Kambwala and Forson receive Debut Balls

Thursday 14 March 2024 11:00

Manchester United Academy graduates Omari Forson and Willy Kambwala have each received a Debut Ball from the Premier League, to mark their recent top-flight bows.

The ritual, which first happened in 2015/16, sees all homegrown debutants who have been developed at an Academy of a club in the English football pyramid for three years or more prior to their 21st birthday receive this special and unique memento.

United’s director of Academy Nick Cox and technical director Darren Fletcher were on hand to present the items at our Carrington training ground on Wednesday.
Cox, Kambwala, Forson and Fletcher pose with the Debut Balls.

Centre-back Kambwala’s Premier League debut was his first senior outing for the club, as he started December’s visit to West Ham United.

The DR Congo-born defender played 84 minutes of the clash at the London Stadium and has since gone on to make three further top-flight appearances.

Our no.53 came on to help shore up Erik ten Hag’s defence late on in home wins over Aston Villa and Everton, while also getting a first taste of the Manchester derby at first-team level, from the bench, during our recent trip to the Etihad Stadium.

For Forson, his league bow came last month, in United’s thrilling 4-3 victory away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The young attacker - who debuted for Ten Hag's side in January's FA Cup triumph at Wigan - got the assist for fellow Academy graduate Kobbie Mainoo’s stoppage-time winner, after entering the fray as a substitute in the closing stages.

Omari was picked in the starting XI for the first time later in February, at home to Fulham, and, like Kambwala, was also brought on in the recent duel with Manchester City.

A proud moment for the young Reds duo!

Both players received an official match ball from this campaign – of the same colour scheme as used in their respective debut games – inside a personalised, engraved case.

The overall initiative from the Premier League furthers its commitment to develop more and better homegrown talents through the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), which you can learn about here.

Congratulations to Omari and Willy – keep working hard, lads!