Dylan Levitt.

Young Reds excited by Old Trafford experience

For some Manchester United youngsters, a dream will be realised on Friday night when they play at Old Trafford for the first time.

Our Under-23s are taking on West Brom in Premier League 2, with kick-off at 19:00 BST, and all supporters can attend for free simply by walking up to the ground on the evening.

As head coach Ricky Sbragia has been calling on younger players since the turn of the year, it is likely those still eligible for the Under-18s can hope to fulfil a long-standing ambition.

Ricky Sbragia.
Ricky Sbragia will be pondering his team selection for Friday night.

Dylan Levitt (pictured at the top of the page) is one of those keen to run out at the Theatre of Dreams after being promoted to the Under-23s of late.

“It'll be great because, as a young boy, I strived to play there one day,” the Welsh midfielder told MUTV. “It''ll be the first time on Friday so I hope to play there.

”I've played a few training games but not a proper match. Friday is a proper game. As a young boy, you train each and every day to play at Old Trafford and I have the chance to do that. My friends and family will be coming to the match.

 

Others such as Mason Greenwood, Largie Ramazani, Ethan Laird and Brandon Williams could get a taste of the Theatre of Dreams. 

However, more experienced members of the squad, like full-back Lee O'Connor, will be able to pass on words of advice to ease any nerves in the dressing room.

Lee O'Connor in training.
Lee O'Connor working indoors at the Aon Training Complex.

“Any time you get to play at Old Trafford, it's just an amazing experience,” said O'Connor. “It's my fourth or fifth time now and every time you get to play there, it's a real honour.

”It's definitely quite a young 23s team so I think it will be the first time for a couple of them. It should be a good experience for them.

“When you walk out at the start for the warm-up, you're used to seeing out here [at the Aon Training Complex] or Leigh Sports Village but looked up and see a 75,000-seater stadium. So it is a bit different but, as soon as the whistle blows and the game starts, it's just a normal game.

”My advice would be just to block it out and play your normal game. It's definitely very exciting for everybody.

George Tanner.
George Tanner did the Old Trafford stadium tour when he was younger.

George Tanner admits he cannot wait for the game to come because he was such a big United supporter growing up nearby.

“It makes it extra special,” he admitted. “Obviously, as a United fan, it was my dream to play in that stadium really.

”I've been there quite a lot and did the stadium tour a few times when I was younger. I went to the Museum and saw all the trophies. It was great. I came on as a substitute there earlier in the season and played there in the FA Youth Cup once so I've played at Old Trafford a couple of times.

Nishan Burkart.
Nishan Burkart will be hoping to feature against West Brom's Under-23s.

Nishan Burkart is another youngster keen to get another crack of appearing at the ground as he looks to bank more valuable experience.

“It's always good to get the feeling of what it is like to play there, at such a brilliant stadium,” added the Swiss forward. “Obviously, it's a great pitch but so big so a lot of work will be going on out there! There might just be a few nerves, that is always a factor, but it's good to get learning about how to play in such big stadiums.

”Having a lot of fans is good to cheer us on and it might also be a disadvantage for our opponents.

There is free entry for all supporters to Old Trafford on Friday as the Under-23s face West Brom (19:00 BST kick-off).

Recommended:

  • Free entry at Old Trafford article

    All fans can walk up on the night and attend our Premier League 2 match against West Brom on Friday night.

  • McGhee grabs injury-time winner for U18s article

    All the goals came in the closing stages as United secured a valuable 2-1 victory against Wolves at St George's Park.

  • Finish line in sight for Academy teams article

    There is not long to go for the Under-23s and Under-18s, but more development is expected in the coming weeks.

  • There's a new way to follow the match article

    You think you know stats, but you’ve never seen this! Introducing a revolutionary game-changer that was made for you...