HE might have a Champions League medal to his name but former York City midfielder Jonathan Greening is only expecting to make the bench, ahead of new club Tadcaster Albion’s home match with Maltby Main today.

Greening, who was on the bench when Manchester United conquered Europe with a 2-1 triumph over Bayern Munich in 1999, has signed for the Brewers following the announcement that he was hanging up his pro boots.

The York-based 35-year-old played 502 matches during a distinguished career that saw him appear 27 times for the Red Devils under Alex Ferguson.

He also wore Middlesbrough, West Brom and Fulham colours in the Premier League, commanded more than £4.3 million in transfer fees and won 17 England Under-21 caps.

Following his 1998 transfer from Bootham Crescent to Old Trafford, Greening made his Premier League debut alongside the likes of David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham and Peter Schmeichel as a second-half replacement for Roy Keane.

He now reckons he will be among the substitutes again as the fifth-placed Northern Counties East League hopefuls entertain South Yorkshire outfit Maltby at their 1,500-capacity Ings Lane ground.

“I’ve said to the manager that he can’t just put me straight into the team,” Greening reasoned. “The lads have won five out of five league games and I would expect him to keep the same side.

“I will just slot in whenever I am needed and encourage the lads. I’m here to help and they can all come to me if they want any advice.”

While Greening might have plied his trade in an era of money-spinning moves orchestrated by agents, his latest transfer was, refreshingly, initiated by a couple of teenage school children.

Taking up the story behind his surprise arrival at Albion, the Bridlington-born midfielder revealed: “(Tadcaster manager) Paul Marshall’s son Charlie goes to All Saints School with my 14-year-old daughter Sydney and they were face-timing each other earlier this week.

“He was begging her to ask me to play for Taddy and I was just chilling out at home, so I told Charlie I would do and then met with Marshy and the owners. They were really nice and told me about what the club wanted to do and I am happy to help out how I can.

“My little brotherJosh also plays for them and has been nagging me to come and play and I like the idea of training twice a week and playing on a Saturday with him, because I haven’t seen him play since he was about 11.”

Greening’s shock venture also comes just weeks after he turned down an opportunity to carry on in the full-time game with one of the Minstermen’s League Two rivals.

“I was training with Hartlepool and was going to sign for them until the end of the season,” he explained. “I am good friends with their manager Colin Cooper from our playing days at Middlesbrough, but I told him I was going to retire instead.

“It wasn’t because I couldn’t play the games. It was just that I am 36 in January and didn’t want to do the two-hour journey to the training ground in Durham every day.

“I had no plans to play at all after that but, when this came up, I thought why not while I am still fit enough? I just want to enjoy my football and help Taddy get results.

“It will be great to put on my boots and get a good sweat on again.”

Greening has qualified for his UEFA ‘A’ licence and plans to assist with coaching at Tadcaster while harbouring aspirations to break back into the professional ranks.

“I will be trying to get my Pro Licence next year,” he said. “That allows you to manage in the Premier League and who knows one day?

“I want to get into coaching and I will be doing a bit at Taddy during the week because, if you come out of the game completely, it can be hard to get back in. I’ve had a few offers, but they weren’t in the right location.

“Ideally, I would like to stay local but, if an offer came along that was impossible to refuse, then you have to take it. I did a bit of coaching with Forest’s U21s last season and I’ve played under some great managers and coaches, as well as a few bad ones, so I’ve got a lot in my head that I feel I can pass on.”

Greening’s other brother and ex-Pickering Town striker Ricky, meanwhile, has passed on his thoughts about the reception his famous sibling can expect from the players representing former mining town Maltby.

“I don’t know much about Maltby Main other than Ricky sending me a text that just said ‘Maltby Main Ha, Ha - You’re going to get kicked all over the place’, so I take it from that they might get a bit rough,” Greening grimaced.

Having played his last game in front of more than 20,000 fans at Forest’s City Ground four months ago, Greening is unfazed, meanwhile, by the more modest numbers expected to turn up at Taddy this afternoon.

“I spoke to the owner Matt (Gore) and he told me there might be about 600 or 700 fans there today,” he added. “I laughed and then he laughed, but I am here to keep fit and enjoy my football.”

McCombe amasses plunder

THE Press Player of the Year leader John McCombe has also leapt to the top of the Player of the Month contest for September.

Centre-back McCombe picked up two points towards both competitions as The Press' second-highest rated player during last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Burton.

He also received the two bonus points on offer for the monthly prize after polling the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website and the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

The other points at the Pirelli Stadium were awarded to our star man Keith Lowe (three) and Russell Penn (one) as The Press' third-highest rated performer.

During Tuesday's 0-0 home draw with Luton, The Press points went to man-of-the-match Michael Ingham (three), Femi Ilesanmi (two) and Lowe (one).

Ingham also collected the two Player of the Month bonus points.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month for September with a framed photograph at Bootham Crescent, vote for your man of the match from today’s home game with Southend by voting on our website or by tweeting @daveflettpress

The Press Player of the Year standings: McCombe 10, Coulson 7, Lowe 7, Straker 7, Penn 6, Summerfield 6, Ingham 5, McCoy 5, Ilesanmi 4, Fletcher 3.

The Press Player of the Month for September standings: McCombe 7, Fletcher 5, Lowe 4, Ilesanmi 3, Ingham 3, Coulson 2, McCoy 2, Penn 2, Summerfield 2.

Goals: Fletcher 3, Hyde 2, Lowe 2, Coulson 1.

Assists: Coulson 2, McCoy 2, Meikle 2, Straker 1, Summerfield 1.

Bad boys: Penn two yellow; Hyde, McCoy, Platt, Straker all one yellow.