Neil Wood and Quinton Fortune.

United youngsters return to training

Manchester United's Under-23s and Under-18s squads have resumed training this week.

Due to the first-team 'bubble' at the Aon Training Complex, the club is making the most of our other facilities at Littleton Road and The Cliff, after a great effort from the staff to ensure a timely, and safe, return to work.

The Reds are one of the first Academies to restart after the coronavirus pandemic that interrupted the campaign, reacting well in testing and unprecedented circumstances.

 

“We are really pleased to get the Under-23s and Under-18s teams back together,“ Head of Academy Nick Cox told us. ”Steve Higham, Doc Perry, Neil Hough and the entire medical team have done a fantastic job in designing a programme that adheres to the government and Premier League guidelines, as well as our own internal protocols.

“This has been a long process and a huge amount of work and planning has gone into ensuring that we created a safe environment in which the players and staff can best prepare for the upcoming season.”

Under-23s lead coach Neil Wood explained: “The medical and fitness testing will take a day or two. We’re going to be working in small groups at first, in phase one, which the first team did. So it’ll be small group work and non-contact and then, once we get the all-clear from the Premier League, we can move into phase two, which is more contact.

The team are still unsure what the Premier League 2 programme will look like as a decision has still to be taken about next term. Wood's youngsters were in second place in the Division Two table, three points behind leaders West Ham United with a game in hand, when football was halted. 

The top two were due to be promoted, but only the winners of the division automatically, with the next four sides going into the play-offs.

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