THE Greening brothers are on the go for Tadcaster Albion and Paul Marshall is banking on sibling rivalry having major spin-offs for the Brewers in their quest for NCEL Premier Division glory.
Tadcaster announced the marquee signing of former Manchester United, Middlesbrough and York City midfielder Jonathan Greening, amid a fair bit of fanfare, on Friday, with the 35-year-old making his debut alongside sharp-shooting younger brother Josh in Saturday’s 6-0 destruction of Maltby Main.
The pair are again set to be in harness in tonight’s derby at Thackley, where victory for Tadcaster could see them rise to the summit, if Shaw Lane Aquaforce lose against Athersley Rec.
Greening, released by Nottingham Forest in May, had been on trial at Rotherham United and Hartlepool United in the summer before linking up with Blackpool, whom he was expected to sign for, only for a deal to fall through.
Now he has found his way to Ings Lane, with an above average crowd of almost 300 people watching his bow against Maltby at the weekend.
While the midfielder proved the star attraction on the teamsheet, it was his kid brother Josh who saw his name in lights for the third successive game, scoring a hat-trick to take his remarkable haul to ten goals in three matches – to steal his sibling’s thunder.
Marshall said: “I think Jonathan was about 11 years old when he played with Josh the last time. With Josh scoring all the goals, there will be a bit of sibling competition there.
“Playing with Josh is probably the biggest thing and we signed him from Pickering and he has really hit some form this year, all of a sudden.
He has obviously been talking to his brother and I think his brother has convinced him to play.”
Marshall admits that Tadcaster has previously tried, without success, to get Greening to don his boots for the Brewers.
With Greening courted by several league clubs in the close season, the Albion boss was not hopeful of the club’s chances of renewed joy either.
But several factors fell into place to help facilitate a deal and for Tadcaster, it is a case of perseverance paying off.
Marshall, whose side have won eight of their past nine matches in all competitions, plundering 33 goals, said: “It is a massive coup.
“My son actually goes to school with his daughter and she mentioned to him about her dad wanting to play somewhere. Then on Tuesday night, one of the lads said they had been speaking to him.
“The owners then got in touch with him on Wednesday and the rest is history, really.
“He met the lads and trained on Thursday and signed on.
“Richard Cresswell is best mates with Jonathan and he did some work with club owners i2i Sports a while back, so there’s a link there and obviously, his younger brother plays for us too.
“We had actually tried ‘tapping’ him up before, but didn’t think he was going to play.
“Now we have got him, I can’t believe it.
“He is going to play all season as well and it is not a one-off.
“He’s only 35 years old and he was playing in the Championship last year and it’s massive for us.
“Jonathan is a really nice lad. We met him on Thursday afternoon and he wanted to train with us on the night.
“In training, everybody took to him straightaway. He’s just a normal lad; probably just a little bit more gifted than most of us.”