen but you cannot always sign the players you need when you need them. Sometimes you have to be patient and that is not always easy for coaches or supporters."

Swirad has featured in a number of FC United first team games already this season so fans were no doubt pleased to see him back at the club on Tuesday against Matlock. Swirad came through the FC United youth team and played in the Manchester College side coached by Margy.

With Cedric Krou and Stephanos Ioannou making their FC debuts against Matlock it is clear that the talent runs deeper. Margy has great hopes for a number of other players in the current youth squad with striker Gage Eme signing UniBond forms this week.

"I think Cedric and Steph showed real promise on Tuesday night and they could be pressing some of the established lads for places in the team quite soon but there will be more to come yet."

Cedric Krou is just 18-years-old and came to Manchester to study English. Born and raised in Paris, the strapping centre-half learnt his footballing trade at Paris St Germain and impressed at Matlock with his willingness to play the ball and he showed a good turn of pace.

Stephanos Ioannou is a 17-year-old Greek Cypriot midfielder, since coming to England two or three years ago Steph has been on trial at a variety of clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers. He is currently lodging with the father of FC United player Angelos Tsikalis.

"There are a number of our young players that I would have no hesitation pitching in to a first team game and I might blood a few more before the end of the season," said Margy.

Another person leaving the club is goalkeeper coach Joe Paladino who is taking up the post of assistant to John Hughes at Rossendale. Paladino said: "I really want to thank everyone at FC United for the way that I was made to feel welcome and I will certainly be back cheering on as a fan. FC is a great club and I have a tremendous respect for Margy and what the staff and board are trying to do."

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First Posted ~ 01:06 Thu 18 Mar 2010
News ID ~ 2775
Last Updated ~ 12:36 Mon 21 May 2018