There has been a former Manchester United youth player in every first-team match squad for the past 3,753 competitive fixtures - an astonishing record that dates all the way back to October 1937 and one that underlines the club’s commitment to home-grown talent.
Paddy McNair is one of the players currently flying the Academy's flag within the senior ranks and is looking to cement a place in Louis van Gaal's plans after signing a new long-term contract with the club in February, during his breakthrough season at Old Trafford.
A minor injury means the Northern Ireland international will unfortunately not feature in the Reds' Capital One Cup third-round clash with Ipswich Town but his exclusive interview in United Review, the official match programme, is still an interesting read. When presented with our incredible stat about homegrown players, he explained how that record reflects the club's ethos and revealed how junior colleagues have approached him for advice.
“I didn't know it was that long, but it's obviously good and shows our Academy players have a chance of making it into the first team,” explains Paddy in the programme. “I am the latest person to do it, I suppose, and a couple of the younger lads have asked me what it's like to play at Old Trafford, or what's it like to walk out of the tunnel. I just tell them to keep working hard and that their chance will come.”
McNair covers a variety of topics in United Review, ranging from his senior Reds debut against West Ham almost a year ago today to Northern Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016. He also explains how life has changed for him since he stepped into the first-team spotlight at Old Trafford.
“I sometimes get fans coming up to me in the street, especially at home in Northern Ireland where there’s a massive United fan base. It’s different but I enjoy it, I don’t mind people approaching me. People at home are proud of me and they tell me how well I’m doing. It’s a nice feeling.”
On the subject of signing a new contract earlier this year, the defender says he was delighted to receive such a reward from van Gaal, a manager he has great admiration for.
"Yeah I was pleased, it was great," Paddy explains. "I am just going to keep working hard now and hopefully more opportunities will come along for me. It felt like a boost for me, it was a great feeling and I was delighted. The boss is a great manager, he has done so much in his career, so for somebody like that to support me gives me a massive confidence boost. I have a good relationship with him."
PADDY MCNAIR TARGETS EURO 2016 WITH NORTHERN IRELAND
Paddy McNair is determined to help Northern Ireland qualify for the European Championship in France and, as such, the Manchester United man is yet to book his summer holiday.
Michael O’Neill’s men are currently top of their qualifying group and know that any kind of victory over Greece on Thursday would send them through to a first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, nine years before McNair was even born in 1995.
The 20-year-old made his international debut during a 1-0 friendly defeat to Scotland last April and has been involved ever since. Speaking in a recent edition of United Review, the matchday programme at Old Trafford, he explained how proud he is to represent his country.
“It is a special feeling and my Northern Ireland debut was the highlight of last season, along with my United debut against West Ham at Old Trafford,” he said. “There is a lot of excitement about the team back home because we are close to qualifying for the Euros.
“It’s given everyone a lift and we are excited for the match against Greece. If we win, then we’ll qualify. It’s in our hands and we’re desperate to take our chance. Playing at the Euros would be special and, hopefully, we’ll do the job. I haven’t booked any holidays for next summer yet!”
McNair is one of several youth players currently in Louis van Gaal’s first team at United after graduating through the various levels of the Academy. During that time he forged a fruitful relationship with Jonny Evans and, understandably, he was disappointed to see his mentor leave for West Bromwich Albion in the summer, even if he accepts that was a positive move for his fellow defender.
“Yeah, I was a little bit sad because he helped me a lot when I came into this team at United,” Paddy admitted. “He is a Northern Ireland international as well but I’m sure Jonny will do well at West Brom. It’s definitely a good move for him with Darren Fletcher and Anders Lindegaard there as well.
“He’s a good player and will do well there, 100 per cent. I saw him shortly after the move with Ireland and he was happy, and excited to be playing regularly again.”
Paddy McNair to spend third night in Helsinki hospital
1 hour ago
Paddy McNair made his senior Northern Ireland debut against Scotland in March Manchester United defender Paddy McNair is expected to spend a third night in hospital in Helsinki after being injured during Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifier in Finland.
The 20-year-old suffered an abdominal injury after being kicked at the bottom of his ribs in the 1-1 draw.
Although the damage is not thought to be extensive, medics want to make sure before allowing McNair to fly home.
Northern Ireland's team doctor has remained with McNair for the tests.
It is understood United are happy to leave the situation as it is and there are currently no plans for any of their medical staff to fly to Finland.
There is not expected to be an update from Old Trafford until manager Louis van Gaal addresses the media on Friday ahead of his side's Premier League game at Everton.
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