TIMALI STEP 3 & 4 PLAYER OF THE YEAR – TOM GREAVES (FC UNITED)
THE LEAGUE title. The club’s golden boot. A place in the Evo-Stik Team of Year. An historic first goal at FC United’s Broadhurst Park home and now a National Game Award.
Tom Greaves hasn’t had a bad four weeks, all told. But he’s also secured something quite special – forgiveness, finally, from his club’s fans!
They’ve never let the likeable 30-yearold forget two things, even when he has been banging in 20 goals to take them up after a seven-year stay at Step 3.
Firstly, the fact that he supports Leeds United and isn’t shy about letting the Mancunians know it. And secondly, that Greaves is partly responsible for why it’s taken so long for United to get promoted.
The former Garforth striker scored the only goal of the 2012 play-off final against the Red Rebels for Bradford Park Avenue. His extra-time settler ruined their summer, by a player they now adore. If you can’t beat him, sign him.
Manager Karl Marginson did so six months later and only now will the supporters overlook his rather controversial past! They really got behind the striker they love to give stick to and he walked away with the Timali Step 3&4 Player of the Year.
Greaves said: “There were quite a few comments when I arrived here and there still are, but they now know how much of a place in my heart this club has.
“When I signed I was getting a lot of messages, some were saying score 50 goals for us and get the team promoted and then we’ll forgive you! So now I have crossed the 50-goal mark and we’ve gone up, so they can forget about all that. I love the club now and they know it – they’re even overlooking the whole Leeds thing!”
Like all good frontmen worth their salt, Greaves can be greedy. Greaves opened the scoring against an All Stars team of the club’s heroes as FC United hosted a ramp-up event last weekend. Three thousand turned up to help secure a safety certificate – but Greaves now has his eyes on Benfica and more!
He said: “They’re coming to open the stadium next week. That’s the first official game at the ground and I want to be the player who scores the first official goal.
“Then I want to get the first league goal there, the first cup goal and of course the first hat-trick, I like all that stuff!
“We’re so excited about moving into the new ground properly. Last Saturday was brilliant, but you get the feeling it’s just a tiny taster of what’s to come.”