Who is winning United's 5K running challenge?

Friday 17 April 2020 19:00

Competitive football may have been postponed, but Daniel James has revealed that the United squad are still keeping things competitive during the enforced break – while observing social distancing instructions, of course!

Games of football remain off the table, but the lads are keeping fit and challenging each other by other means, as James explains in our latest United Hangout.
"Everyone is staying in touch, with the everyday stuff, but you run out of things to say really," he says. "You ask them what they are doing and it's the same things every day!
“But a lot of the boys are doing a lot of runs, going outside and doing a lot of runs. They are all sending them in, so it is kind of a little competition, to see who can get the best 5K time. It has been good, it is nice and competitive still.
“I think Scott [McTominay] is winning at the moment and I don't think anybody is going to top it, but it will be good to see if I can!”
Fan Surprise: When your hero's on the phone! Video

Fan Surprise: When your hero's on the phone!

A young Red called James took a call from his 'friend', only to realise his hero Daniel James was on the line...

Later in the call, Daniel takes the chance to hold a surprise chat with young local United fan, James Rogers, from Stretford High School – one of Manchester United Foundation's partner schools.
After his mum tells him "a friend was on the line" to speak to him, young James is clearly stunned, exclaiming "Oh, my God!"
But the pair settle into a relaxed conversation, with the United winger asking James for some tips, as they both play out wide.
"I play out wide, but I prefer playing in the middle," says the youngster. "I prefer playing as a centre-midfielder. You just need to make sure you don't lose your head; if you lose your head, you lose everything. You need to keep calm."
It soon turns out both lads had something in common: James has just begun his GCSE in PE, which Daniel also completed several years ago.
"I just enjoy sport as well. I really enjoy the theory side of it as well," says Rogers. "I play football, and I like to play a bit of basketball. I'm not a big fan of it – I don't play it a lot – but I can play a bit of it. I used to watch [a bit] but not so much anymore."
"I did GCSE PE as well and enjoyed it," replies Daniel. "Obviously a lot of it is practical, but theory's important as well isn't it?"
"Yeah I've been keeping up with my school work," explains the schoolboy. "We've been doing like online webinars, like this, on [Google] Classroom. It's harder than being at school. It's different as well, because there's no teachers there, but I get through it. It could be worse."
Daniel James: The season so far Video

Daniel James: The season so far

It's a year today since Daniel James signed for United - here are his best bits for the Reds so far...

Rogers reveals that he has been to watch United at Old Trafford a couple of times this season, against Liverpool – where Daniel James memorably provided a superb assist for Marcus Rashford – and against Watford, and the youngster is a big fan of new signing Bruno Fernandes.
"Since he's come, I think he's changed the way United play as a team," he states. "He's benefitted the rest of the team as well. What do you think, do you think he's a good team-mate?
Daniel: “Yeah, I think he's been great since he's come in. He's put a lift into us, he plays that killer ball, which obviously helps me and all the other strikers out.” 
James: “That's the thing with you – you just need someone who can play the ball, because obviously you've got the pace to run down and get the ball. So you just need someone who can deliver it.”
Daniel: “Yeah, he is willing to do that, and obviously he can take a set piece. He's come in, we've won a few games and we've gone on a run since then, so I do think he's had a big uplift on our season.”
Daniel has developed a great relationship with his fellow forwards during his maiden season.
The Stretford lad is also a big fan of another of United's forwards, Marcus Rashford, and Daniel delivers some good news for him on that front.
"He's coming back soon I think. He's not far off," reveals United's no.21. "I think he's been a big miss for us – the goals he's scored this season. This break now, I think when we come back, I think he'll be ready and fit and firing to go, which is good for us. The same with Paul [Pogba] as well. There's a lot of boys who are injured now who'll be back for the time when we come back.
“Hopefully we'll be able to finish this season so you can come and see more games... Keep working hard and keep on top of your schoolwork! And whatever they send you when you are back in, keep on top of that, it's very important!”
You can watch the full surprise chat between the United star and our local fan in the video above.