SHEFFIELD UNITED: Mum’s the word for rival brothers

The McFadzeans: Young Callum, left, powers down the wing for United and older brother Kyle in action for Crawley Town
The McFadzeans: Young Callum, left, powers down the wing for United and older brother Kyle in action for Crawley Town

IT might not be a dynasty to rival the Allens or Ferdinands.

But the name McFadzean is indelibly scrawled across South Yorkshire’s footballing map. And tomorrow, at Broadfield Stadium, its two most recognisable owners will find themselves on opposing sides of a battle for League One points.

Nevertheless Kyle, who progressed through the ranks with Sheffield United before carving a career at Crawley Town, told The Star last night that the game against Danny Wilson’s side was the first he looked for when the fixtures were released. And not only because his younger brother, Callum, is now ensconced in the visitors’ camp.

“This is the game I’m most looking forward too,” Kyle said. “Well, this and the one at Bramall Lane.

“I’m still a massive Blade, they’re my home-town club, the club I support and of course with Callum playing there now it just makes it even more special.

“The only people we know who aren’t looking forward to it are family and friends because their loyalties will be split.

“We’ll both be hoping to win the match but our mum would probably prefer us both to do well and the result to be a draw.”

Callum, aged 18, has made two senior appearances since scoring against Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup final 19 months ago. Kyle, seven years his senior, departed after chalking up one but has developed into one of the competition’s most respected defenders having arrived in Sussex following a pivotal spell with Alfreton.

“Going there really was the making of me,” he said. “Looking back I didn’t apply myself properly towards the end of my time with United.

“I was going out with my mates too much and concentrating more than I should on just having a good time.

“I think Callum hates it when I come home now because I’m always on at him not to do the same things I did then. I’m always badgering him to go to bed early, make sure he gets plenty of rest and stuff like that but I only do it because I care.

“To be honest, I fell out of love with the game when I was younger and pretty much stopped going in to training.

“United asked me to come back a while later but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Then the chance to go to Alfreton came up and I thought ‘why not?’

“Everyone makes mistakes in life. Whether you learn from them is what really counts.”

Kyle, who joined Town for an undisclosed fee in 2010, did exactly that. Nevertheless, conversations with the former England C international are peppered with references to the debts of gratitude he owes to mother Tracey and manager at the Impact Arena, Nicky Law.

“None of this would have been possible without Mum,” Kyle said. “She was always ferrying Callum and me around and making sure we didn’t want for anything.

“Basically, she put her own life on hold to build ones for us. I can never thank her enough or tell her how much I appreciate it.

“Because of that, I just want to do her proud now and I know Callum feels the same.”

“Nicky has been a massive influence on my career too,” he continued. “He gave me a chance and believed in me when I needed that helping hand.

“I’m not saying he should have done but the fact is he did. Going to Alfreton put me back on track and helped me get here.”

Callum heads to West Sussex hoping to be named in United’s first-team squad for the eight successive match.

Kyle, who has helped Town achieve back-to-back promotions, admitted a virus threatens his involvement in this contest between the division’s third and tenth placed teams.

“I’ll be gutted if I miss out,” he said. “United are right up there towards the top of the table and we’re looking to start pressing the play-off positions again now ourselves.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to try and take part.”