United's 2018 Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year candidates - James Garner, Tahith Chong and Lee O'Connor

McKenna: Picking my three nominees was tough

Manchester United Academy coach Kieran McKenna admits he had a tough choice selecting three of his title-winning Under-18s squad to form the shortlist for the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.

Exciting wide man Tahith Chong, midfield prospect James Garner and versatile defender Lee O'Connor ended up getting the nod and the chance to succeed Angel Gomes, the 2016/2017 winner.

Chong may have been elevated to the Under-23s but features in this category after illuminating United teams at various levels with his speed and skills. Garner, the England Under-17 captain, has also taken on the armband for the Reds and is maturing nicely as he starts to dictate games from the middle of the park.

Republic of Ireland youngster O'Connor is another with leadership qualities who has already forced his way into Ricky Sbragia's Reserves squad and always looks unflappable under pressure and comfortable in possession.

“It was hard,” McKenna told MUTV. “A lot of different factors come into it - a player's age, whether he's a first-year or second-year [scholar] or an Under-16s - in terms of who we put forward.

”It could have been a number of candidates that we picked but, in the end, I thought Tahith, Lee and Jimmy could get the opportunity. Credit to those boys as they are three who have worked really hard and had very good seasons for different reasons.

“Those three would also be the first to acknowledge they've had a really good group of boys to play with, week in and week out, and to train and compete with on a daily basis.”

You can now cast your vote for all four awards by visiting www.ManUtd.com/POTY. Voting closes on Monday 30 April at 23:59 BST, so make sure you have your say!