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Cliftonville versus FC United - Supporters Cup preview

FC United is proud to be playing fellow supporter-owned football club Cliftonville this Saturday in Belfast and manager Karl Marginson has announced a strong squad for the inaugural Supporters Cup match.

Club captain David Chadwick will make the trip to Northern Ireland as will player-of-the season Jake Cottrell, winger Jerome Wright, goalkeeper Sam Ashton and new striker Michael Norton.

Midfielder Nicky Platt will also travel after returning from a year spent playing in Australia and a number of new faces will represent the Reds following the appearance of no fewer than five debutants last Saturday at Sutton Town.

Cliftonville, which is the oldest football club in Ireland with a history dating back to 1879, are expected to field a strong side for Saturday’s occasion.

Manager Eddie Patterson may feel the need to rest some players due to the Reds taking on Croatia’s HNK Cibalia in the Europa League second qualifying round first and second legs the Thursdays before and after FC United’s visit.

However, with Cliftonville finishing second in the Irish Premier League last season, the Reds’ highest finish since winning the title in for the third time in 1998, whoever the personnel they should provide strong opposition for FC United.

The Solitude side have picked up where they left off last season, winning their opening three pre-season friendlies and they were then unlucky not to scrape a draw against visitors Macclesfield Town last weekend.

The club have retained the core of the squad from last season and are particularly pleased at holding on to teenage hotshot Liam Boyce who has been linked with a host of big name clubs including Glasgow Celtic who he had a trial with just last week.

Club legend Chris Scannell is expected to start up front with Boyce and new striker Stephen Garrett will be hoping to get in on the action at some stage in the tie after signing recently from Newry City.

Behind the backline will be the ever present John Connolly who has enjoyed a number of successful seasons with the club. The defence will feature a combination of Ciaran Donaghy (whose father Mal starred for Manchester United in the late 1980s and early 1990s), Barry Holland, Declan O’Hara, Ronan Scannell, Aaron Smyth and Liam Fleming.

The midfield will be selected from Ryan Catney, Ciaran Caldwell, Kieran O’Connor, George McMullan and Mark Burns.

Cliftonville FC would also like to reassure travelling FC United fans that the last few days of trouble in Belfast will not impact on their safety ahead of this weekend’s game.

A club spokesperson said: "The unrest that has featured on television in the last few days has occurred in parts of the city that visitors will not be encountering. They are very much isolated incidents, the city centre continues to operate as normal and we are confident that any trouble will have concluded very soon."

The full FC United squad for this Saturday’s match is:

Sam Ashton
Zach Hibbert
Mark Ayres
David Chadwick
Nick Swirad
Kyle Jacobs
Lee Neville
Scott McManus
Daniel Browne
James Holden
Jake Cottrell
Nicky Platt
Martin Parker
Christopher Ovington
Jerome Wright
Michael Norton
Ben Deegan

With thanks to Nathan Hanna for the Cliftonville team news.

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First Posted ~ 21:16 Wed 14 Jul 2010
News ID ~ 2966
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013