Daniel's Footballing Story

NEW Argyle signing Daniel Nardiello has an interesting football tale to tell.

He comes from a family as embedded in football as you are likely to find. His father Donato played for Coventry, West Bromwich and Wales in the late 1970s; uncle Gerry turned out for Shrewsbury and Torquay in the 1980s; brother Michael, once of Liverpool and West Brom as a youngster, and played for Tiverton Town; and cousin Reis Ashraf has played internationally for Pakistan. 

Daniel's long and successful career began at Wolverhampton, but soon gravitated to Old Trafford, home of the mighty Manchester United, who paid an initial £200,000 for him as a 16-year-old. 

Daniel will remember, remember the fifth of November, 2001, as the day he made his United debut, although it was not a happy result. He came on a substitute - for future Pilgrim Bojan Djordic - in the 71st minute of a 4-0 defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup. 

Nardiello's second substitute appearance was for Kieran Richardson - who was himself making his first start - in a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Maccabi Haifa. United, though, had already qualified for the next stage. 

A week later - again, curiously, on November 5 - Daniel was given his first start for the Red Devils. He lined up in a League Cup game against Leicester City alongside David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and other luminaries, before Richardson came on in his stead on 74 minutes. 

The following season Daniel got some league minutes under his belt in a five-game loan spell at Swansea, before making his final United appearance, again as a substitute for Manchester United. 

If you are curious as to who he replaced on that occasion, we will just say that he now plays as the number 7 for Real Madrid. 

Born in England, with Italian grandparents and a Welsh father, Daniel ended up playing one game for the full Wales national side, having played for England as a schoolboy. 

Despite Daniel's exploits for Manchester United and Wales, Argyle fans may know him better for turning out in a shirt worn by another side in red. 

One of his 24 goals, from 77 games, for Exeter City came in the closing stages of a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Home Park. His goal gave the Grecians a 2-1 victory in the first game between the two sides in over eight years. 

In his Bury years, Nardiello grabbed another three goals against us - two in a 4-0 win at Gigg Lane as our 2013-14 season petered out, and another at Home Park the following season as the Shakers won 2-0. 

The four against Argyle are just part of a career in which Daniel has scored 114 times. The Green Army will obviously hope that goals are to flow during his spell in an Argyle jersey - and there is one other promising omen to follow. 

Daniel has been part of four promotion squads - at Barnsley, Blackpool, Rotherham and Bury - so he knows a thing or two helping sides to get out of a division. 

Should he make that total rise to five, we think he can even be excused a winner for City in a Devon Expressway Derby...