Academy Weekly: Unique learning opportunities from para-athletes
The last seven days provided our Academy players with another diverse set of opportunities, including action against European opposition, education on club history, a joint-training session with para-athletes and much more.
It’s also worth noting that Academy graduates featured in eight of this weekend’s 10 Premier League fixtures. As always, we proudly follow the careers of those graduates who have moved on from the club and were delighted to see all of the following continue their success in the division: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace, v Spurs), Joe Rothwell (Bournemouth, v Burnley), Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United, v Arsenal), Dwight McNeil and James Garner (Everton, v West Ham), Teden Mengi and Tahith Chong (Luton Town, v Aston Villa), Andreas (Fulham, v Brighton), and Anthony Elanga (Nottingham Forest, v Liverpool).
SIR BOBBY CHARLTON TRIBUTES CONTINUE
Our Academy players and staff are taught throughout their time at the club that they are following in the footsteps of greats and have a responsibility to act as guardians of the Manchester United culture. This week’s tributes to the great Sir Bobby Charlton have provided further opportunities for our young players to learn about the values and spirit that have produced great footballers and teams.
Under-19s captain Dan Gore laid a wreath before kick-off in last Tuesday’s UEFA Youth League match against FC Copenhagen and a minute’s silence followed. He later walked out with Erik ten Hag and Sir Bobby's former team-mate Alex Stepney at the men's first-team fixture in the UEFA Champions League.
A similar procedure took place at our U18s weekend game, where Finley McAllister and his opposite number from Leeds United laid wreaths.
UEFA YOUTH LEAGUE DEFEAT
Queyrell Tchicamboud's winner, six minutes from time, saw the Under-19s defeated 1-0 by FC Copenhagen on matchday three of the UEFA Youth League group stage.
“I think losing the game is a bit of a harsh lesson for the lads and ourselves as staff,” lead coach Travis Binnion reviewed, before praising his players’ defensive organisation and discipline.
“We’ve limited them to one or two chances all game and we grew throughout the game out of possession. We got to a point of real dominance winning it back in their half of the pitch more often than not. But we haven’t done enough with the ball to create clear-cut chances.
“We’ve had territory, we’ve had moments and we haven’t quite done enough and I’ve said that too many times this season.
“We’re certainly getting better at the back since Arsenal, Bolton, Sunderland, that run of games where we were really porous. We’re getting that right now and credit to the lads because the application is really good. But when we won the ball back we had to be tidier and cleaner with it.”
United play FC Copenhagen away in matchday four on 8 November in Denmark.
COLLABORATIVE DAY WITH TEAM GB PARALYMPIANS
Our MANUSS (Manchester United Schoolboy Scholarship) programme organised an inspiring collaborative day with athletes from Team GB’s Paralympic Podium Potential Development Squad.
Hosted at the Manchester Aquatic Centre and Carrington, it offered our young players a wonderful opportunity to expand their horizons and develop a deeper understanding of the world of sports.
The boys first observed a training session led by the para-athletics coaches and then had the chance to complete their own training sessions and races in the pool. The two groups then shared stories and experiences over lunch, with the para-athletes sharing the stories of their disabilities and our players explaining how they joined the Academy and the challenges they face as young footballers.
“It was truly heartwarming to see our boys listening intently and displaying an eagerness to learn from their peers with different life experiences,” said Wayne Cahill, our lead education officer.
“The event provided our young athletes with a unique perspective on resilience, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. We are confident that the lessons learned on this day will continue to shape their character and outlook on life, not just as footballers, but as compassionate, well-rounded individuals.”
DRAW AT FULHAM
Ethan Williams’s late low drive into the bottom corner grabbed our Under-21s a point at Fulham in Premier League 2 on Friday evening.
Imani Lanquedoc put the hosts ahead after 26 minutes played in the capital, latching onto a through ball before slotting home past Elyh Harrison. Williams’s leveller then came in added time.
Our young Reds could have won it late on too, with a goalmouth scramble ensuing inside the box, before the Cottagers managed to clear their lines. You can watch highlights below.
U18S WINNING RUN CONTINUES
Our Under-18s extended their winning start to the U18 Premier League North campaign with a convincing 6-0 victory away at rivals Leeds United on Saturday.
The goals came from Jayce Fitzgerald, Malachi Sharpe (2), Jack Fletcher, Ethan Wheatley and Harry Amass.
You can watch the highlights below.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
Our final group stage game in the EFL Trophy takes place on Tuesday evening as Binnion’s Under-21s travel to Salford City for a 19:30 GMT kick-off.
Away tickets are sold out for the fixture, with over 1,000 Reds expected to be in attendance.
The Academy greatly appreciates the incredible level of support shown by fans in these games. It plays a significant role in the development of our young players.
Later in the week, the Under-21s host Everton in a Saturday midday kick-off in Premier League 2.