Academy Weekly: Landmark achievements

Tuesday 09 April 2024 15:40

As Old Trafford hosted one of world football’s biggest fixtures last week, the Academy proudly watched as several graduates achieved landmark career moments.

Willy Kambwala contributed such a stellar defensive performance on his maiden start at the Theatre of Dreams that he nearly overshadowed Kobbie Mainoo’s first senior goal at the ground, a stunning curling finish that helped Manchester United to a 2-2 draw against Liverpool.

Alejandro Garnacho made a 31st consecutive start for the Reds, a remarkable run that highlights how his importance to the side has grown since first breaking into the team in April 2022, shortly before his Under-18s side lifted the FA Youth Cup. Each of Garnacho, Mainoo and Kambwala were there on that magical May night at Old Trafford, demonstrating its importance in the development of these young players.

Meanwhile, Harry Amass and Habeeb Ogunneye both earned spots in the matchday squad, for the first and second time respectively. Contrastingly, Marcus Rashford entered the top 10 of Academy graduate appearance-makers as he approaches his 400th game.

Willy Kambwala | Fight For Your Dream Video

Willy Kambwala | Fight For Your Dream

Fight For Your Dream | You will love Willy Kambwala’s first big interview, charting his rise from Les Ulis in France…

A total of seven graduates were included in Sunday’s matchday squad — and the same number in Thursday’s match at Chelsea — making it 4,251 consecutive games with a youth representative in the squad since October 1937.

As the Academy continues to proudly watch these graduates take the next steps in their careers, the next generation are developing. Here’s everything you need to know from our world-famous youth set-up, including an extraordinary victory and ticket details for an approaching Cup final…


Our Under-18s achieved their biggest victory of the season on Saturday, putting a remarkable nine goals past Liverpool at our rivals’ Kirkby ground. Ethan Wheatley scored an impressive hat-trick, complemented by doubles from James Scanlon and Gabriele Biancheri and excellent strikes from Ethan Williams and Ashton Missin.

You can watch the highlights below.

U18s 90 in 20: Liverpool v United Video

U18s 90 in 20: Liverpool v United

90 in 20 | Our Under-18s kicked off the weekend with a superb 9-1 win at Liverpool - view extended highlights here...


Sam Mather netted his second goal on loan at Rochdale, tapping home from close range to equalise in a 1-1 draw at Oldham Athletic.

Will Fish maintained his record of starting every league game this season for Hibernian as the seventh-placed Scottish Premiership side were beaten by St. Johnstone.

The flexible nature of our loan moves was demonstrated as Rhys Bennett featured for our Under-21s to complement his game-time and experience at promotion-chasing Stockport County, for whom he’s started once.

Radek Vitek kept another clean sheet for Accrington Stanley and Joe Hugill made his 14th appearance in League One for Burton Albion.


Travis Binnion’s side established a late first-half lead when Harry Amass — fresh off the back of his first-team involvement — provided a teasing cross, turned into the Brighton net by the Seagulls’ own Ruari McConville.

United looked set to extend that advantage in a dominant second half but were pegged back as McConville made amends with an equaliser. You can watch highlights below.

U21s highlights: United v Brighton Video

U21s highlights: United v Brighton

HIGHLIGHTS | Watch this concise round-up from our Under-21s' latest outing in PL2, against the Seagulls...


There are two key opportunities to support the next generation of young talent at United.

The Under-21s host Liverpool at Old Trafford this Friday evening and tickets are available here.

Later this month, on Tuesday 23 April, United will contest the U18 Premier League Cup final against rivals Manchester City. Supporters can order tickets for free here and the Academy would love to see as many Reds in attendance as possible for the big night.


Liverpool U21s visit Old Trafford in an exciting Premier League 2 fixture on Friday evening (19:30 BST kick-off). Tickets are available here and the match will be shown live on MUTV.

The U18s, meanwhile, host Stoke City at Carrington on Saturday morning (11am) in another game to be broadcast live on MUTV.