Joe Hugill.

Academy lads learn from international experience

Saturday 10 October 2020 08:00

Head of Academy Nick Cox has outlined why international football is of real benefit to Manchester United's youngsters.

As is the case during any of these breaks, a number of young Reds are representing their national teams across the globe, even if the COVID-19 regulations have imposed more restrictions than usual.

Nevertheless, some of those to receive call-ups include striker Joe Hugill (pictured scoring against Blackburn Rovers in Premier League 2 above), who is at a training camp with England’s Under-18s at St George’s Park, after making an instant impression in the Under-23s and Under-18s since signing from Sunderland.

United's young French forward Noam Emeran.

Centre-back Will Fish was on standby for that get-together while Omari Forson was also selected by England, at Under-17 level.

Iestyn Hughes has headed off to Wales’ Under-19s, with Noam Emeran (Under-19s) and Hannibal (Under-18s) away playing for France.

More senior United colleagues such as Dylan Levitt (Wales), Ethan Galbraith (Northern Ireland), Teden Mengi and James Garner (both England) have also received call-ups at various levels.

“Some of our boys are away on international duty and that, for us, is about them obviously enjoying the achievement of representing their countries and the sense of pride which comes with that,” Cox told us. “But actually international football offers a different set of experiences to the ones that we can offer back home.

“Different format of competitions, a different group of players, different playing styles, different coaching systems and some of our boys may even be playing in different positions. All of that is healthy stuff to throw into the melting pot.

Iestyn Hughes is away with the Wales Under-19 squad.
“With the week the boys might have, on international duty, all of that is when you really start to understand the nuances of what proper youth development looks like.

“So we’re excited by seeing how the boys get on even if international football is slightly limited in some countries, where they can’t travel, but we’ll do our best to support the players wherever we can.”

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