FOOTBALL NEWS

26/07/2008 16:31, Report by Gemma Thompson

Dream debut for Tom

A beaming Tom Cleverley couldn't contain his delight after scoring on his senior debut during United's 4-0 victory over the Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge final.

The 18-year-old was a late inclusion in the Reds' South Africa squad after flying out with fellow youngsters Rodrigo Possebon and Craig Cathcart on Thursday.

Cleverley entered the fray at the start of the second period and wasted little time in making an impression, expertly converting Wayne Rooney's knock-down just after the hour for United's third goal.

"It's been an unbelievable day and I'm pretty speechless," he told MUTV.

"I got the call on Tuesday to say I'd be coming out to South Africa so it's all happened very quickly.

"I came on and did quite well and got a goal - I feel very proud."

Having experienced a successful taste of first team action, the midfielder is determined to build on his bright start.

"I've done well in my first match, but I want to stay there and carry it on into the season," he insisted.

"I'm just a down to earth lad from Bradford and to see Scholesy coming on to play next to me was unbelievable; you have to pinch yourself.

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A day to remember for Tom

"It's been an unbelievable day and I'm pretty speechless. I got the call on Tuesday to say I'd be coming out to South Africa so it's all happened very quickly. I came on and did quite well and got a goal - I feel very proud."

- Tom Cleverley

Factfile
Born: 12 August 1989, Basingstoke
Position: Midfield
Joined United: 1 July 2005

Did You Know?
The Reserve team regular was one of three players nominated for the prestigious 2007/08 Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award, alongside Sam Hewson and, eventual winner, Richard Eckersley.

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