United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Hewson headed for Hereford

Posted by nickogs20 on January 6, 2009

Reds midfielder Sam Hewson has joined League One side Hereford United on loan, hot on the heels of fellow reserve regular David Gray joining Plymouth Argyle on New Years Day.

Hewson joins up with Graham Turner’s squad for an as-yet-undisclosed length of time, his first spell away from the Reds and a great opportunity to get a first taste of senior football. The 20 year-old has long been highly-rated at Old Trafford after his fine displays for the academy and reserves, having captained the U18s in the 2007 Youth Cup final (a bittersweet affair that saw him net the winner from the penalty spot in front of the Kop in the away leg but miss a penalty in the decisive shoot-out) and earned a nomination for last season’s Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award in his first full season with the second string.

The signs had been there in recent months that continued reserve team action was doing little to help progress the Bolton-born youngster as a footballer, so this stint at Edgar Street could be exactly what the doctor ordered. At his best Hewson is a hugely promising all-round midfield player with the ability to be effective in all areas of the pitch, combining a naturally combative and determined approach with creative instinct and a real eye for goal, a knack of arriving in the penalty at just the right time one of his stand-out qualities. The Whites currently find themselves second from bottom in League One, so hopefully Hewson can make a big contribution to their survival bid, starting this weekend at high-flying Scunthorpe.

Gray meanwhile has joined up with fellow Reds defender Craig Cathcart at Home Park, the versatile Scot going straight into Paul Sturrock’s Plymouth side for their FA Cup trip to Arsenal at the weekend. The 20 year-old had a mixed debut, being credited with putting through his own net for Arsenal’s second (although he denies making the decisive touch) but instantly making amends with a cross for Karl Duguid to pull one back. Robin van Persie ultimately settled the tie in the Gunners’ favour but Gray impressed both the watching media and his new manager, Sturrock being moved to say “The boy Gray had a baptism of fire for us, and I thought his debut for us was excellent. He’s very athletic, he’s quick and he’s tenacious. He fitted in as if he had been playing for us for years. And, to be fair, in the first half he got to the by-line three or four times and got us a few corners so, offensively as well as defensively, I thought he was excellent”. Cathcart also drew praise from several watching journalists, and such strong performances from the United duo on such a big stage will please Sir Alex Ferguson and everyone at Old Trafford no end.

One other piece of loan news – Ron-Robert Zieler’s loan spell at Northampton Town, where he has spent the last month offering goalkeeping cover, has been extended until the end of the month.

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