We caught up with Phil Marsh, the former United youth striker, who played for Salford City against the ‘Class of 92’ this past week.
Hi Phil, hope you have been well and it’s great to talk to you again. We’ve been lucky enough to talk to you a few times in the past for TalkOfTheDevils.com and of course I was privileged that you shared your story with me for ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’. I said at the time that I felt there was a story left in you and you’ve proven that just a few months after the book’s out! Tell me about your last few months and how you’ve ended up at Salford City?
Yeah it’s been a mad few months for me, I’ve been really busy with trying to get my football sorted as I have been doing my Uefa B coaching badge as well at the same time, I had been in at several clubs through pre season and through one thing or another nothing seem to work out for me. I had spoke to Salford while I was training at nuneaton and said I’d keep them posted on my situation, so I ended up going down last week and playing a game for them. I knew a few of the lads who play down there so it was something I wanted to do… with everything that is going at the club I think it would be a great club to be at.
Salford City have, of course, been hitting the headlines after the takeover and they obviously have very big plans. What has been your initial impression of the set up there compared to other clubs of the same standard?
For the level they’re at, in the short space of time I have been there I can tell the plans for Salford are massive and the way things are being done will be unlike any other team at this level.
You spent a little time at Blackpool, ever tempted to go back up and join the long list of trialists up there?
I did have a year at Blackpool after I left United but things didn’t really work out for me there… lack of opportunities and false promises from people at the club and then another bad injury where I broke my metatarsal ended my season there. I know they’re struggling at the moment for players but I don’t think I’d be ready to step up to that level at this current time.
You must have been buzzing to find out you’d be playing against some of your old pals at United when the Class of 92 fixture was announced?
When I heard we were playing the class of 92 I was obviously really excited and was really looking forward to seeing some of the legends who I have played with before and been good friends with at my time at United. When I saw the lineup and seen the big names and some of the players I played with on the night I made my debut was a really great feeling!
Tell me how the game went for you and what the experience was like playing against all these names years after you left?
The game went really well and obviously we ran out 5-1 winners in the end but to play on the same pitch as Giggs, Scholes, Butt, Neville, etc was a great experience in front of a huge crowd and on a quality surface to play football, was great to see how those players still have great quality and ability even though they have all retired now and all the lads loved the experience and will be something we will all remember.
Did any remember you?
Thankfully all the players remembered me and I had a good chat with most of them which was really pleasing for me. All of them are great guys who are interested in what you’re doing and would try and help you in any way they can. It was also nice to see Quinton Fortune again after being on the Uefa B course a few weeks ago with him… He’s a top guy and I get on really well with him.
Did you manage to get anyone’s shirt?
Unfortunately we never got chance to get any of the players shirts as they were all ambushed at the final whistle and were escorted away. I was happy to have seen them and hopefully will see some of them again in the coming weeks as they come and watch the Salford games quite regularly so I’m told.
What’s the target for Salford this year? Promotion from the Northern Premier?
This year with the squad we have got at Salford the goal has got to be promotion as we will be the favourites to win the league and have pressure put on us, teams wanting to beat us due to all the stuff going on with the club at the moment. For me I just want to be playing games and hopefully scoring goals. Also, hopefully I’ll help Salford gain promotion out of this division this season.