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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Rio raring to go
Rio Ferdinand chats to Mel Machin
Ferdinand told Machin he would play
Rio Ferdinand cannot wait for the start of the Premiership season after getting his first taste of life as a Manchester United player.

The England defender made his debut for the Old Trafford club at Bournemouth following his British record 29.3m transfer from Leeds.

He came on as a late substitute to play his part in Bournemouth director of football Mel Machin's testimonial, which United won 3-2.


It was great to get on the pitch at last and I really enjoyed it, even if I did only get 17 minutes
Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand spent a loan period with the Cherries as a 17-year-old when Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign the defender only to be told his registration was held by West Ham.

"I told Mel I was going to play in this game and I was determined to honour that," said Ferdinand.

"He did a lot for me when I was at Bournemouth all those years ago, and I really wanted to come out and join everyone in paying tribute to him.

"It was great to get on the pitch at last and I really enjoyed it, even if I did only get 17 minutes.

"I am really looking forward to getting the league season started now and getting United back where they belong.

"I don't think the gaffer wanted me to play at first but I didn't want to disappoint him (Machin).

"There has been so much talk but I would rather go out there and let the football do the talking.

"That's what I'm paid to do and I'll be doing it in the coming months.

Manchester United team-mates Juan Sebastian Veron and Rio Ferdinand
Veron (left) aims to make amends for last season

"The new coach is putting us through our paces and it will put us in good stead for the new season."

Meanwhile, midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has vowed to put the misery of last season behind him and help United to win trophies.

Veron was heavily criticised by some sections of the press for a series of disappointing displays in his first Premiership campaign, but the Argentine is ready to make amends.

"The good thing about football is you always have second chance to put things right and gain some revenge for the season just gone," Veron told the Manchester Evening News.

"I would like a bit more consistency than I had last season.

"I want to start the way I played in the first 10 games of last season, but then keep it going for the whole of the season."


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