United trio head out in innovative loan scheme

Wednesday 01 February 2023 12:00

Three Manchester United Academy players have joined a non-league club as part of an innovative loan scheme designed by United’s Academy coaches.

Sonny Aljofree, Joe Hugill and Maxi Oyedele have all joined Altrincham FC until the end of the season.

Each of the players will continue to train with United’s Under-21s and Under-18s groups whilst benefiting from the experience and challenges of non-league football intermittently throughout the remainder of the season.

The opportunity to still train and play games for the Academy means that the players will benefit from a bespoke and flexible programme with coaches able to make decisions on their schedule week-by-week.
Maxi Oyedele has already gained some senior match experience with Altrincham.
The innovative scheme builds on the pro experience programme which sees professional development phase players spend extended periods of time training with EFL clubs.

This group of players will gain an even truer taste of senior football with first-hand experience of the training standards and playing in competitive match situations when beneficial. Players will learn directly from experienced pros and learn what is required to perform in senior football.

Oyedele has already played for Altrincham in the National League against Chesterfield. The Poland Under-19 international impressed in this season’s FA Youth Cup and this new experience will support his professional development. 

Aljofree continues to work his way up through the ranks after winning the Youth Cup last season. 

Hugill has been in fine goalscoring form for the Under-21s since returning from injury including two goals against Liverpool this month.

In addition to this trio, young goalkeeper Tom Wooster will go on loan to fellow North West side Ramsbottom for the remainder of the campaign.

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The club would like to place on record its thanks to the staff at Altrincham FC for their support in this process and collaboration across a number of recent projects.

United have developed a number of mutually beneficial excellent relationships with local football clubs. Altrincham FC, Stockport County and Salford City have all made use of United’s facilities this season, taken players from the club on loan or given players the opportunity for pro experience.

The various initiatives showcase the Academy’s dedicated support of the local football ecosystem, bringing the North West football community together to increase expertise and develop the wider game.

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Nick Cox, Head of Academy, said: “We are always looking for unique and innovative development opportunities. Being able to create a flexible and bespoke programme for our players is vital as we look to tailor each of their experiences to maximise the development process. The scheme caps off an excellent loan window for the Academy where we placed every player at an optimum club to enable them to return to United with more experience and ready for the next step in their careers.” 
Travis Binnion, Head of Player Development and Coaching, said: “We are really pleased to launch this scheme and enable three players to gain excellent experience of non-league football. Each of them will hugely benefit from this unique learning opportunity, playing senior football in a competitive environment whenever we agree that the time is right for both clubs. We want to thank Altrincham for their support and look forward to the numerous benefits that this scheme will provide to everyone involved.”