Sam Harding and Max Lewens talk all things FC United, as well as how they got to where they are today

by bobbi hadgraft, hels jankovich, matt owen and millie waller

Located in Moston, Manchester, Broadhurst Park is home to FC United. This is no normal semi-professional football club, taking pride in being the largest owned by fans in the UK. The team are currently playing in the seventh tier of English football, but their sights are set much higher than that. We spoke to academy prospects Sam Harding and Max Lewens about their experience coming through United’s academy system.

Both Lewens and Harding recalled what sparked their footballing interest. For Lewens, attending the Manchester derby was enough to get him hooked. He said this encouraged him to want to replicate what the players did on the pitch. This provides him motivation when developing as a player at FC United. Harding told a similar tale. A live game of football between Liverpool and Chelsea had drawn him to the sport, starstruck by Fernando Torres’ brace in the fixture. Harding then noted that prior to this game he’d had no interest in football whatsoever!

FC United’s academy is striving to bring youth prospects into the first team, now being a full-time football club that gives the players the best opportunity to develop. When discussing different clubs Lewins and Harding have been at, it was Harding who had experience outside of FC United and has gained experience in professional men’s football with a loan spell at Glossop.

By being given this opportunity, it has helped him develop the knowledge and experience regarding what it takes to break into the men’s game. With the facilities they have at their disposal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many young FC United prospects flourishing in the not so distant future.

The drive and determination of this club is incredible. When asked about FC United’s aspirations, both reiterated the same, starting with the management team filtering right down to the players. FC United have come a long way since they opened their doors in 2005, becoming a full-time semi-professional football club. Each day the club strives to be the best and biggest it can be; becoming a full-time football club has been integral to that development.

Both Harding and Lewins expressed the importance of training each day. This gives them a chance to develop into one of the next big talents. When asked what the club’s biggest aspiration was, without hesitation both answered promotion! The club want to test themselves in the bigger and better leagues year in, year out.

In regard to the players’ long-term personal goals, both ambitiously set their sights towards professional football contracts. Harding showed real enthusiasm in his ultimate dream to play for his country, proving his motivation has no bounds, and the effect of a club like FC United showing confidence in their prospects.

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