Binnion: Soak it up and enjoy the experience

Friday 31 March 2023 09:11

"Just to soak it all up, put a performance in and gain that confidence from playing there."

This is Travis Binnion's message to Manchester United’s Under-21s, ahead of the young Reds' Premier League 2 clash with Arsenal at Old Trafford this evening (Friday).

As head of our Academy's Professional Development Phase, Binnion oversees the progress of our young players, from Under-18s through to the Under-21s, aiming to provide the optimal opportunity for them to succeed both on and off the pitch.

The Under-21s take on Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams tonight (19:00 BST) and Travis says that the experience of playing at the iconic arena is valuable for our youth prospects, who ultimately aspire to be taking to the Old Trafford pitch on a regular basis.

Binnion: It's an important opportunity Video

Binnion: It's an important opportunity

Travis Binnion discusses the Under-21s' match at Old Trafford and its impact on the young Reds' development...

"Ultimately, it's where they eventually want to play," Binnion said told club media on the eve of the game with the Gunners.

"It's everyone's goal to play there eventually so to get any opportunity to play there in their development years is key.

"Just to soak it all up, put a performance in and gain that confidence from playing there."

Thousands of United fans are set to turn out in support of the young Reds, and some of Mark Dempsey’s current squad have already enjoyed playing in front of a packed-out Old Trafford crowd in last season’s FA Youth Cup triumph.

Binnion believes that such experience will bode well for those players when they take on the Gunners this time round, and it will also serve as a key development opportunity for the others who haven’t yet experienced such environments.

"We were fortunate last season to play five of the six [FA Youth Cup] games [at Old Trafford] and obviously the crowds were good throughout, but the final was a magnificent turnout," Binnion added

"It won't be overawing, it won't be too big of a shock to them, and that's ultimately what we want.

"We don't want them to be shocked when they do get that opportunity [in the first team], if and when it comes down the line."