United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Plymouth Argyle take Craig Cathcart on loan

Posted by nickogs20 on August 8, 2008

United’s Northern Irish centre-half Craig Cathcart has joined Coca-Cola Championship club Plymouth Argyle on a six-month loan deal.

The highly-rated 19-year old was a late call-up to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team squad for the tour of Africa and impressed in games against Kaizer Chiefs and Portsmouth, drawing praise from the manager who also stated the Belfast-born defender would likely be sent out on loan this season. As such today’s announcement is no surprise, and nor is the player’s destination – Plymouth have in the past taken Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Lee Martin on loan from the Reds and Argyle boss Paul Sturrock is known to have a good relationship with SAF.

Cathcart moves to Home Park looking to make up for lost time somewhat after a frustrating 2007-08 season. 2006-07 saw the Ulsterman come close to making his first-team debut and make a big impression in both the reserves and in the U18’s run to the Youth Cup final, and big things were expected of him moving into the following season. He spent the first half of that campaign on loan at United’s Belgian affiliate club Royal Antwerp, performing well but not really being tested as much by life in the Belgian second tier as he or the United manager would have hoped. Returning to Old Trafford in January, a domestic loan looked likely but niggling injuries contrived to limit him to just 7 reserve appearances over the next four months.

Plymouth have handed Craig the number 22 shirt and he goes straight into the squad for their opening-day clash with Wolves tomorrow. “He is a good centre-half with good qualities, and you don’t play for Manchester United if you’re not of a very decent standard,” Sturrock told Plymouth’s official site. “I am very happy to bring the boy on board and it is up to him to get himself in the team.

You can follow Craig’s progress with the Devon club via our extensive weekly loan updates.

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3 Responses to “Plymouth Argyle take Craig Cathcart on loan”

  1. MadRed said

    I think it’s a good move for Cathcart. He’s getting to an age where regular first team football will be beneficial for him. He won’t get that at Utd, not with the form that Rio and Vidic have been, and with Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Jonny Evans ahead of him (rightly). Plymouth struggled a bit last season, and it will be another tough season for them. That will be good for Cathcart, since he will get to experience life at the other end of the league, at a small club.

  2. Jamie said

    Did you ever write an article about what happened in the end of the Milk cup. I know the youths lost and finished sixth, but it would have been quite nice to know how it went down and who scored. Henry Winter said in the Telegraph that they were very impressive against Juventus, with some good players in midfield.

  3. nickogs20 said

    Article to come later on today Jamie. The line-ups and goalscorers from the day three games took a little while to filter through (I assume you mean the Premier Cup and not the Milk Cup).

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