24/05/2013 15:04, Report by Adam Marshall
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Ex-Red encourages youngsters

Norman Whiteside believes opportunities still exist for teenagers to make their mark at the highest level as they are being given the best grounding at the top clubs.

The former United hero, who made his debut as a 16-year-old and played in the 1982 World Cup finals for Northern Ireland after his following birthday, does appreciate that an influx of foreign signings has affected the number of youth products being blooded in the Barclays Premier League in recent years.

However, speaking to promote the Charity Challenge at Carrington on 22 June, he believes those with the highest ability levels will still rise to the top.

When asked by if it's harder for Academy prospects to graduate at a young age because of the physical demands of the Premier League, Whiteside replied: "No, actually I don't. It's better in today's game because of the training and the facilities.

"Every team, and certainly the top teams, have got Academies with unbelievable facilities. I'm a podiatrist, so people like that, dietitians and the top physios. All the big clubs have got the best environment where you can manage youngsters coming

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Charity Challenge

"Either you're good enough to get in the team or you're not. It's as simple as that."

- Norman Whiteside

For more details of the Charity Challenge email, ring 0161 868 8722/8208 or visit here. The last few places for teams are still up for grabs but please be quick!


Premier League