Academy Weekly: United Under-18s reach cup final

Tuesday 05 March 2024 10:00

Manchester United's Under-18s reached the final of the U18 Premier League Cup with victory at Carrington on Saturday, while one young player earned a first spot in a senior matchday squad. Read everything you need to know about the last seven days at our world-famous Academy here…


Our Under-18s will face Manchester City in the U18 Premier League Cup final after defeating Crystal Palace 5-0 at Carrington on Saturday morning.

A second-half Ethan Wheatley double was complemented by Finley McAllister’s opener, Harry Amass’s deflected effort and Gabriele Biancheri bundling in from close range. You can watch the highlights below.

U18s highlights: United v Palace Video

U18s highlights: United v Palace

Highlights | Watch all the key moments from a goal-filled cup clash at Carrington...

Adam Lawrence’s young Reds managed 4-1 and 5-1 victories over Reading and Southampton respectively in the group stages, but were beaten 1-0 by Wolves. They then triumphed 4-2 over Arsenal after extra-time in a hard-fought quarter-final before Saturday’s match against Palace.

Manchester City defeated Leicester City after extra-time in the other semi-final.

Details on the date, time and location of that fixture — and ticket information — will be announced in due course.


Habeeb Ogunneye, our London-born, Bolton-raised 18-year-old full-back, earned a first spot in a senior matchday squad in United’s midweek Emirates FA Cup triumph at Nottingham Forest.

Ogunneye was an unused substitute but will have learnt a huge amount by being around the first-team squad for a crucial game such as this one. Defensive midfielder Toby Collyer, whose first squad involvement came against Fulham in the Premier League, was also included again. Both players were also unused subs in Sunday’s defeat at Manchester City.


United's Under-21s were beaten 4-2 by Derby County in Premier League 2 on Friday night, in front of our home fans at Leigh Sports Village.

Tony Weston opened the scoring for the Rams after 28 minutes played, before Zach Baumann levelled the game with a low drive that sailed into the bottom corner of Jack Thompson's goal.

U21s highlights: United v Derby Video

U21s highlights: United v Derby

Highlights | United's Under-21s faced Derby County in Premier League 2 on Friday night - watch the key action here...

County then scored three times in just seven first-half minutes, with Weston, Cruz Allen and Adebayo Fapetu all finding the net.

Ethan Williams's deflected strike with just 20 minutes to play reduced the deficit, but it was the visitors who claimed all three points. 


Kobbie Mainoo's last-gasp winner against Wolves in our 4-3 victory at Molineux has been voted the club's Goal of the Month for February.

Sliding past two players, which included a nutmeg on Max Kilman, the 18-year-old curled in a delightful effort to secure a valuable victory for United on the road.

Since sparking wild scenes amongst our travelling supporters with that stoppage-time goal, the Academy graduate has continued to go from strength to strength, and was also on the three-man shortlist for our latest Player of the Month prize.


Kobbie's first major interview was released last week, with the young midfielder reflecting on his time progressing through the Academy teams, inspirational coaches and how important it is to have familiar faces in the first-team set-up.

Mainoo is far from the only homegrown player in the current senior squad. Willy Kambwala and Omari Forson have recently made appearances, alongside established Academy graduates Jonny Evans, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford.

"To have people going through similar things as you and that you've known for a while, obviously it makes the transition easier," Mainoo said.

"But the senior players have been welcoming and helpful as well. So even without the young players, that would still be all right.”

Kobbie Mainoo | Playing With Freedom Video

Kobbie Mainoo | Playing With Freedom

PLAYING WITH FREEDOM | In Kobbie's first major interview, we take a trip down memory lane with a team of awestruck U8s…

Our interview took place after a coaching session with the Under-8s and, for Mainoo, it was a trip down memory lane to a time when he was forming what became lasting relationships. 

At the time of writing, 249 graduates have made senior debuts for the club, meaning we are on the brink of a historic milestone.

“It's special for a club of this size, such a big club, to still trust the Academy and still put time and effort into developing young talents,” Kobbie reflected. 

“It's obviously an amazing thing to be a part of.”

'This typifies what we're all about' Video

'This typifies what we're all about'

Director of Academy Nick Cox explains the significance of Kobbie Mainoo's recent session with our Under-8s players...


The Under-21s travel to Middlesbrough for a Friday evening encounter at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland. The Premier League 2 match kicks off at 19:00 GMT and will be shown live on MUTV.

The Under-18s visit Manchester City’s Joie Stadium in the U18 Premier League on Saturday. The 11:30 GMT kick-off cannot be shown live on MUTV due to the men’s first-team fixture against Everton, which begins an hour later. Highlights will be available later in the day.