November 16, 2012 by backofthenetjl
When the name Balotelli comes to mind, you immediately thing of the controversial Italian striker currently plying his trade with Manchester City. Mario Balotelli is known for always being in the spotlight and his on and off-field antics have earnt him the reputation of one of the world’s most talked about footballers. Now it would appear that Balotelli and non-league do not go together, however it has been revealed that Mario’s younger brother Enoch has signed for Evo-stik North side Salford City.
Salford City are a very hospitable club and play their home games at Moor Lane; a traditional non-league ground. Balotelli, 20, has had trials with a number of clubs; most notably trials with Premier League side Stoke City and Sunderland, though he failed to impress. In the current climate it can be difficult for players to make the grade at a top level and they turn to the lower leagues in order to get a taste of what regular football is like.
Being a frequent watcher of non-league football, I for one believe that this move will be highly beneficial for both parties. Salford had endured huge changes at the club during the summer; with a brand new team being installed by new boss Darren Sheridan; brother of former Chesterfield manager John Sheridan. But it seems to have payed off as Salford have made a steady start to this year’s campaign, where at the moment they lie 9th in the table.
Well what do we know about Enoch Balotelli? Obviously he is the brother of City star Mario but he is also seen as a very good footballer, who like his sibling is also a striker. He is 20 years old; 2 years younger then the former Inter forward. For a player that has had trials with two premier league sides, even without seeing him play you are led to believe that he must possess some talent and for him to sign for Salford is a real treat.
Not only is the signing great because Balotelli will add something extra to Salford, but in publicity terms, it really is sensational for the club. It is not often that a club like Salford make the headlines, but they have already featured on websites such as Daily Mail, Goal.com and BBC Sport, aswell as also being mentioned on radio station Talksport. Balotelli has signed on a free-transfer, on a non-contract basis and trained last night. The club confirmed the deal on Friday but the deal will be fully tied up when international clearance can be completed.
Salford chairman Darren Quick was clearly excited by the prospect of Balotelli playing in a tangerine shirt.
He told BBC North West Sport “It’s great for Salford. We hope he can play a few games for us and he can use it as a stepping stone to find a level more suited to him.
‘I’ve not met him but I’m told he’s a really nice lad and a really good footballer.
‘We play a decent standard of football but some lads don’t want to drop to that level.
‘These things can work for both parties. We might get a few more through the gate, and maybe his brother might even come and watch us.”
Obviously everyone who is delighted with the arrival of Balotelli; who is in line to make his debut in around December time. Like Darren mentioned, the signing could help the possibility of an increase in attendance; which will lead to more useful funds for the club; especially with the plans for a huge development of Moor Lane in the near future; which include a brand new £250,000 stand and club-house.A bigger attendance would be superb for Salford, but what would be priceless is if a famous face like Mario Balotelli was present at Moor lane for the odd game. You cannot predict what sort of an impact this move will have on and off the pitch but the Ammies landing Balotelli really does seem quite a coup.