Rewarding stay in Austria for young Reds
Manchester United's youngsters are set to conclude their Austrian training camp and fly back to England on Saturday.
The club's Academy stayed at Sportschule in Lindabrunn, close to Vienna, after spending the previous two summers in Obertraun.
The change of location had a positive effect with the whole group enjoying the chance to have a week's worth of hard work in preparation for the upcoming campaign.
Obviously, some individuals were missing, including James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood, who are with the senior squad on Tour 2019, and Republic of Ireland defender Lee O'Connor, who is on Under-19 European Championship duty.
“We’ve been to Austria a couple of times in the last two seasons and were really happy with Obertraun but this has been a change of environment and change of scenery,” said Head of Academy Nicky Butt.
“It’s closer to the airport so there’s less travelling and it’s the same company helping us so, all in all, it’s a perfect location. It’s secluded and out of the way with great facilities. It’s not too posh but quite a humble place which is a perfect training environment.
“It’s really important you get together at the start of the season as that’s where you build the bond and relationships over the first few weeks. They’re enjoying it and having a laugh but are working hard and that is what it’s about.
"We’re really happy with the way it’s gone and couldn’t ask for much more really.”
A couple of practice games were arranged towards the end of the stint abroad, to make a first step towards building match fitness for the youngsters.
Neil Ryan's Under-18s took on Mattersburg Under-20s at the Sportschule base on Thursday, drawing 1-1 with Omari Forson scoring our goal.
A run-out for Neil Wood's Under-23s against Austria Vienna's Young Violets side in the capital followed on Friday. After conceding twice in the early stages, to Stefan Feiertag and Patrick Wimmer, the Reds fought hard to retrieve the situation. Arnau Puigmal pulled one back with five minutes remaining, and Anthony Elanga shot wide from one of a number of second-half chances, but the home side held out to win 2-1.
Some behind-closed-doors friendlies are in the pipeline and there is also a double-header in Northern Ireland at the end of the month to look forward to at the Super Cup NI tournament, with Rangers and Ballymena United providing the opposition.
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