Academy Weekly: U23s return to action
Everything you need to know from the last seven days as matches resume at Under-23s and Under-18s level and several loanees make debuts across Europe...
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Under-23s return to action
After Tottenham Hotspur missed a first-half penalty at Leigh Sports Village, Shola Shoretire made no such mistake in the 80th-minute, converting from the spot to give United a late one-goal lead. The visitors battled back and equalised five minutes later through Dilan Markanday.
United XI: Kovar (C), Jurado, Fernandez, Fish, Hardley, Svidersky, Shoretire, Hansen (Savage), McNeill (Hugill), Iqbal, Garnacho (Mainoo).
Unused subs: Mastny, McShane.
Teden Mengi made his debut for new loan club Birmingham City, Axel Tuanzebe did the same in Italy with Napoli and James Garner enjoyed a night to remember as Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon. For more details on our loanees’ involvement over the past week, head here.
Will Fish was recalled from his loan at Stockport County this week. While the young defender may not have featured as regularly as he might have liked, Fish certainly learnt a lot from his time at Edgeley Park. The temporary move was Fish’s first time away from United having joined the Academy at the age of nine.
Head of Academy Nick Cox said: "Will has learnt a great deal over the last few months, enjoying a range of experiences that will benefit him throughout his career. He loved his time with Stockport County and we have clearly seen how much Will has developed physically and mentally over the last few months.
"There are many different perspectives on loans and people often just look at the number of games played but there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. Training every day in a first-team environment and learning from senior professionals, at just 18, is a fantastic opportunity."
Scott McTominay scored his second goal of the season to send United through to the FA Cup fourth round with a home win against Aston Villa. Anthony Elanga came on as a late substitute and got the crowd going with a tenacious cameo. Five Academy graduates featured in the match for United.
Elsewhere in English football, 18-year-old defender Owen Dodgson made his senior debut for Burnley in the Clarets' FA Cup match with Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Owen joined the Turf Moor side in 2020 and it's a proud moment for the ex-Red. Congratulations, Owen!
Congratulations must also go to Academy graduate Ryan Shawcross on a fantastic career after the 34-year-old announced his retirement. Shawcross joined the club aged 15 and made two first-team outings before enjoying 13 years at Stoke City, where he made 375 appearances. Ryan finished off his playing career with a one-year spell at Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
FA Youth Cup action
Travis Binnion leads our Under-18s into the FA Youth Cup fourth round on Thursday night. After a 4-2 home triumph over Scunthorpe United in December, we travel to Reading’s Select Car Leasing Stadium for a 19:00 GMT kick-off. The match will be shown live on MUTV in the UK and Ireland.
Under-18s finish U18 PL Cup group stages
The Under-18s are top of the U18 PL Cup’s Group F after two wins from two and will wrap the group stages up with a Saturday morning fixture away at West Bromwich Albion. With the fixture only two days after our FA Youth Cup commitments, we may see a young side turn out at the Baggies' training ground for the 11:30 GMT kick-off. The match will be shown live on MUTV.
Under-23s take on City
It’s a trip across town for Neil Wood’s Under-23s side on Saturday night, with a 19:30 GMT kick-off away at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium.