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Squad for the pre-season curtain raiser against Sutton Town

FC United has announced a squad of 18 players for Saturday’s opening pre-season friendly against Sutton Town in Nottinghamshire.

Long serving United stalwarts such as captain David Chadwick, Sam Ashton and Simon Carden have joined Carlos Roca and Jerome Wright by signing up to play another season for the Reds. Jake Cottrell, who made a clean sweep of all three player of the season awards in his first campaign for the club, has also committed his future to FC United.

There are some new faces too. Former Curzon Ashton striker Michael Norton will be looking to keep up his goal-a-game ratio after scoring on his debut for the Reds against St Pauli in Hamburg.

20-year-old central-midfielder Daniel Browne joins centre-back Martin Parker in making the switch from Glossop North End whilst former Manchester United trainee and Crewe Alexandra left-sided defender and midfielder Scott McManus has joined the club after being released by Stranraer FC.

Lee Neville, 21-year-old younger brother of ex-FC United player Dave, has re-joined the club after having a brief spell training with the squad in February 2009 and 20-year-old goalkeeper Zach Hibbert has joined from Chorley.

Assistant manager Roy Soule is confident FC United have got a squad with the right talent and temperament going into the new season. He said: "I’m definitely expecting us to be in the top positions come the end of the season.

"Whether we’ll win the league remains to be seen but I expect nothing less than being in the top play-off places. With the quality of players we have got, their fitness, ability and, importantly, their good attitudes, we have got what it takes."

Soule believes all of the new players bring something to the squad. He said: "Browne is good on the ball and sharp with his passing. He’s come through the youth ranks at Altrincham so he’s been schooled well. McManus is good, quick and strong. He was snapped up by Crewe a couple of years ago but Nottingham Forest were keen on him too after he played a friendly against them for Curzon (Ashton).

"I know Lee Neville from when he was at Oldham Athletic. He plays as a left sided midfielder now but back then he played upfront and he used to bang the goals in for fun, so we’ll see what he can do for us. Zach is a very good ’keeper. He was in the professional game for a while but most recently he’s been at Colwyn Bay and Chorley."

Both Roy and Karl expect the new players to fit in with ease and they say the post-season trip to Germany helped to boost morale in the squad. Margy said: "I think the trip was a great experience for everyone, players and supporters. We did ourselves proud both on and off the pitch and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves."

Soule added: "We managed to turn the problems with the volcanic ash cloud into a good team bonding experience."

Margy agrees: "None of the lads moaned at all, everyone got on with it and had a good laugh. It was like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, although we went one better than Steve Martin and John Candy because we had to get a boat too! We’d all like to thank everyone who worked hard to get us home, particularly Robin Pye (FC United’s community and education manager)."

Looking forward to the pre-season games and the start of FC United’s third campaign in the newly rebranded Evo-Stik Premier Division, Soule is expecting the players to be fit and sharp from the off.

He said: "We’ve not stopped training, we’ve been having a kick about right the way through the summer and proper training started last week. The lads are looking sharp, there are no problems with anyone looking unfit and hopefully we’ll hit the ground running."

The full squad list is below.

Sam Ashton
Mark Ayres
Daniel Browne
Simon Carden
David Chadwick
Jake Cottrell
Ben Deegan
Zachary Hibbert
James Holden
Kyle Jacobs
Scott McManus
Lee Neville
Michael Norton
Martin Parker
Carlos Roca
Grant Shenton
Nick Swirad
Jerome Wright

There may be other players joining the squad over the next few weeks and updates will be provided. However, supporters may want to note that Joe Yoffe and Phil Marsh have left the club. Everyone at FC United would like to wish them well for the future and thank them for their contributions.

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First Posted ~ 18:53 Fri 9 Jul 2010
News ID ~ 2956
Last Updated ~ 12:56 Mon 21 May 2018