THE ACADEMY

27/07/2010 10:54, Report by Ben Hibbs

Reds start Milk Cup with win

United's youngsters made a blistering start to the Reds' Milk Cup title defence in Northern Ireland on Monday.

Paul McGuinness’s charges notched an emphatic 4-0 victory against County Tyrone at Ballymena Showgrounds, with striker John Cofie scoring a hat-trick. Reds defender Michael Keane, twin brother of Academy striker Will, got the other goal as the Premier Section (U17s) got underway.

The prestigious tournament has been running for 27 years, with past winners including United (holders for the past two years), Barcelona, Liverpool and Fluminense. It's a competition United use as a testing ground for the club's promising Academy players. Scholes, Beckham, Giggs and Neville have all played there, as well as younger players in the current squad like Jonny Evans, John O'Shea and Wayne Rooney (then with Everton).

United are in action again tonight (Tuesday) at 19:00 BST against Aspire at Coleraine Showgrounds. Aspire, the Academy of excellence based in Doha, Dubai, opened their Milk Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Queen of the South.

United's Milk Cup squad: Liam Jacob, Bradley Anderson, Luke Giverin, Michele Fornasier, Sean McGinty, Thomas Thorpe, Thomas Lawrence, Larnell Cole, John Cofie, William Keane, Etzaz Hussain, Michael Keane, Joseph Coll, Jack Barmby, Donald Love, Charni Ekangamene, Tyler Blackett, Luke Hendrie.

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