United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Fagan shows there is life after United

Posted by nickogs20 on February 9, 2009

When Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss Don Givens named his latest squad at the weekend, there was an interesting name with an interesting story to tell amongst the 18-man party.

Irish forward Christy Fagan was released by the Reds back in July last year. A key part of the side that came so close to winning the 2006/07 FA Youth Cup, Christy failed to really make the step up to reserve level at United and wasn’t offered a new contract, prompting the search for a new club that so many youngsters at top flight clubs have to undertake.

Christy underwent numerous trials with Football League clubs in England, but – despite interest from a number of those – the young Dubliner instead decided to accept a place at the newly-established Glenn Hoddle Academy, an initiative put into action by the former England star to help those discarded by professional clubs to get back into the game.

Based at the plush Montecastillo Resort in southern Spain, the initial intake of 30 players have access to top-class facilities and coaching and regularly play matches against senior Spanish opposition. Christy has starred for the GHA so far this season and bagged himself plenty of goals, a run of form that has culminated in his call-up to the Irish U21 squad for tomorrow’s game against Germany in Cork. No mean feat for a player who is essentially without a club, and a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the player (so many never recover from the hammer blow of being let go by United) and the impressive work of Glenn Hoddle and his staff.

Christy is understandably delighted to have recieved a call-up:

“I am really pleased to be called up to the Under 21 squad. Thanks to Glenn and the coaches I am at the top of my game and it’s great that even being here in Spain the selectors keep an eye on you.

“I’ve played in a few matches here in Spain against top opposition and scored a few goals, so I hope I can continue the momentum and score a few more for my country.”

And Glenn Hoddle is understandably proud:

“This is great news for Chris and just reward for the hard work and professionalism he has shown since he joined the Academy.

“He really is a special talent and I am delighted that he has received a call up. There is no greater accolade than representing your country and I am sure he will justify his selection. We are all very proud of him.”

An Under-21 call-up is of course no assurance of a long and prosperous career in the game, but it’s a rare achievement indeed for those cut loose by the club at such a young age, and great inspiration for those in the future who will find themselves in a similar position to that Christy found himself in last summer.

12 Responses to “Fagan shows there is life after United”

  1. rabbababb said

    Well done to the lad, it would be great to see him step up his game and mayby one day beeing able to play against former team-mates @ Old trafford..

  2. Tone said

    “and a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the player”

    Had he only shown some of this when he was here, maybe he wouldn’t have been released…

  3. nickogs20 said

    Not sure that’s fair to be honest, none of us know why he was released and none of us can conclusively say he didn’t show those qualities while he was here.

  4. Tone said

    You’re right, I only saw him play for academy and reserves. He must just have had off days, everytime…

  5. nickogs20 said

    Gawd bless sarcasm.

    I never saw anything from him at either level to suggest he was particularly lacking in determination, commitment, work-rate etc.

  6. CaptainPark said

    Wasn’t he one of the two players who was involved in a fatal accident some years back where the victim died? Correct me if I’m wrong, but if it was the case, it does suggest that his attitude was not quite spot-on then. Maybe being released by United woke him up. Good work though and keep it up lad.

  7. Rasmus said


    Mads Timm and Callum Flanagan were the two players involved

  8. Jason said

    The GHA is all about players who get released from clubs. Most Hoddle said are late developers and need to be given an extra year or two to develop. At his academy they are trained very well and hopefully some will make it back into the game. It’s a very novel idea, and it is great to see these types of initiatives going on.

  9. CaptainPark said

    Thanks Rasmus for pointing that out.

  10. redseason said

    First of all, thanks for the fantastic site. It’s always great to keep track of former Reds, however minor or trivial their part in the Club’s history has been.

    Re. the article, perhaps someone can fill me in on some details. (1) Presumably, the GHA’s facilities at the “plush Montecastillo Resort in southern Spain” costs money to set up and run. How does it finance itself? Do the trainees pay a fee?
    (2) I notice that the GHA play matches against Spanish sides. Does anyone know whether the GHA are in a competitive league? If so, does it mean that the GHA owns the players’ registrations?

    Anyway, it sounds like an interesting football model.

  11. […] the United Youth article, it seems to me that there are intriguing possibilities with the concept behind the Glenn Hoddle […]

  12. Tapasboy said

    Some videos where all is explained and where Fagan speaks or score against Southampton FC

    Academy news

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