sport news Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs in dreamland as Salford City host

Wednesday night marks a monumental day in Salford City's history when they face for the first time in a competitive environment - in what will be a moment that Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville could never have imagined when they took part-ownership of the former.

Salford host the Red Devils at the Peninsula Stadium in the EFL Trophy in a match that will see the two teams linked together by Giggs, Neville and fellow Class of 92 alumni Phil Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. All six United greats have a 10 per cent share in the club with Peter Lim holding the other 40 per cent.

Although the match won't see the visitors' first-team in action, they'll be fielding an Under-21 side due to the competition's rules, it's still an enormous game for League Two Salford and their owners.

Salford City will be playing Manchester United in a competitive match for the first time ever

Salford City will be playing in a competitive match for the first time ever

Ryan Giggs (right) and Gary Neville were on hand to talk about the match and the club's future

Ryan Giggs (right) and Gary Neville were on hand to talk about the match and the club's future

The Neville brothers, Giggs, Scholes and Butt all bought into the club in 2014 - Beckham invested in 2019 - when they were in the Northern Premier League. Six years on they're now a League Two side preparing for the visit of the Red Devils.

'We certainly couldn't envisage that when we took over six years ago,' Giggs told Sportsmail.

'It's exciting and great for the club. It's a really good competition as it'll be a test for United's young players and of course for us, coming up against such talented young players. Everyone at the club is excited about it.'

'There is a buzz around the game and, even though it's their Under 21s, just the idea of us playing is something you'd never imagine - especially when I watched our first game six years ago,' Gary Neville added during a TalkTalk media opportunity.

'It's a big moment but one that we'll enjoy and one from our point of view we'll enjoy to see how we compete against them.'

Salford will be facing off against United's Under-21s rather than the first team squad

Salford will be facing off against United's Under-21s rather than the first team squad

Giggs is keen to see Salford's players in action against Manchester United's youngsters

 Giggs is keen to see Salford's players in action against 's youngsters

A week later Salford have the tantalising prospect of facing Premier League opposition once again when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Carabao Cup second round - a reward for beating Championship outfit Rotherham 4-2 on penalties at the weekend (it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes).

That result demonstrated the potential of the Ammies moving forward but Neville is under no illusions that the league is their priority this season. Their rise up the football pyramid has been impressive with the club having enjoyed four promotions in the last six years. However, they finished 10th last season - a position that Neville describes as a reality check in their quest one day to rub shoulders with as a fellow Premier League side.

'That would be very nice and that's our ultimate ambition with Salford, to get as a high as we can, but we're aware that last season we got a reality check in League Two,' he said.

'It gave us a sort of wake-up call that you have to make sure you're at the highest level all the time and we weren't last season so we're a long way from that yet, but it would certainly be very nice.'

While the Premier League may seem a bit far away for now, the Championship has been a stated aim of Salford's - with the Class of 92 targeting the second tier within 15 years of their ownership back in 2014. That dream could become a reality within eight years if Graham Alexander's side secure successive promotions starting this season. Once again though, Neville knows that is going to be tough.

Six members of United's legendary Class of 92 are part-owners of the League Two club

Six members of United's legendary Class of 92 are part-owners of the League Two club

Neville says it's a match he didn't imagine happening when he invested back in 2014

Neville says it's a match he didn't imagine happening when he invested back in 2014

'Our timeframe is very different from reality. We say promotion every year so we'd take two seasons but we know that's not realistic.

'We've got to try and get promotion every year but so has every other team. We want to get there as quickly as possible. We've always said to be aggressive in the leagues and make sure we prioritise getting promotion as our biggest focal points for us.

'The cup competitions are nice but we know, from [our playing days at] United, that the league is always going to be your bread and butter. That's where you're going to be measured and that applies to these Salford players - they won't be measured by beating or Everton.

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