United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

OGS rallies Reds fans as reserves get league campaign underway

Posted by nickogs20 on September 18, 2008

United’s reserves kick-off their 2008/09 FA Premier Reserve League North campaign this evening against Blackburn Rovers, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling on United fans to turn out in numbers at the Marstons Arena over the course of the season in support of his exciting young team.

Speaking to manutd.com, Ole said:

“I think they deserve a big crowd because they play such nice, attacking football. We play the way football should be; attacking, through the middle with everyone involved.

We’ve had so much positive feedback from the clubs we’ve played against so far. It’s great for us as a club and for me and Warren (Joyce) as coaches, to know that our players are conducting themselves as we want them to. So they do deserve a good crowd.”

Crowds for United home reserve fixtures have dwindled in recent years. Just a few short years ago a team containing the likes of Gerard Piqué, David Jones, Chris Eagles, Lee Martin, Giuseppe Rossi and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake regularly saw games at Altrincham’s Moss Lane home packed with Reds excited by the quality of football and sheer potential on display. The marked decrease in quality of the reserve league in the past few years combined with the decision to move the games to Hyde and, most recently, Northwich has seen a steep fall in attendance, crowds rarely climbing above 200-300 where four figures was once the norm.

Things could be set to change though. The recent trend across all top division clubs of sending all their best young talent out on loan seems to have died down somewhat, with more clubs deciding to keep their most promising youngsters in-house, at least at this early stage of the season. United’s first choice reserve XI at the moment is the strongest it has been since that great 2004-06 vintage, and is a far more enticing prospect for potential spectators than the sides we’ve seen put out over the last two seasons.

There’s certainly every reason to get down and watch the lads tonight. Solskjaer has named a strong team including Ben Foster in goal, Rafael at right-back, Darron Gibson and Rodrigo Possebon in midfield and Danny Welbeck upfront. Tom Cleverley and Danny Drinkwater will be looking to continue their impressive pre-season scoring form, while Cameron Stewart and Federico Macheda make the step up from the academy once again to take a place on the bench. And if that’s not enough, there’s the prospect of a ‘warm reception’ for the most notable name on the Blackburn team-sheet – one Robbie Fowler, who partners Roque Santa Cruz’s younger brother Julio in attack for the visitors.

Confirmed teams:

United: Ben Foster; Rafael da Silva, Richard Eckersley, James Chester, David Gray; Darron Gibson, Rodrigo Possebon, Danny Drinkwater, Sam Hewson, Tom Cleverley; Danny Welbeck.
Substitutes: Ron-Robert Zieler, Cameron Stewart, Magnus Eikrem, Corry Evans, Federico Macheda.

Blackburn: Bunn, Kane, Nolan, Winnard, Gunning, Doran, Marrow, Hodge, Olsson, Fowler, J. Santa Cruz.
Substitutes: O’Keefe, Bussman, Bateson, Haworth, Flynn, McCubbin, Marshall.

The game kicks off at 7pm and MUTV have both live coverage and a delayed showing at 10pm. We’ll have a full report up later.

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