Messi's mate at Macclesfield & travel turmoil for Brighton

From the Hartlepool Mail to the Exeter Express & Echo, Up the Football League we go scribe Mike Holden rounds up the big stories being reported in the local newspapers of lower league clubs...

The big story coming out of the basement this week is the news that Macclesfield have signed Lionel Messi.

Oh no, hang on a minute, they haven’t. They’ve actually signed Lionel Messi’s mate, a defender who goes by the name of Joaquin Medinilla-Cabotti.The Macclesfield Express reports that Medinilla-Cabotti (remember the name) is expected to get his first run-out in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Crewe, although they can’t actually supply us with any information about his age or pedigree at this moment.

"You've got yourselves one hell of a player there Macclesfield..." 

In fact, we don’t actually know much about him other than the fact he’s top muckers with both Messi and Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta, which at least goes to show us his versatility in appreciating both sides of Argentinean football.Meanwhile, on the pitch, he has previously played alongside Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito, although we’re not quite sure how long ago.A quick look at their profiles on Wikipedia (for some reason, Medinilla-Cabotti isn’t listed yet) tells us he’s probably 28 or 29 years old and hails from Buenos Aires but it’s unlikely that he’s appeared with either player in the last decade. All of which begs the question: how on earth do we know all of this personal information before he’s even kicked a ball?Either the Macclesfield Express boasts one very intrepid reporter and a massive budget for expenses or some random South American has been name-dropping a little too readily.By the way, if Keith Alexander happens to be reading this, he might also be interested to know that there’s a midfield dynamo currently blogging on FourFourTwo.com who once played with Jonathan Macken and is quite good friends with Matty McNeil, the former casino croupier (now at Stockport) who helped keep the Silkmen out of the Conference a few years back and provided the assist for John Murphy’s equaliser at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.Oh yeah, and he went to school with Darren Campbell, so he’s not short of pace either.Elsewhere, The Argus is bleating on behalf of Micky Adams about a punishing pre-Christmas fixture schedule facing Brighton.The Seagulls will clock up at least 3,000 miles in the next five weeks starting with Saturday’s trek to Carlisle, which will then be followed by an FA Cup replay at Hartlepool three days later and further trips to Oldham, Stockport and Tranmere.And if that isn’t enough, success at Victoria Park next week will mean a second round clash at Leiston or Fleetwood, while their reward for progress in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (should they beat Swindon on Wednesday night) is another away game at Shrewsbury.

Adams: "Sh%t... I've forgotten my flippin' toothbrush" 

Unfortunately for Adams, it also sounds like he blew a decent-sized hole in the travel budget by booking flights to this weekend’s game, even though he probably now realises the squad could walk to Cumbria and still take three points given the state Carlisle are in at the moment.So that leaves the possibility of approximately 60 hours spent travelling by coach in the space of a month.Now let’s see how quick the players squeal about turning out at the Withdean when they’ve completed that!

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