THE ACADEMY

22/10/2013 10:24, Report by Gemma Thompson

Tom hails Youth League

Tom Cleverley says the introduction of the UEFA Youth League will help United's Under-19s gain invaluable European experience.

Nicky Butt's side take on Real Sociedad at the AJ Bell Stadium at 14:00 BST on Wednesday afternoon with fans urged to go along and support the club's up and coming stars. Cleverley insists he would love to have been involved in these types of games when he was younger and believes the players will learn a lot from them.

"The young lads have got a set-up now that's exactly like the first team - they're playing in the league, the UEFA Youth League and the Youth Cup which is like our FA Cup," explained Tom in an interview with MUTV. "It's almost an exact copy of what we do in the first team and it's great for them to get experience against different nationalities and travel like we do. I wish I'd had this experience when I was younger.

"Sociedad will be a good, technical side and will pass the ball well like all Spanish teams do. It's good for our lads to be presented with different challenges against Shakhtar [Donetsk], [Bayer] Leverkusen and Sociedad in this group."

Cleverley hopes supporters will get behind the Reds at the game, before heading to Old Trafford to see the first team in action: "It's an ideal opportunity [for fans] to see the future," added the midfielder. "It's a good standard of football and hopefully the lads can do well."

Watch the Under-19s in action
Executive Club members, season ticket holders and official members can gain free entry by texting UNDER19 + your membership number to 60777. Production of membership card is required at the gate. Entry is free for Under 16s, all other supporters can purchase a ticket for £3 from the AJ Bell Stadium ticket office. MUDSA members can purchase tickets by calling 0161 868 8009.

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