Liam Grimshaw has had the honour of captaining United in the UEFA Youth League this term, after skippering the Under-18 side last season. The versatile 18-year-old sat down with Inside United for his first magazine interview to outline his ambitions…
How did it feel to captain the Under-18s for most of last term?
It was brilliant. At a club like United, it’s a massive thing to be captain of any side. It was a good season, we were unlucky to miss out on the play-offs. We were just waiting on Everton’s final game against Crystal Palace and they got the point that they needed. We just missed out in a few games where we could have picked up points but it was a competitive league and there were a lot of teams on the same level. Unfortunately, we fell at the first hurdle in the FA Youth Cup after an entertaining game with Burnley… my hometown team, which made it worse. It wasn’t a good night. I admit it was an exciting game for a neutral but we had quite a good side and should not have got knocked out at that stage. Everything went for them, really.
You are skipper again in the UEFA Youth League. How are you finding that new experience?
It’s really good, I’m enjoying it. It’s a different sort of football and culture, and a different way of playing. I started in central midfield [in the first match, against Leverkusen] but then moved to right-back and centre-half when Paddy McNair was sent off.
Paul McGuinness told us you could be like a John O’Shea or Phil Neville - does playing three positions in one game prove that?
Yeah, as long as I’m playing, I will play anywhere. I’m not bothered. When I first broke into the side I tended to play full-back. Last season, I was mainly at centre-back. But I’ll wait and see which of those positions I occupy.
Warren Joyce sometimes operates with a holding player in midfield – Frederic Veseli was an example last year. Do you think that helps to develop