Di’Shon Bernard

Former Chelsea defender feels settled at United

Di’Shon Bernard is feeling settled in Manchester now after joining United from Chelsea last year and he has thanked the staff for helping him with the bedding-in process.

The centre-back even scored his first goal for the club, heading home in the recent 3-1 win at Liverpool for the Under-18s, and is enjoying life under coach Neil Ryan as the young Reds strive for development – on and off the field. Certainly, he appears to have grown a little over the summer and is in a better position to outmuscle rival forwards.

It is all part of the process as the 17-year-old looks to make his mark, following the move north. “I think it was a bit difficult as it was something of a change for me, moving away from home,” he told ManUtd.com. “But I think the boys and the members of staff helped me to settle in quite well.

”I think I have grown a couple of inches recently and I’ve passed my mum and dad now, so I’m the tallest one [in the family]! It’s obviously good being tall, especially as a centre-back. I definitely feel very much settled now – everybody has taken to me and helped me.”

Di'Shon Bernard shares a joke with Ethan Laird
Di'Shon Bernard shares a joke with Ethan Laird.

Bernard broke into United's Under-18s team on a more regular basis towards the end of last season, and appeared in the national final against Chelsea.

“I got the hang of things and finished really strongly,” he said. “It was a bit strange playing against my old team-mates but it was a good feeling. I think I showed them and everyone what I’m capable of, it was just unfortunate with the result [0-3].”

The development will continue for Bernard, who worked hard over the summer to keep in top shape and ensure he was in a prime position to start 2018/19 where he left off last term.

”My aim for the season is to always get better, train hard every day, start the campaign well, play in a lot of games and hopefully push forward,” he vowed.

“From coming here to where I am now, I definitely think I’ve improved and I’ve worked on a lot of things with the coaches, doing individual stuff. I’ve been working with Charlie [Owen, YDP athletic development coach], who has helped me with my footwork, turning and one-versus-one defending.

Di'Shon Bernard looking composed on the ball.
Di'Shon Bernard is hoping to make a real impact in 2018/19.

“I’ve done a lot of gym work with Chaz too. Over the break, I did a lot of work there with people so I have come back a bit bigger!

I would say I’m quite an aggressive defender and I’m a leader. I command everyone on the pitch so I can be a big vocal point for the team. Overall, I just think, if you want to get to the top, you have to put in the work.”