Academy Weekly: Celebrating graduates

Monday 11 March 2024 12:41

With a remarkable 13 Academy graduates involved in Manchester United’s Premier League win over Everton on Saturday, it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the success of our graduates still at the club and those enjoying success right throughout the English football pyramid and overseas.

With both the Under-21s and Under-18s in action over the last seven days too, here’s the latest news from our world-famous Academy…


Congratulations to Sam Mather, who netted his first senior goal on Saturday, earning Rochdale a point at home to Oxford City with his 77th-minute strike.


Sam was far from the only Academy graduate excelling this week. All across European football, fans will have noted the performances of those who developed their game at Carrington.

In our first-team game against Everton, nine graduates were included in the United squad and a further four ex-Reds youth teamers were with the visitors (Dwight McNeil, James Garner, Jack Harrison and Michael Keane).

Sam Mather scored four goals at Old Trafford in January and is now benefitting from exposure to senior football with Rochdale as part of the Academy's innovative flexible loan scheme.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United), Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Teden Mengi and Tahith Chong (Luton Town) and Andreas (Fulham) started for their respective sides, while Anthony Elanga came on for Nottingham Forest, Josh Brownhill for Burnley and Dean Henderson remained an unused substitute for Palace.

In the Championship, Joe Rothwell scored a remarkable double off the bench to earn Southampton a 4-2 win over Sunderland. Will Keane and Ben Whiteman started for Preston North End - for whom Robbie Brady was a 77th-minute substitute - and Paddy McNair did so for Middlesbrough, while Axel Tuanzebe (Ipswich Town) and Ethan Laid (Birmingham City) were unused subs.

Retired midfielder Tom Cleverley, who won the 2012/13 Premier League title at United and earned 13 England caps, has been named interim head coach of Watford after Valerien Ismael’s dismissal. Tom had been coaching the Hornets’ Under-18s side and we wish him the best of luck in the role.

On-loan striker Joe Hugill contributed an assist for Burton Albion in League One and Will Fish made his 38th appearance of the season for Hibernian in a Scottish Cup defeat to Rangers.

These are just some of the many involved across the British football pyramid this weekend alone. The Academy is proud of all their careers.

Jesse Lingard's home debut for FC Seoul set a new K-League attendance record.

Overseas, Jesse Lingard’s home debut for FC Seoul set a new K-League attendance record with 51,670 watching at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Mats Moller Daehli helped Molde to a midweek UEFA Europa Conference League victory over Club Brugge and current loanee Alvaro Fernandez was a substitute in Benfica’s 2-2 draw with Rangers, whose first goal was scored by Tom Lawrence.


Our Under-21s were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at Middlesbrough on Friday evening. Ashton Missin put the young Reds ahead before Charlie McNeill’s 41st-minute cross forced an own goal, but the hosts mounted a comeback to finish 3-2 victors. You can watch highlights below.

U21s highlights: Middlesbrough v United Video

U21s highlights: Middlesbrough v United

Highlights | Watch this match recap from our Under-21s Friday night clash against Middlesbrough in PL2...


Our Under-18s suffered a first league defeat of the season, away at Manchester City on Saturday. Having been beaten at Carrington in January, the Blues made it one apiece for the campaign with a 4-1 win.

The two teams will play again later this season in the U18 Premier League Cup final, with the location and date of that fixture to be announced in due course.

Adam Lawrence’s side had gone a remarkable 18 games unbeaten and should be proud of how that run was achieved, while averaging five or six changes to the starting line-up every game. Many valuable lessons will have been learned from defeat.

You can watch highlights below.

U18s highlights: Man City v United Video

U18s highlights: Man City v United

Highlights | Watch the key moments as our Under-18s faced Manchester City in derby action...


Our Under-21s travel to West Brom next Monday in a 19:00 GMT kick-off at The Hawthorns. It will be a fantastic opportunity for the young Reds to play at a historic first-team stadium, and they'll be doing so at home in just one month's time. You can attend United v Liverpool in Premier League 2 on Friday 12 April (19:30 BST) at Old Trafford. Get your tickets here and come to show your support for the next generation!

The Under-18s, meanwhile, host Blackburn Rovers on Saturday morning in an 11:00 GMT kick-off. That match will be shown live on MUTV.