Manchester United’s Under-19s side travelled to Singapore last week to take part in the NEXLionsCup and also found time to help disadvantaged local children.
The Reds, under the tutelage of coaches Paul McGuinness and Brian McClair, finished third in the tournament following matches against Sporting Lisbon (who went on to lift the cup) and Singapore Youth Selection.
While in the country, the United party also attended the Epson United Spirit Soccer Clinic II, where 20 young Singaporeans from Beyond Social Services (a charity providing disadvantaged youths access to social, educational and community support programmes) enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There, the local youths undertook a skills session led by the coaches, watched the team train and then took part in a mini tournament against the United players.
The club’s youth development and education officer, Dave Bushell, also delivered a talk that offered advice on pursuing a career in football and balancing sport with academic studies.
"United’s first-team and youth teams inspire young people around the world to achieve what our successful players have done," Bushell said.
"We feel a strong obligation to the young people that we meet to tell them how seriously we treat the holistic development of our own youth team.
"We have a strong insistence on them being good not just in soccer, but academically and in character too.
"We want the youth in our squad to not only be great sportsmen who demonstrate the respect, teamwork and discipline that soccer teaches, but also become well-rounded, responsible individuals.
"We want them to be great ambassadors for our club, people who will be able to find meaningful growth paths later in their careers and lives – even if outside of the world of soccer."