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Salford City-Manchester United: Surely it can’t happen, can it?

Posted on | November 10, 2015 | No Comments

Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – names synonymous with the FA Cup.

With 16 winners medals between them, and arguably the finest goal to have ever graced the competition – here’s looking at you Mr Giggs – the former Manchester United quintet are among the most decorated performers in English football.

In fact, the Red Devils have failed to lift the trophy since all five were involved in a 3-0 victory over Millwall at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium back in 2004 – shortly before Butt departed for Newcastle United and 12 months prior to Phil Neville’s switch to Everton.

Their association with the grandest of knockout tournaments has, however, been rekindled this year, even with their respective playing days having come to an end.

No longer can they directly influence proceedings out on the field, but they are looking to make something of a splash off it.

In 2014, it was announced that United’s famous Class of ’92 – minus one David Beckham – had agreed a deal to purchase Salford City, along with billionaire businessman Peter Lim.

As local lads made good, this could have been considered a fleeting fancy, an idea which made sense at the time, allowing them to get involved with a community close to that which made them superstars, but ultimately one that would fall by the wayside as media and coaching commitments took priority.

Anyone who tuned in to catch the recent BBC documentary featuring the famous five and their efforts with Salford thus far will, however, have realised that this is no gimmick, that Neville and co are fully committed to their duties and as passionate about their football club as they ever were with United, England and Wales.

They want this venture to be a success and will be doing all they can, without meddling in the finer points of coaching and team selection, to ensure that the right tools are offered to those charged with generating results.

It has been a tale of so far, so good on that front – with promotion secured in 2014/15 and welcome publicity generated during a memorable cup run this term.

In front of the television cameras on November 6, the Northern Premier League Premier Division part-timers stunned League Two opponents Notts County 2-0 – a side ranked 59 places above them in the League ladder.

A spot in the second round of the FA Cup was secured on the back of that triumph, meaning they are now 90 minutes away from a potentially money-spinning clash with one of the Premier League elite.


Standing in their way are Hartlepool United – a team currently five points and four places behind Notts County in the fourth tier standings, suggesting that anything is possible when cup competition returns to the humble surrounds of Moor Lane.

It is safe to assume that FA Cup betting markets, experts and followers will be fully behind their cause, with a remarkable footballing fairytale unfolding in Greater Manchester.

Who knows, were they to edge their way past Hartlepool, Giggs, Butt, Scholes and the Nevilles may find themselves paired with familiar faces over at Old Trafford.

Anything, we are often told, is possible in the FA Cup, so who is to say that the fabled magic of the competition cannot deliver a Salford City versus Manchester United clash at the third round stage to capture the imagination and have us all daring to dream?



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