United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Marveld misery for United

Posted by nickogs20 on June 8, 2009

Despite a promising start that saw them in contention to qualify for the final of this year’s Marveld Tournament with one group game remaining, United’s U15s were forced to settle for a repeat of last year’s 10th place finish as their competition ended with disappointing defeats to Lokomotiv Moscow and PSV Eindhoven.

An annual fixture on United’s calendar, 2009 saw the 20th hosting of the Marveld Tournament, with the Dutch city of Groenlo the venue as ever. The U15 tournament regularly attracts representative teams from some of Europe’s biggest clubs and this year was no different, with Real Madrid, Valencia, Anderlecht, PSV, Lokomotiv, Auxerre, Red Star Belgrade, Feyenoord and FC Twente/Heracles all taking part, along with local side SV Grol.

Friday night saw the tournament get underway, and it was an inauspicious start for the Reds as suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Anderlecht. All wasn’t lost however – Marveld sees the 12 participating teams split into two groups of six, who play each other on a round-robin basis, so United had a further four games in ‘Pepsi Group’ in which to make amends.

Saturday was a much busier day, with each side playing three games (all matches being twenty minutes each way). United’s early kick-off was against Valencia, and a 2-0 win got the Reds’ campaign right back on track. A 0-0 draw with Feyenoord followed before the day ended as it began, with a 2-0 win – this time against SV Grol. That, and the day’s other results, left the group looking incredibly tight at the end of day two, with United amongst four teams sat atop the table on seven points heading into the final group game. All four, along with Feyenoord (sitting in fifth place on 5 points) were still in with a great chance of making the semi-finals – things were terrifically poised, with United looking well-placed to improve on their best-ever Marveld finish (6th in 2006 and 2007).

The Reds battle it out against Feyenoord - picture courtesy of the official Marveld website

The Reds battle it out against Feyenoord - picture courtesy of the official Marveld website

…. and that’s where it all went a bit wrong for the boys from Manchester. A win in their last group match, against Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia, would have seen the Reds top the group and progress into the semi-finals, but a third 2-0 reverse of the tournament combined with other results to drop the Reds down to a hugely disappointing fifth place, consigning them to the scant consolation of a 9th/10th place playoff against PSV Eindhoven. Things were to get even worse in that clash, as the Dutch side romped to a 4-1 win and condemned United to a second successive 10th place finish. The 20th Marveld title was later won by Auxerre, who beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the final.

Results obviously aren’t the be-all and end-all at this level – far from it – but the Reds’ failure to make an impact at Marveld again seems to further endorse the comments of Brian McClair at last summer’s Manchester United Premier Cup, where he stated that our best players were every bit as good as the best players at the continental opposition we were facing – they just had more of them. That lack of quality in quantity is unlikely to change – at any club in England – until hugely necessary changes are made to youth development in this country, not least with regards to the ridiculous ’90-minute’ ruling that prevents clubs from scouting and recruiting youngsters who live more than ninety minutes travelling time from the club in question. None of the continental opposition the Reds faced in Groenlo face the same obstacle.

Unfortunately at this stage we have no word on the United squad for the tournament, or any lineups and goalscorers as yet. Hopefully that’s something we can rectify in due course. You can view full results and a gallery of pictures from the three days of competition at the official Marveld website.


1. Jonathan Sutherland
2. Donald Love
3. James Wilson
4. Matthew Wilkinson
5. Tyler Blackett
6. Jack Rudge
7. Kenji Gorre
8. Luke Hendrie
9. Jack Barmby
10. Benjamin Pearson
11. James Weir
12. Joseph Rothwell
13. Michael Cottrill
14. David Kocsis
15. Elliot Kebbie
16. Daniel Griffiths

8 Responses to “Marveld misery for United”

  1. Norries said

    Chocci was speaking the truth, bt i think we shuld still have done better at the blue square – i think the 20mins are nt enough to work some sort of rythem, bt then we have remember tht this are still growing boys. Nick anything about the world youth club champions competition we won in was it malaysia couple of years ago.

  2. nickogs20 said

    That got scrapped due to political wrangling in Malaysia unfortunately.

  3. cem said

    was elliot kebbie signed from leeds? also nick do you know if lajic is in the serbia u21 squad?


  4. philiprolfe said

    Kebbie was from Leeds, and Ljajic isn’t in the squad.

  5. Rajiv Kumar said

    Philiprolfe: But have Man Utd signed Elliot kebbie?

  6. cem said

    cheers philiprolfe does any one know if noble lazarus was signed from barnsley? i heard he was on trial

  7. Rajiv Kumar said

    Cem: since Noble-Lazarus’s trial with us he has gone on to sign a professional contract with Barnsley so it looks unlikely we will sign him now.

  8. cem said

    already, wow thanks rajiv

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