Manchester United have confirmed the intake of player for the club’s Academy squads ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Last term, the youth team reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup and were sixth in the U18 Premier League when the Academy season was curtailed.
Elder members of last year’s group will now move into the Under-23s squad and players from the previous campaign’s Under-16s side step up to join Neil Ryan's Under-18s.
The initial intake includes eight players, five of whom have represented United at younger age groups and there are also three new arrivals from outside of the club.
Shola Shoretire and Omari Forson have signed scholarship forms. Both players already have experience in United’s Under-18s side, having featured throughout the season and in the Youth Cup run as United set up that cancelled semi-final against Chelsea. Shoretire scored at Old Trafford against Wigan Athletic in the quarter-finals.
Manchester-born defender Rhys Bennett, 16, has been with United since Under-9s level. There is more local representation in the shape Oliver Kilner, who hails from Stockport.
Englishmen Logan Pye and Joe Hugill both arrive from Sunderland. Pye is an England Under-16 international who plays in defence and Hugill is a striker who has represented the Black Cats at Under-23s level. There are two new goalkeeping additions to the group – Czech Republic youngster Radek Vitek joins from Sigma Olomouc and Pole Daniel Polakowski, who has been with United since he was nine.
A further announcement confirming new arrivals to the Academy squads is due to be published at a later date.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Polakowski, Radek Vitek. Defenders: Rhys Bennett, Oliver Kilner, Logan Pye. Midfielder: Omari Forson. Forwards: Joe Hugill, Shola Shoretire.
Manchester United's Under-23s and Under-18s squads have resumed training this week.
Due to the first-team 'bubble' at the Aon Training Complex, the club is making the most of our other facilities at Littleton Road and The Cliff, after a great effort from the staff to ensure a timely, and safe, return to work.
The Reds are one of the first Academies to restart after the coronavirus pandemic that interrupted the campaign, reacting well in testing and unprecedented circumstances.
“We are really pleased to get the Under-23s and Under-18s teams back together,“ Head of Academy Nick Cox told us. ”Steve Higham, Doc Perry, Neil Hough and the entire medical team have done a fantastic job in designing a programme that adheres to the government and Premier League guidelines, as well as our own internal protocols.
“This has been a long process and a huge amount of work and planning has gone into ensuring that we created a safe environment in which the players and staff can best prepare for the upcoming season.”
Under-23s lead coach Neil Wood explained: “The medical and fitness testing will take a day or two. We’re going to be working in small groups at first, in phase one, which the first team did. So it’ll be small group work and non-contact and then, once we get the all-clear from the Premier League, we can move into phase two, which is more contact.“
The team are still unsure what the Premier League 2 programme will look like as a decision has still to be taken about next term. Wood's youngsters were in second place in the Division Two table, three points behind leaders West Ham United with a game in hand, when football was halted.
The top two were due to be promoted, but only the winners of the division automatically, with the next four sides going into the play-off.
Manchester United's Under-23s have an extensive pre-season campaign to prepare for their season in the Premier League 2 top flight, with the friendlies being played behind closed doors.
Due to the recent lockdown measures in the area, spectators are strictly not allowed to attend in order to preserve the safety for everybody in the local community.
MUTV will show highlights of some of the matches at a later date.
The young Reds, whose promotion was ratified last week, will obtain some great experience against various senior sides and a couple of Under-23s fixtures have also been included in the schedule.
Although it has yet to be confirmed, there is a hope the team can compete in the Leasing.com (EFL) Trophy again in 2020/21 after a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding first run in the competition last time around.“It’s going to be a hard pre-season,” Wood told us. “Last year, we had the experience of the EFL Trophy and it looks likely that we could be part of that again. I wanted the lads to experience some first-team friendlies this year before we even made that tournament because they are challenging in themselves. We’ve got games lined up against the likes of Salford, Doncaster, Macclesfield and Swindon.
“So there are going to be some tough games, considering we’re of such a young age. It’s going to be hard for them but there is some talent there and that can really start to shine through.
“We played Swindon last year and we know how they want to play football. We know they’re not going to turn up and try to boot us off the pitch and injure some of the younger lads, especially as we have a very young squad. We want to have that first-team opposition but also would like to have opposition who try to play football and not try to outpower us or be a battle because we’re not going to win them at this stage. ”
Wed 12 Aug: v. Salford City Tue 18 Aug: v. Swindon Town Sat 22 Aug: v. Morecambe Tue 25 Aug: v. Stoke City U23s Fri 28 Aug: v. Macclesfield Town Tue 1 Sep: v. Doncaster Rovers Sat 5 Sep: v. Everton U23s
The last time Manchester United signed a youngster from Barcelona, that player went on to become one of the world's best.
Gerard Pique arrived at Old Trafford as a 17-year-old in 2004 and that same year, Marc Jurado was born.
Now 16 years old, the young right-back has rejected Barca's three-year contract offer and follows in the footsteps of the World Cup-winning defender, who spent four years in Manchester before returning home in 2008.
One of the most promising players of his generation, Jurado formed part of Barcelona's Juvenil A side and was expected to progress to their youth team, Barca B, within a couple of years.
Born in Sabadell, just outside Barcelona, Jurado joined La Masia at the age of seven after impressing at local club CF Can Rull (where he had played since he was four) and has remained there for the past nine years.
In his second season with the Blaugrana, the youngster recorded the fastest goal for the FCB Benjamin C side as he stole the ball straight from the kick-off and raced forward to convert after just five seconds against UD Viladecans.
Jurado is very much a modern-day full-back, getting up and down the pitch with speed and skill and also earning a reputation for his goalscoring ability, netting six in a season for FCB Cadete B.
He is also fondly remembered for a headed goal against Real Madrid in the MIC 2016 tournament, which opened the scoring for Barcelona's Infantil A side and set the Catalans on their way to a 2-0 win over their fierce rivals.
Defensively, he has good awareness and positional sense, while his pace is a vital asset at both ends of the pitch.
Technically, he is strong and has all the qualities you would expect from a young La Masia graduate, with the ability to beat players, good passing and link-up play. And although he most comfortable at right-back, he can also operate as a winger.
Barcelona did not want to lose him and all the indications are that United have a very exciting player on their hands and possibly a man to challenge Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the right-back role at Old Trafford in years to come.
WhatsTheMata: sooooo some sort of indonesian wizard is cursing all of us
May 10, 2018 11:12:07 GMT
Deleted: 'indonesian wizard'
May 10, 2018 18:27:15 GMT
WhatsTheMata: Glad you think it's funny. When we get fucked around by the spells you just deleted you will take me seriously
May 19, 2018 11:57:48 GMT
No.7: Can this thread be unlocked or is it too early? not that i want Jose out now but i think were coming close to that time and want to hear peoples opinions on the subject.
Sept 20, 2018 10:15:25 GMT
cjjagzmoni: Pogba is a good lad minus the showboating..I think at Juventus he had Older players like Pirlo,Chiellini,Marchisio,Bonucci who shout and screams at him so he was more serious at Juve ,We dont have those type of leaders at United to caution him.
Nov 1, 2018 3:36:38 GMT
geo: Cardiff City - Huddersfield Town - Bournemouth - Newcastle United = 12 points. Back in the hunt. Come on.
Dec 19, 2018 17:55:18 GMT
geo: Job done as above - next step, stay unbeaten until we get to the PSG game.
Jan 3, 2019 23:17:42 GMT
theedge: Just discovered this forum. I live in Canada so don't get to many games, but I get to watch all the games live. Last 2 games attended in person: Europa League Final in Stockholm 2017, FA Cup Final 2016. Won the last 11 I've been to. I need to go more often
Apr 1, 2019 23:25:01 GMT
simes: Kazakhstan....well blow me down...been there many a time, not so bad a journey. FC Astana are not a bad outfit, gave Celtic a good run, and the National side beat Scotland. What do you reckon a walk over? BTW its easy to get to, I always use Air Astana.
Aug 30, 2019 14:11:59 GMT
snan1218: Hi,I'm very new member,the Red Devil from Malaysia.
Oct 10, 2019 9:16:40 GMT
shah: Hi i am shah been united fan from birec
Jan 24, 2020 8:33:02 GMT