WHILE Blackpool head to Manchester United with only one player who has graced the Old Trafford turf before – and it’s five years since DJ Campbell did so – Fleetwood Town’s latest signing played there this season.
Striker Richard Brodie came on as a substitute for Crawley Town, who gallantly restricted United to a 1-0 win in February’s FA Cup fifth-round tie before going on to become Conference champions.
Now the 23-year-old from Gateshead is bidding for more title-winning glory with Town, who he has joined on loan for the coming season.
Brodie said: “Consistency proved to be the key for us last season. Having won the league I am determined to come to Fleetwood and try to help the lads do the same next season.
“Play-offs can be a bit of a lottery and it’s a great feeling to win the title outright – something I want to experience again.
“I’m pleased to be playing in the north again and to have the chance to meet the club officials who have been brilliant so far.”
“I feel that I’ve got a lot to offer. I know that a lot of fans love to hate me and I’ve come in for my fair share of stick but I take that as a compliment.
“I’m not the most technically gifted player but I’ll run all day. A goalscorer is worth his weight in gold and my record proves itself.”
That record of 69 goals in 127 Conference games is certainly impressive and Brodie was unlucky not to add to his scoring tally at Old Trafford, where his injury-time header struck the bar.
“Old Trafford was a different experience completely. It was a fantastic day and I thought we were unlucky to lose,” adds the striker, who also played at Wembley in a play-off final with previous club York.
He knows Highbury well, too, having played there twice last season with different clubs.
“I played my last game for York on August Bank holiday and the following Saturday I was running on to the Crawley pitch to make my debut against Fleetwood! I thought I had my best game in a Crawley shirt at Fleetwood in March (Brodie scored in their 2-1 win).”
He’s looking forward to renewing acquaintainces with the Town players, two of whom spring to mind.
“I can’t wait to meet the lads and put the shirt on. I played with Steve McNulty at Barrow and have had the odd tussle with Jamie McGuire! He’s a competitor who always shakes hands at the end and I’m looking forward to working with people like him.”
While Brodie looks forward to next season, this one isn’t over yet for two Town players.
Sean Clancy and George Donnelly hope to play for England C in the International Challenge Trophy final against Portugal at Northampton tonight.
The third Town player named in the final 16, keeper Scott Davies, has been forced to pull out duo to illness.
Manager Micky Mellon is delighted with the recognition. He said; “It’s a great accolade for the club and we are all very proud of the lads, who deserve their call-up. It’s an honour for any player to represent his country and they will be delighted with the whole experience.”
Clancy said: “The FA are really looking after us and making us feel part of the England set-up.
“The preparation is very professional and everything is available that we could possibly need. I know a lot of the lads by playing against them but it’s a great opportunity to mix.
“Putting my training gear on for the first time with the three lions emblem was amazing. I’m really privileged to be here.
It’s a huge disappointment for Scott but I’m sure his chance will come again.”