Oliver Rathbone

Rathbone: It's my dream to play at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United youth team player Oliver Rathbone says it will be a dream to play at Old Trafford tomorrow night.

In an exclusive interview with United Review, the official match programme for the Carabao Cup clash with Rochdale, the 22-year-old waxed lyrical about the prospect of appearing in what is the League One club’s first fixture against the Reds since 1986.

“It’d be incredible,” said the midfielder, who was a member of our Academy until leaving for The Dale in 2016. “It’s always been my dream to play at Old Trafford and I spent lots of years at the club aiming to do that – that was always the end goal.”

“My path has taken me on a different route, which has been a great learning curve, so to come back and play with this team would be very special.”

Oliver Rathbone playing for Manchester United against Hull City in the FA Youth Cup
Rathbone in action for United during an FA Youth Cup tie against Hull City in 2015.

Rathbone played alongside several current Reds during his time at the club, including Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe, and spoke to Scott McTominay shortly before the fixture was pulled out of the hat.

“It’s mad, I was with Scott, who is a really good friend of mine, on the day of the draw. We were just laughing together, saying, “Imagine if we got drawn together tonight?” Rathbone added.

“The first I knew of the draw was when he was FaceTiming me. I saw it was him and thought, ‘Wow, it must have happened!’ He was just laughing.”

The Blackburn-born midfielder has played in all but one of The Dale’s matches so far this campaign, with Brian Barry-Murphy's outfit currently sat in 17th position in League One.

Victories over Bolton Wanderers and Carlisle United secured our neighbours’ place in the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2011/12 and Rathbone insists the team won’t be fazed when they walk out at the Theatre of Dreams.

“Well, obviously it’s going to be tough against one of the biggest clubs in the world. They have a huge array of talent, both homegrown and from abroad, but everyone will go into the game full of belief.

“So I don’t believe we’ll be beaten before we get there.”

You can read the full interview with Oliver in tomorrow's United Review, the official programme for our match against Rochdale. Supporters can buy tickets for the game by visiting manutd.com/tickets or calling 0161 868 8000.

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