TOM Greaves’ unforgettable start to his FC United of Manchester player-manager role continued after he received the December Player of the Month award.
The forward, 33, was appointed just two months ago, his first managerial role, but has presided over FC United’s revival from the bottom three to within six points of the National League North play-offs.
The semi-professional outfit are also currently unbeaten in seven matches and, during that time, Greaves has scored winning goals against the league leaders, Salford City, and second-placed Harrogate Town.
He said of receiving the award: “It’s something that I’ve never won before, (it was) very unexpected.
“To be fair, any of our lads could have won it this month but… I’ll take it, I’m very pleased and very proud.”
Leading the line: Greaves on becoming FC United’s record goalscorer
Without doubt on a playing, personal level, it was the best feeling I’ve ever had in football
Greaves’ three strikes in four matches during December also made him FC United’s record marksman and first player to reach a century of goals.
The forward joined the club in January 2013 and admitted he was relieved to finally write his name into FC United folklore.
He said: “I seemed to be stuck in the 90s for a very long time… I can go on now and set a record for somebody else to beat in years to come.
“Without doubt on a playing, personal level, it was the best feeling I’ve ever had in football.”
Increasing demands and future ambitions
We’re not getting above ourselves, we know we’re in a relegation battle still
The extra managerial responsibilities have made Greaves noticeably busier, especially given that he also works for a children’s sports coaching company based in Yorkshire during the week.
“I get in from work and if I’m not coming down the M62 to get here (FC United) then I’m sat at home answering emails, phone calls and answerphone messages,” the player-manager explained.
“I’m getting to know a lot more people and I’m building a link with a lot more clubs… but my phone never stops.”
The forward also remains realistic about FC United’s long-term ambitions: “(We need) to stabilise ourselves as contenders in this level to maybe push for the play offs in a couple of seasons time.
“Obviously, we’re not getting above ourselves, we know we’re in a relegation battle still… but, then again, you win a couple and you’re looking up instead of down.
“For me, it’s the best place that I could ever finish my career playing wise and I absolutely thrive on every moment… for as long I’m playing and managing.”