In an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com Ryan Tunnicliffe reflects on his first week on the Reds' DHL tour with the senior side and discusses the influence of ‘role model’ Paul Scholes and his hopes for the future…
“The tour has been really good from a personal point of view. Just being able to train with the first team is a great experience, but to have been able to get some game-time in as well has been even better for me.
I was pleased to play a part in the opening win over AmaZulu FC and get my first United appearance under my belt and it was good to get another half hour in against Ajax Cape Town. The way we came back in that second game to snatch a draw was typical United. We played okay but they started to dominate as the game went on and got the goal. But I think that fired us up for the final few minutes and we pushed hard to try and get the equaliser which we did thankfully.
I've already learnt so much from the first week on tour. The stand-out thing is the professionalism and the preparation in the first team. If you don't prepare properly for games you're not going to play well. You also need to make sure you eat well and get your rest when you need it. The likes of Scholesy, Carras [Michael Carrick] and Rio [Ferdinand] have all been here for so long and achieved so much because they do the right things to prepare for games. It's important to look at them and try and emulate what they do.
The senior lads in the first team are great - they talk to us a lot and always there to offer us advice, but for me being able to train alongside Paul Scholes has been fantastic. He’s one of the best midfielders ever to learn from. The only disappointing thing for me so far on thi tour is the fact I haven't been able to play with him yet - he'd already come off when I came on in the last two games which I was pretty gutted about as I'm desperate to play next to him! In my eyes, there is no other better role model for me to learn from.
It's been nice to have some of the other young lads on tour - I've grown up with quite a few of them so it’s good for us all to share the experience. It’s definitely been an eye-opener for all of us, not just from a training and playing perspective, but off the field as well. Obviously we all know how big United are in England and around the world but to see it with your own eyes really shows you that. We've all