NCEL: Tadcaster Albion sign ex-Manchester United man Jonathan Greening
Greening, 35, is expected to go straight into the Albion squad for tomorrow’s NCEL Premier game against Maltby Main where he will link up with his younger brother Josh for the first time.
Greening, who was born in Scarborough, began his career at York City before signing for United and going on to play for England Under 21s.
Just last season Greening was playing for Nottingham Forest in the Championship, and earlier this month he was offered a contract with League Two side Hartlepool United.
But instead Greening has opted to sign for Albion where he is relishing the chance to play regular football without the pressures of training every day.
Jonathan said: “I decided to retire about 10 days ago. I was training with Colin Cooper at Hartlepool and I was going to sign on there, but I couldn’t do the training everyday and play three games a week. My body’s feeling a bit older now, so I decided to call it a day professionally.
“But then the opportunity came up to go and play for a little club like Tadcaster Albion.
“I really respect the owners. They’re really nice guys and obviously to play with my little brother who I don’t think I’ve seen play since he was about 11. It makes it quite nice.”
Josh Greening has been in tremendous form for the Brewers so far this season – scoring 11 league goals – seven of which came in the last two games against Handsworth Parramore and Retford United.
Jonathan said: “Josh is absolutely on fire at the moment – scoring seven goals in two games. But he’s a striker and I’m a midfielder so it’s a bit different. I don’t think I’d be able to score seven goals!
“There’s a bit of rivalry there. I’ve not seen him play for a long time but I know he’s a good little player. It will be nice to go on the same pitch and all the family will come and watch, and have a bit of banter.
“It will be good just to play a game without the pressure of 50 or 40 thousand people on your back.”
TAFC’s Manager Paul Marshall said: “It’s amazing really. There are a couple of strange stories to it. One is that he was talking to my son on Facetime because his daughter goes to school with my son.
“He sort of mentioned it to me and we thought he was having a bit of fun, but then on Wednesday i2i Sports decided to speak to Jonathan. They’ve spoken to him before, and obviously we had a meeting with him and he’s delighted to sign. It’s unbelievable for the club.
“When we went to meet him at the Marriot he was brilliant. Absolutely top drawer. It’s just an unbelievable signing for the club. Loads of other clubs have been trying to sign him but he’s decided to come to Tadcaster.”
Jonathan added: “It’s a really good little club and the owners have got really good ambitions for it.
“As I said before, a big factor is playing with my little brother, and at the end of the day I know I can’t train everyday and play three games a week, but I can easily play one game a week – maybe two at the most, so a big factor was obviously not training every day of the week.
“I’m looking forward to it. I still love putting my boots on and getting on the pitch and getting a bit of a sweat on.”