Tales of Academy Life
Tales of Academy Life
Tom Cleverley - "I felt like a failure"podcast
Our latest UTD Podcast guest is an Academy graduate who made 79 senior appearances for the Reds. Tom Cleverley talks us through his route from Carrington to the first team, including how he learned the game during three loan spells. Discover the one player he was jealous of and the one time he felt the full force of the Sir Alex Ferguson ‘hairdryer’ treatment. The legendary manager’s departure coincided with a dip in form and confidence, and he admits to being emotionally scarred by new levels of social media criticism as platforms like Twitter took off, around the time his career should have been flourishing. However, he has performed well since leaving United and discusses representing Watford again, where he had excelled during a loan stint. There is also a desire to represent another club and also to try his hand at management, with taking charge of the Reds an ultimate dream. All in all, this is a fascinating chat with somebody who climbed every rung of the ladder in order to enjoy a successful career, including playing for England and representing Great Britain at the Olympics. Check out another unmissable episode of the UTD Podcast!
- published time Mar 23Podcast
Fraizer Campbell – "Three minutes that changed my life"podcast
In this episode UTD Podcast co-hosts Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and David May catch up with academy graduate Fraizer Campbell at Carrington Training Complex. Fraizer shares his journey through the youth system, talking about the stresses involved when signing his first professional contract, as well as the disappointment at witnessing his close friends failing to make it. Despite being a Yorkshire boy, Fraizer tells us that the dream was always to play for Manchester United. He even managed to convert his dad from a Leeds fan to a red! Fraizer tells us about his loan spells at other clubs and reveals an extraordinary story of how he had three minutes to decide his future and help Manchester United sign Dimitar Berbatov. He’s also very honest about his heart-breaking long-term injury problems, which included two anterior cruciate ligament tears back-to-back. If that’s not enough, Fraizer also talks about his England debut and the birth of his daughter, which amazingly happened at exactly the same time!
- published time Jan 23Podcast
Paul Woolston: “My dreams have been taken away”podcast
We spoke to former Manchester United Under-23s goalkeeper Paul Woolston at Old Trafford this week, as he reflects on his recent premature retirement from the game, due to injuries. Paul was in good spirits as he looks ahead to his future in football, however he revealed his sadness at the time when the doctors told him he would need to retire from playing.
- published time Jun 22Podcast
Nick Cox: “Our Principles are Different”podcast
Manchester United's Head of Academy Nick Cox joined the UTD Podcast from Carrington this week. Nick talked us through a day in the life of his role; with the pressures and responsibilities involved in continuing the club's rich history in youth development.
Marcus Rashford - "I always said I'd help"podcast
Marcus Rashford sits down with UTD Podcast at the end of an incredible year (2020) both on and off the pitch. The Manchester United forward talks about his upbringing and how it shaped the man he is today. He looked back on the times he and his mum saw homelessness in the city and vowed he would help however he could. We also heard how he felt in the few moments of notice he got before his debut at Old Trafford, what was going through his mind before his crucial penalty against Paris Saint-Germain, and how close he feels this United side is to mounting a Premier League title challenge.
Darren Fletcher - My dream job is...podcast
Helen and Sam caught up with former Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher to reflect on his career. Fletch talks about winning over the Old Trafford fans, scoring against Chelsea and Manchester City, plus some career-defining moments in both the Premier League and Champions League. He also speaks about Roy Keane's controversial interview which was never aired on MUTV, working with Sir Alex Ferguson and how he came back from ulcerative colitis.
Wes Brown - "Sir Alex told me to stop getting the bus"podcast
Helen, Sam and Maysie sit down to speak to Wes Brown in Manchester's Lowry Hotel. The Treble winner talks us through what it takes to be a United player, "battering Chelsea" on the Playstation, Christmas Party pranks and much more.
"We were just mates playing football"podcast
This week we bring you Paul Scholes, one of - if not the - best midfielder to play for Manchester United. The club legend talks to the Pod about his heartbreak of missing out on the 1999 Champions League final, his sensational U-turn on his retirement and the secret behind those 'mistimed' tackles.
Danny Simpson - "Ronaldo, Giggs, Evra, Rio - that team made me a winner"podcast
Former Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson is on the UTD Podcast this week, looking back on the years he spent at Old Trafford and beyond. Danny takes us back to his first meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson and laughs at the incredible photo taken on the day. He also talks about training alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand, and says if you couldn't handle Roy Keane's rants on the training ground, then you wouldn't be able to handle the pressure at Old Trafford. Simmo also tells us about his career after United and we hear what it was like in the dressing room during Leicester City's Premier League title win under Claudio Ranieri in 2016.
Phil Neville - "What Giggs and Rio said after I fouled Cristiano Ronaldo"podcast
Phil Neville joins UTD Podcast this week to look back on his eventful career both at Manchester United and Everton. The former United defender told the pod team about how he and his brother Gary used to aspire to be like the Charlton brothers, and draws comparisons with his own experiences coming through the United Academy to that of his son Harvey Neville, who is making a name for himself today. Phil also talked about his time at Everton and how his new team-mates took some time to adjust to his ways. In fact, he says it was a crunching tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo which eventually won over the Goodison Park crowd.
Ryan Giggs - Undisputed Legendpodcast
This week's guest is an undisputed Manchester United Legend - Ryan Giggs. The one-club man won it all at Old Trafford, so there was a lot to get through! We tried to avoid questions that Ryan always gets asked, so we steered clear of that Arsenal goal... Instead Giggsy spoke about that time he and David Beckham struck a free-kick simultaneously, the dressing room's reaction to his tights in the manchester derby, and we got his side of the story from when Bryan Robson tricked him into a Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer. The Wales manager opened up about his transition from flying winger to cultured midfielder, and how he was worried that the club might sell him around that time. He also spoke with great pride about the games where he sat in the hot seat as Man United's caretaker manager.
Kiko Macheda - "Inside my dream debut"podcast
The scorer of one of the most iconic Premier League goals in Manchester United history, Federico Macheda, joined the UTD Podcast from Greece, where he is currently playing for Panathinaikos. Kiko talked us through the doubts he had moving to Old Trafford at such a young age but how the staff and players at United made him feel welcome. He revealed the moment where Sir Alex Ferguson approached him in the Carrington gym to say he had a chance of playing against Aston Villa that weekend. And of course we heard about that goal: the last-minute winner against Aston Villa on his Manchester United debut.
- published time Feb 22Podcast
Fabio and Rafael - "Ronaldo's call clinched our transfer"podcast
Manchester United fan favourites, Fabio and Rafael da Silva join the UTD Podcast this week, in a particularly international episode. Fabio joined from his home in France, while Rafael dialled in from the training pitch in Brazil. The twins looked back on their eventful years together at Old Trafford; Cristiano Ronaldo calling them up before they signed for the club, Rafael scoring a screamer at Anfield, Fabio starting a Champions League Final, and much more. The Brazilians revealed they had different approaches to their start at Manchester United; Rafael felt confident straight away, but Fabio struggled with the nerves and anxiety that playing for such a big club can bring.
- published time Jan 22Podcast
Luke Chadwick: “I didn’t want to be famous”podcast
UTD Podcast series three continues with a powerful episode from former Reds forward Luke Chadwick, who opens up about the disgraceful bullying that he faced during his career and how it impacted upon his mental health. The talented forward and popular personality also looks back on the highlights from his United years, plus a varied career with clubs such as West Ham, Stoke City, Norwich City and more.
- published time Dec 21Podcast
Kieran Richardson - “I couldn’t wait to retire"podcast
The UTD Podcast was on the road again as we joined former Manchester United player Kieran Richardson at his podcast studio in London. Having retired in 2017, Kieran has entered the world of YouTube and podcasting, where he talks about his post-playing career and passion with watches. You can watch his videos on his YouTube channel Broadtalks. He looked back on his playing days with the guys, picking out his highlights, as well as things he may have done differently if he could do it all over again.
- published time Apr 22Podcast
Phil Bardsley: "Growing up in the shadows of Old Trafford"podcast
Former Manchester United full-back and current Burnley man Phil Bardsley joined the UTD Podcast while overlooking the Old Trafford pitch. Phil grew up across the road from United's famous training ground, The Cliff, and dreamed of playing for the club. He talked about how those dreams came true when he finally made his United debut alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo. He also gave his version of events from that infamous kitchen boxing match with Wayne Rooney. We heard how that came about and Phil's reaction to Wazza's incredible goal celebration against Tottenham Hotspur days later.
- published time Nov 21Podcast
Giuseppe Rossi - "Chiellini said England changed me"podcast
We spoke to former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi over the summer. He was in a particularly good mood following Italy's European Championship win! He joined us via Zoom from his home in New Jersey, where his football journey began. He told us about getting scouted by European clubs and eventually arriving at Old Trafford. When he returned to train with his Italian team-mates, legendary defender Giorgio Chiellini told Giuseppe that training in England had changed him, making the striker more aggressive in training.
- published time Nov 21Podcast
John O'Shea - "Why Sir Alex always trusted me"podcast
Due to popular demand, John O'Shea finally joins the UTD Podcast this week and it's an incredible episode, after he sat down with us at Old Trafford and looked back on his 10+ years at the Theatre of Dreams. Sheasy had so many iconic moments; nutmegging Luis Figo, the chipped goal against Arsenal at Highbury and the last-minute winner at Liverpool to name just a few! He told us all about that and more, including the tough lesson he learned at the hands of Roy Keane, and why he thinks Sir Alex trusted him to play in every position at the club.
- published time Oct 21Podcast
Tom Heaton - “When Zlatan almost broke my arm”podcast
The UTD Podcast team spoke to recent signing Tom Heaton shortly after he returned to Old Trafford this summer. The former Manchester United Academy goalkeeper is back at the club and we caught up with him in the days following his re-arrival, where he told us all about his experience coming through the ranks under Sir Alex Ferguson, and why he eventually had to seek first team football elsewhere. The England international recalled playing back at Old Trafford for Burnley where he made a string of great saves, including a Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike that nearly broke his arm!
- published time Sep 21Podcast
Jesse Lingard - "I am a footballer first"podcast
Sam and Maysie chat to Manchester United first-team player Jesse Lingard in this week's episode. Jesse talks about coming through the ranks at United and facing up against Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in training. He also gives an insight into his life outside of football, with his YouTube channel and clothing line - but he tells the guys that he's a footballer before anything else.
Axel Tuanzebe - "I want to be a leader at this club"podcast
Axel tells us about coming through the United youth ranks with Marcus Rashford, taking over dressing room DJ responsibilities from Ashley Young and how he strives to be a leader at Old Trafford.
Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes - "This is the stuff of dreams"podcast
Double the fun this week as Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes joined Sam and Helen in a dressing room at the Aon Training Complex. The Manchester United youngsters give us a view from the very cusp of the first team, being starstruck by Wayne Rooney and practising their autographs.
Marcus Rashford and Paul Scholes - "It would have been a dream to play together"podcast
The pod team dialled up Man Utd's past and present in Marcus Rashford and Paul Scholes for a 'working from home' episode this week. We challenged them to build a draft United five-a-side team each, with some interesting selections (plus a lot of confusion and swearing) along the way. Paul and Marcus also had to build a combined top-five goals list from their own strikes, and Scholesy wasn't giving up any of his without a fight!
Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard - "So it's come down to Beckham or Rashford!"podcast
We challenged the lads to build an ultimate Manchester United Academy XI. Paul Pogba, Sir Bobby Charlton, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, George Best, Marcus Rashford - just some of the names Scott and Jesse had to squeeze into one team sheet. There were some big decisions to be made and probably some awkward phonecalls to follow.
Paul Pogba - "Scholes and Pirlo taught me so much"podcast
Paul Pogba joins the guys for the very first Pogcast. The World Cup-winning midfielder talks about his journey to Old Trafford, leaving for Juventus, and how his mother predicted his return to Manchester United. He reveals how legendary team-mates Paul Scholes and Andrea Pirlo were the best teachers in his career so far and opens up about his ambitions for the future.
Ben Thornley - The horror tackle that ended the dreampodcast
Former Manchester United player and regular MUTV pundit Ben Thornley joins the pod this week. The 'Class of '92' graduate spoke fondly of his time playing with Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Paul Scholes. He told the team about the moment when he opened the front door to his mum and dad's home to see Sir Alex Ferguson stood in the doorway, and how he made his way into the first team, making his debut at West Ham. However, his story took a sad turn after a horror tackle in a reserve game left him needing serious knee surgery and rehabilitation. Ben talks about the difficulty he had with the aftermath both physically and mentally, and the key role Sir Alex Ferguson played in getting Ben back on the pitch.
Roy Carroll - Rehab and Redemptionpodcast
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll joined the podcast this week to reflect on his Premier League career. The Northern Irishman spoke about his first days at Old Trafford where he was a little starstruck being introduced to David Beckham, and of his pride at winning the Premier League with United. He also talked us through the infamous moment against Tottenham Hotspur where he spilled Pedro Mendes's long-range shot and what Sir Alex Ferguson said to him after the final whistle. Roy also opened up about his battle with depression and alcoholism, revealing his agent and family persuaded him to undertake rehab. He went into detail about his struggles and the emotion of coming through that to join Northern Ireland on their exciting Euro 2016 campaign.
Brandon Williams - "The grafters make it through the United Academy"podcast
This week we welcome United youngster Brandon Williams to the podcast. Helen and Maysie sadly couldn't make this one so Sam was one-on-one with Brandon over Zoom. The young full-back talked about his unusual route into football, having not been interested in the game until late on in his youth, before finding out he had bags of natural ability. He also told the story about his nan babysitting him during the 2008 Champions League final where she tried to send him to bed during the penalty shoot-out! Being a very recent Manchester United Academy graduate, Brandon also revealed what it takes to come through the ranks, citing hard work and commitment as the most important traits to see you through.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah - Coming through two of the world's most famous Academiespodcast
Former Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah joins us on the pod this week to talk about his career so far. Tim is only in his early 20, but with experience in both Ajax and Manchester United's Academies, plus two Premier League loan spells, he has a lot to reflect on already. The young Dutch international talks of his experience in the United Academy, the players who helped him settle after moving from Amsterdam, and how the club teaches youngsters about the rich Manchester United history. Timothy also looks back on his United debut against Arsenal, where Marcus Rashford scored two and Louis van Gaal took a tumble on the Old Trafford sidelines.
Danny Webber - “Rashford and Greenwood took the chance that I missed”podcast
Former Manchester United striker Danny Webber joins the UTD Podcast this week to look back on his time at Old Trafford and beyond. He talks about his experience coming through the United Academy and the demands that Eric Harrison and Sir Alex Ferguson put on him at a young age, plus we hear a story about the time Danny negotiated his contract with the boss and had to ask about the small matter of a missing bonus payment! Danny also recalled the tragic events that led to the untimely death of his close friend and United team mate Jimmy Davis.
Mark Hughes - "I loved the fans here"podcast
Sparky joined the UTD Podcast this week to reflect on his playing and managerial career, while looking out across the Old Trafford turf. The former Manchester United striker talked us through his journey to the club, and how he never wanted to leave when Barcelona took him away from the club, before loaning him out to Bayern Munich. We also heard how he enjoyed his second spell at Man Utd, winning trophies under Sir Alex Ferguson, developing his game alongside Eric Cantona, and his special relationship with the Old Trafford crowd. And we couldn't ignore that famous Manchester derby where both Hughes and Sir Alex went head-to-head, with the game eventually settled deep into injury time by Michael Owen. The then Manchester City boss was frank about his time at the Etihad, and why it perhaps didn't work out for him in the long term.
Paul McShane - "Handing in my transfer request to Sir Alex"podcast
This week we hear from Paul McShane about his experiences coming through the Manchester United Academy system and onwards. The former Ireland international recalled his time at United and the demands that were placed on young players very early; after winning the FA Youth Cup, the team still got an earful from Sir Alex Ferguson. He also told us how his compatriot Roy Keane would be another one to give him "tough love" on the training pitch. Paul never played a competitive game for the club, as he saw the competition for his place and thought his career was best served elsewhere. He talked us through his mindset at that time and how he plucked up the courage to deliver his hand-written transfer request to Sir Alex Ferguson, in person.
Jonathan Greening: My surreal 1st daypodcast
This week’s UTD Podcast guest is former Academy graduate Jonathan Greening, who many fans will remember as an emerging talent throughout the iconic Treble season and a substitute on that famous night in Barcelona. The homegrown midfielder made 27 appearances in total, before enjoying an excellent career at clubs such as Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Nottingham Forest. We think you’ll love his stories in this final episode of the 2020/21 season.
- published time May 21Podcast
Tony Coton - "How I brought van der Sar to Old Trafford"podcast
Current Manchester United Scout and former club goalkeeper Tony Coton joins the UTD Podcast this week.TC shared some great stories from his spells at Birmingham City and Watford - including a pre-season tour with Elton John! We breezed through his time at Manchester City to get to his stories of working with Sir Alex Ferguson as his goalkeeper and, later, as the club's first full-time goalkeeping coach. Tony worked with Peter Schmeichel before being tasked with finding his replacement. That eventually led to the arrival of Edwin van der Sar from Fulham and we heard all about how that transfer came about, climaxing in the Dutchman's heroics in Moscow to lift the 2008 Champions League trophy.
- published time May 21Podcast