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'DRINKIE' IS FIRED UP FOR CITY CHALLENGE; THE CHAMPIONSHIP CARDIFF CITY v SHEFFIELD UNITED: Danny's determined to make his Bluebirds bow in season opener.

Byline: Terry Phillips

DANNY Drinkwater is waiting impatiently to find out whether he will be able to make his Cardiff City debut against Sheffield United on Sunday.

Manchester-born Drinkwater, known as 'Drinkie' in the changing room, has signed a season-long loan from Manchester United, but is not currently eligible to play.

"I'd love to be involved against Sheffield United," said Drinkwater, aged 20. "Hopefully the transfer embargo will be lifted - and, if that happens, I'll have to find out whether I'm selected.

"But, whether I am involved or not, everybody is upbeat and positive about our opening match of the season. There is absolutely no reasonwe shouldn't get off to a winning start."

Drinkwater is in the same situation as goalkeeper Tom Heaton, first-year professional Jon Meades and Cardiff's latest loan signing Jason Koumas.

The players are not yet registered with the league and are waiting for the embargo to be lifted, only then will the Football League allow them to be registered as City players.

Club officials insist the embargo, imposed because of a tax debt to the Inland Revenue and the pounds 500,000 owed to Charlton for Mark Hudson, will be sorted out today, although the club has until midday tomorrow to register the players in time for the Sheffield United match.

"We are working with the Football Leagueto confirm thatweareout of the embargo," Bluebirds' chief executive Gethin Jenkins said."We hope that will be done soon so we can register the three new players we have on our books.

"We are confident we have met the Football League obligations and are working through the paperwork with the league to come out of the embargo."

But Jenkins warned that even after the current embargo is lifted, City cannot rule out facing a similar problem in the future. "We've met the conditions that put us in the embargo in the first place," he said.

"There are more challenges to come butwe'll faceuptothemandtrytokeep the club out of an embargo so we can continue to operate and go forward.

"I can't rule out another embargo, there is certainly a possibilitywe can go back in and out of it.

"But we're working hard to get the club back on a sound financial and business footing, which long-term means we can get out of the embargo and stay out."

Meanwhile, Drinkwater - who was at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd yesterday answering questions fromschoolchildren, alongwithMeades and David Marshall - remains upbeat about the situation.

"The kidswere great and asked questions like what type of car I drive, how much money we earn and what sort of chocolate we like," said Drinkwater.

"It's good for the clubwhenplayers go out into the community and hopefully the youngsters enjoyed themselves.

"It's fantastic to hear thatKoumashas signed for Cardiff.

"He is a player of real quality, an outstanding signing.

"That has given everybody a lift - and I hope the supporters are as pleased as we are."

Drinkwaterwatched goalkeeperMarshall facing penalties and then said he can'twait for the time he is able to play - hopefully this Sunday in a match being shown live on Sky television.

"Pre-season is the worst part for me, but I've enjoyed myself with Cardiff Cityandthat can onlymean it's going to be fantastic when we start playing matches."

Drinkwater, who first joined Manchester United's youth academy at the age of nine, played on loan for Huddersfield Town in League One last season.

"That was a good experience for me, exactly what I was looking for," he said. "Now I have stepped up to the Championship and am looking for something similar playing for Cardiff City.

"My aim is to help Cardiff and go back to Manchester United an improved player. The spirit in the Cardiff camp is spot on and all the lads are looking forward to the first game."

CAPTION(S):

David Marshall and Danny Drinkwater with children at the University of Glamorgan yesterday City loan star Danny Drinkwater makes a challenge on Deportivo''s Ureta. The Manchester United loan player is keen to taste Championship action for Cardiff against Sheffield United on Sunday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 6, 2010
Words:680
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