Academy Weekly: Youth Cup tickets available
Manchester United fans are urged to resume their fantastic, enduring support for our FA Youth Cup teams are we enter the competition in the third round this month with a home tie against Derby County.
Supporters can buy tickets for the Old Trafford fixture, to be played on Tuesday 19 December (19:00 GMT), for £3. Under-16s tickets are priced at £1.50.
The game will be decided by a penalty shootout if the scores are level after 90 minutes and extra time.
United are the most successful club in FA Youth Cup history, winning the competition on 11 occasions (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1964, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2011 and 2022) and reaching a further four finals (1982, 1986, 1993, 2007).
Now in its 71st year, the Youth Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious and storied youth football tournaments. Its alumni stretches from United’s own Busby Babes — five-time consecutive winners in the 1950s — through to current Premier League footballers, including our own Tom Heaton (2003 winner), Mason Mount (2016, 2017), Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo (2022) as well as Nathan Ake, Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Tariq Lamptey, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cole Palmer, Emile Smith-Rowe, and Kieran Trippier.
No club is more closely linked with the Youth Cup than United. Our 11 victories chronicle how the Academy has proved the bedrock of success here, and the latest, even in just one night, was a crucial reminder of what makes this club special. A record-breaking 67,492-strong Old Trafford crowd watched on, as fans showed their unerring commitment to supporting the next generation of Academy talent.
As the competition begins once more, we hope to see fans come down to Old Trafford once again to cheer on our young Reds.
Hong Kong film
While the Youth Cup represents the pinnacle of Academy football to many supporters, that’s not always the case for players and coaches.
Released last Friday, a fantastic exclusive new film documents our Under-16s' summer trip to Hong Kong.
In it, lead education officer Wayne Cahill explicitly states as such.
“This is the pinnacle of the boys’ time in the Academy,” he says.
“It’s the time to put all the skills that they’ve learnt here with us into practice.”
This film encapsulates exactly what the Academy staff are aiming to achieve all season. It shows how young footballers at the Academy have their eyes opened to the world through sport.
You can read more about the film, which features talks from ex-Reds Nemanja Vidic and Diego Forlan as well as behind-the-scenes footage from the full trip, here.
Academy contributes to Foundation shoe box initiative
All staff at the club are being encouraged to participate in the Manchester United Foundation’s shoe box initiative and the Academy players were keen to be involved, too.
“We all feel we’re in a pretty privileged position and we know there’s other kids around this area and throughout the world who’ve not got the opportunities and funding that we have so we thought it’d just be a nice gesture to make them some gifts,” Ruben Curley explained.
The initiative sees players and staff pack a shoe box with Christmas gifts for children less fortunate who may be otherwise unable to receive gifts or celebrate Christmas.
“We know how tough it is so the fact that our boys have an opportunity to make a difference to a wonderful initiative is the driving force,” Nick Cox, Director of Academy, said, “but also there’s a learning experience for our players.”
“They can gradually understand a little bit more about the community they represent when they pull on a Manchester United shirt but also begin to learn the good that they can do with the privileged position in which they find themselves.
“We’re conscious that our boys, many of whom come from difficult backgrounds themselves, but with a little bit of support have found themselves in a really privileged position. Through the opportunity they have at this football club, they become great ambassadors. Now they’re only young themselves and they’re learning so we don’t expect them to be perfect role models just yet but we want to help them understand what it means to be a good citizen and the good that they can do through their skill.
“We’ve just had a conversation with the boys there to say there used to be a narrative that footballers should stick to football but Marcus Rashford led the way in proving that footballers can do so much good beyond just what they can achieve on a football pitch. If we can get our boys to start thinking about how they can contribute to their community, that’s an important part of their learning.”
U18s win v Wolves
A hard-fought 2-0 victory over Wolves was secured by Gabriele Biancheri’s early penalty and Ruben Curley’s excellent late dribble and finish. You can watch highlights below.
U19s defeat in wet Istanbul
United lost 1-0 to Galatasaray in the UEFA Youth League last Wednesday, with Baran Demiroglu scoring the only goal.
A soaked surface and torrential rain limited the ability of both sides to find their rhythm but they eventually did, with chances at both ends. Jankat Yilmaz made several excellent saves in either half to deny James Scanlon and Isak Hansen-Aaroen in particular, leaving United unable to progress into the knockout stages of the competition.