Nick Cox welcomes Premier League 2 changes

Friday 12 August 2022 15:30

Manchester United's Head of Academy Nick Cox believes that the reclassification of the Premier League 2 from Under-23s to Under-21s is a logical decision.

For the 2022/23 season, Premier League 2 is featuring Under-21 sides, an alteration from previous campaigns when teams were labelled as Under-23s.

Many of United’s Under-23 players from last season are aged between 19 and 20 anyway, so Cox believes that re-classifying the age group made sense.

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“It's a real common-sense decision,” he said.

“I don’t think it changes too much. It’s a change of title to reflect probably what’s happening anyway. If you look across the Under-23s league, at all of the teams that have been entered in recent seasons, the average age is around 19 to 20.

“Our age is probably a little bit younger than most: 19. So it’s a change of title to reflect what was already being demonstrated by clubs up and down the country.

“It is something that we welcome, and it probably won’t have a huge impact on what we do, but it’ll just remind people that these are really young boys playing in that competition.”

The young Reds are in action this Friday evening, when we welcome Crystal Palace Under-21s to Leigh Sports Village for our first home Premier League 2 fixture of the season.

Tickets are free to supporters who book in advance, and Cox is urging fans to get along and cheer on the team. The game is also being shown live on MUTV, and the United App.

“I think I’ve said this before but by turning up to watch a game at Leigh, you are contributing to the development of future Manchester United players,” commented Cox.

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“You are creating an environment and a real-life feel to a fixture, which is helping the boys prepare for what it might be like to go and play in the first team.

“So, by turning up to the game, you’re doing us a favour, you’re doing the boys a favour, but also, it’s quite good fun. You’ll be watching boys develop week on week if you come regularly, you’ll see the improvement and potentially you might be looking at some players who may go on to play in the first team.

“I think our fans have great pride in watching our youth sides and being the first to see the players that might go and play in the first team.”