Supporters reflect on 'surreal' day at Carrington

Wednesday 21 December 2022 10:53

Most of Manchester United’s World Cup players reported back for duty ahead of the Burnley Carabao Cup tie, but it was Scott McTominay who was the centre of attention on Tuesday at Carrington.

The group of Reds supporters lucky enough to be allowed behind the scenes at our training base would certainly agree, as our Scotland international midfielder held a special fans’ conference.

As regular managerial pre-match press duties are not mandated in the Carabao Cup, we’ve been trying something a little different this term, with boss Erik ten Hag answering questions from members of United’s numerous supporters’ clubs prior to the last round against Aston Villa.

This time, it was Scott behind the mic at the Jimmy Murphy Centre, and our no.39 was clearly in a cheerful mood as he walked into the room and greeted fans one-by-one, starting with the excited pair of young lads who had been patiently waiting in the front row to see one of their heroes.

'I couldn't sleep all night!' Video

'I couldn't sleep all night!'

We caught up with several of the fans who attended Tuesday's meeting with Scott McTominay at Carrington...

There was a good mix of faces in the audience. Old and young were represented, as were season-ticket holders and those who attend matches in our hospitality boxes. Cass Hyde from Rainbow Devils, our LGBT+ supporters’ club, was there. So too was Rick Clement, of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA).

It wasn’t just local fans either. Reds from Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Ireland and Norway were invited and the diversity made for an interesting and engaging set of questions for Scott to tackle.

The 26-year-old Academy graduate gave equally informative answers, revealing how much the Old Trafford crowd has spurred the players on this season and the first thing Lisandro Martinez said to him after winning the World Cup.

If you missed it, you can read the full transcript here.

Scott’s boots and a signed shirt were on offer for two lucky Reds who gave the closest guesses to our quiz question (‘how many minutes, in total, has McTominay appeared for United?*) while everyone had a photo opportunity at the end, plus a chance to get their memorabilia signed.

Talking to members of the audience afterwards, it was clear that the event – conducted five days prior to Christmas – was a welcome surprise for some ahead of the return of domestic football, following the World Cup in Qatar.

“It’s surreal. We only found out yesterday,” said Jacky and Paul, members of the Gloucester and Cheltenham Supporters’ Club. “We got an email in the morning and then it was confirmed in the afternoon.

“We used to do the supporters’ club dos, going back years ago, and they kind of disappeared. It used to be evening events with players and managers in the 1980s and 1990s – we’re showing our age now!

“It was first-team players though, in the suites at the ground, and you’d have most of the squad turn out. It’s great to be able to have the opportunity again and it seems like a new policy, as it’s the second one.”

Scott McTominay's Fans' Conference Video

Scott McTominay's Fans' Conference

Scott McTominay has held a very special conference with United supporters from all around the world...

David Wilkinson and Nik Basran, a season-ticket holder and Sir Alex Ferguson Stand boxholder at Old Trafford respectively, also see the benefits of doing more to improve player-fan relations in the future.

The matchgoing pair are also hugely optimistic about United’s prospects for the season under Ten Hag and can’t wait to be back at the Theatre of Dreams after the hiatus in the domestic campaign.

“It’s great. 100 per cent. It’s definitely something that’s been missing over the years and it’s great that they’ve acknowledged it and put something in place,” said David.

“The last few years have been difficult for everyone associated with the club and now you really want to go,” added Nik.

“Not only that but we used it as a business opportunity, so all of our customers and all of our team want to go to the games now. It’s a lot more competitive than it used to be!”

What Licha said to Scott after his World Cup win


Martinez's message to McTominay just showcases the elite mentality within this United squad.

Paul, David and Nik all have previous experience of visiting Carrington – many moons ago – but for Reds from further afield this was a rare glimpse of where the magic happens.

That was the case with Mohamed Safran, of our Kerala Supporters’ Club branch, and we’ll leave the last enthusiastic words from Tuesday to him.

“I couldn’t sleep all night because I was thinking about this,” he said. “When we drove into the car park there were all the cars of the players which we recognised. I was like woah, what is happening!

“It was all goosebumps. We are literally living our dreams. I’m seeing this [the pitches at Carrington] right in front of me. I mean, come on!”

*The answer, if you're wondering, was 12,338 minutes!