Under-18s seal northern championship
Manchester United clinched the Under-18 Premier League northern title with a 2-1 victory over neighbours City at Leigh Sports Village.
Although development of players, and producing first-team options of the future, is of paramount importance, congratulations are due to Kieran McKenna and his entire squad, with its depth proving vital over the course of the campaign.
City were United's only remaining challengers for the crown and were beaten after Nishan Burkart and Ethan Galbraith, with his first goal for the Academy team, ensured victory despite a Brandon Williams own goal.
The reward is a nationwide final against Chelsea, likely to be played on the weekend of 5/6 May, with MUTV set to show the game live, after also screening the mini-derby for free on our official YouTube channel.
The Londoners have won the southern division for the fifth successive year and, considering their dominance at FA Youth Cup level recently, they represent formidable opponents. A 5-1 away win at capital rivals West Ham United on Saturday sealed top spot ahead of Arsenal.
Well done to Kieran and the boys - there is still one match in the division remaining, which is away to Liverpool next Friday.
“It was great, first and foremost, to win the game against a very good City side,” McKenna told MUTV.
“It was great to do it at a stadium in front of a good crowd. I'm just delighted for the boys, they're a really good bunch of boys who have worked hard all year and got their just rewards.
“It's Ethan [Galbraith]'s first goal of the season but he hits them great in training and we see it day in and day out. He's got the technique to do it so I'm just delighted for him to do it in such a big game.
"We saw the game out really well and controlled it, restricting them to shots from distance. It's a really young team, to be honest, and mainly first-years. We've got a final against Chelsea at the start of May which extends the season and gives us another showpiece game. We'll plan for that in the next couple of weeks and use Friday night [at Liverpool] as part of that.