United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Seven new scholars announced

Posted by nickogs20 on July 2, 2010

With pre-season training set to get underway next week, the full list of new first-year academy scholars has been revealed.

The seven new names were confirmed in a series of tweets (1, 2, 3) from United in-house journalist Ben Hibbs. The majority of the seven were already known but there were a couple of surprises, most notably the presence of two goalkeepers in the new intake, a rare sight and something that – with Sam Johnstone entering his second year – should ensure fierce competition for the number one jersey in the U18s this coming season.

Here’s what we know so far about the seven new hopefuls*…


Born 2nd April 1994 in Manchester

Born and raised in Manchester, Tyler has been on United’s books since the age of eight, having been spotted playing for the renowned Fletcher Moss Rangers junior club in Didsbury (also the starting point in Wes Brown’s career). Most at home at centre-back, where his height, strength and pace make him a formidable opponent, Tyler can also play at full-back – indeed, his solitary appearance for the U18s thus far saw him impress at left-back in a draw with Sheffield Wednesday earlier this year, and with the plethora of central defenders available to Paul McGuinness, the wide positions may initially be his best route into the side.

United fan Tyler attended the same Urmston school as academy team-mate Ravel Morrison and has represented England at U16 level (appearing in last year’s successful Victory Shield campaign), although he also remains eligible to play for Jamaica or Barbados through family ties.


Born 2nd February 1994 in Meenlaragh, County Donegal, Ireland

Joe signed for the Reds back in March after Sir Alex Ferguson and academy director Brian McClair went to great lengths to secure the much-coveted keeper’s services in the face of competition from a host of Premier League clubs. Hailing from Meenlaragh in County Donegal, Irish-speaking Joe has played for local side Glenea United since the age of six and has been capped eight times by his country at Under-16 level, impressing enough to be somewhat predictably tagged ‘the new Shay Given’.

A big Celtic fan (United are his favourite English side), Joe’s biggest goalkeeping influence is Bhoys stopper Artur Boruc. Standing 6’1″ tall, the left-footed Irishman has ideal height for his position, especially considering his age, and boasts terrific reflexes, attributes shown when the 16 year-old appeared for the academy while on trial in last October’s friendly match against Maltese side Hibernians.


Born 16th February 1994 in Antwerp, Belgium

United beat perennial title rivals Arsenal and Chelsea to the punch (as well as Dutch giants Ajax) when snapping up Charni Ekangamene from affiliate club Royal Antwerp in March 2009. A versatile young attacker with strength and pace in abundance, Antwerp youth coach Alex Verveckken has described Charni as “a great talent”, going on to add that the teenager “is mentally strong and never nervous.”

Belgian-born but of Congolese descent, Charni moved to Manchester earlier this year after turning 16 and made a surprising late-season appearance in the reserves’ 1-0 defeat at Wigan. He was unable to make much of an impression in a 15-minute cameo that day but will be given every chance to impress over the next couple of seasons.


Born 27th August 1994 in Leeds

Son of former Bradford City and Middlesbrough forward John and second cousin of former Aston Villa and England midfielder Lee, Luke comes from a real footballing family. Having started out with his boyhood club Bradford, where his younger brother Jordan remains on the books, talented all-round athlete Luke followed in the footsteps of Tom Cleverley in making the move from the Bantams to Old Trafford and has regularly impressed at U15 and U16 level, notably as captain at last year’s Manchester United Premier Cup.

Primarily a central midfielder with an eye for goal and strong all-round game, Luke also showed his versatility when making his debut for England U16s against Wales last autumn in an unfamiliar right-back role. His final schoolboy season was cut short by a serious foot injury, but having already done enough to secure a scholarship, Luke should be fully fit and ready to go as pre-season training gets underway.

Born 18th August 1994 in Sydney, Australia

Very much the mystery man of the new intake, Sydney-raised Liam is a graduate of the Australian city’s International Goalkeeper Academy and originally moved to England with Liverpool after a successful trial in late 2008. He appeared for the Merseyside club’s U18 and reserve sides last season aged just fifteen but also spent time on trial with United, during which he was an unused substitute in the U18s’ 2-0 win over Sunderland in March.

While Liam is definitely something of an unknown quantity, United’s decision to hand the reportedly-6’3″ stopper a scholarship despite having already signed a first-year ‘keeper in the form of Joe Coll earlier in the year suggests the club felt they couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to bring the young Aussie into the fold. The competition for the number one jersey at U18 level figures to be an intriguing aspect of the coming campaign.


Born 13th January 1994 in Wrexham, Wales

A lively, talented attacker comfortable both in a forward role or in midfield, Tom has been on United’s books since the age of eight and has impressed at a number of youth tournaments, including Marveld and the Manchester United Premier Cup. Included in the U18 squad that travelled to Malta for a training camp last October, the Welsh teenager made the most of his opportunity by getting on the scoresheet in the 3-1 friendly win over Hibernians FC.

Tom combined his United duties with outings for Flint Boys and his local village side before moving permanently to Manchester a year ago. A Welsh Under-17 international, the Wrexham-born youngster scored on his debut for his country in a defeat to a Basque County U18 side back in February and has this week been named in the squad for a friendly tournament against Sweden later this month.


Born 15th February 1994 in Portadown, Northern Ireland

Already a first-teamer in the Irish League for Dungannon Swifts and captain of the Northern Ireland U17 side, Luke joins the Reds with a burgeoning reputation after his performances for club and country. Hailing from Portadown, the 16 year-old right-sided centre-back boosts the Northern Irish contingent at United to seven and has been compared with first-team star Jonny Evans due to his maturity and composure on the ball, with NI’s U17 boss stating that he “could be in the senior side very soon.”

Luke has starred at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup for County Armagh and impressed at Carrington during a number of trial spells, and while he’s a self-confessed Liverpool fan, so were Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and John O’Shea – if Luke fares half as well, United fans will have no cause for concern…

*All information (particularly birthdates and birthplaces) to the best of our knowledge, and subject to confirmation/clarification from MUFC in due course.

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15 Responses to “Seven new scholars announced”

  1. FaNaT said

    Great work – many thanks to you. I’ll use this info for my website, if it’s not a problem ofcourse.

  2. Ha3aN said

    i love reserve players , morrison is my love

  3. Max19 said

    Interesting we’ve taken 2 ‘keepers. What about Johnny Sutherland? Is he a year younger? Or already been released?

  4. nickogs20 said

    He’s still an U16.

  5. […] Seven new scholars announced With pre-season training set to get underway next week, the full list of new first-year academy scholars has been […] […]

  6. johnno1 said

    The signing of Liam Jacobs comes as quite a surprise on many levels. He arrived in England as part of an understanding on goalkeepers between Liverpool and the Aussie Academy. It is the same route that brough Dean Bouzanis to Liverpool.

    It is therefore surprising that he has ended up at United rather than Liverpool.

    I have to say that I saw a couple of his performances for the Liverpool u18s last season. Even allowing for the fact that he was playing up as an u16 he was less than impressive when I saw him.
    He is a slightly built lad way short of the 6’3″ reported above unless he hashad a spectacular growth spurt in the last few months!
    I rather suspect and have had it suggested to me that Liverpool have not been too disappointed at him moving on. That makes it even more surprising United are the club to have picked him up.

    The signing of two keepers probably underlines that United are unsure about Sam Johnstone and wish to give him a degree of competition to spur him on after a slightly dissapointing and inconsistent first scholarship season.

  7. Keepyuppy said

    Johnno is pretty spot on, half of Australia are falling over laughing at that one. He was number 5 or 6 as a keeper in the local setup for what would be a district team in the UK.

    I heard JA from liverpool didnt think he was suitable for that level, And def not 63 only around 61 maximum. Kicking very poor and quiet as a church mouse.

    Man U have embarrassed themselves in Australia with this signing its actually become a joke and thats a sad thing. Surely youve got scouts.

    • loveit321 said

      johnno is not spot on and you both sound very jealous and very resentful……did your boys not make it?

      He is 6’3″ and could even be taller now. my son played against him until he went to England and he is the best keeper i have seen in his age group.

      And sorry to say but you and your pathetic other jealous soccer parents are NOT half of Australia and what you dont realise is that there are alot of scouts and they are probably laughing and all of your kids who think they are good but they just arent good enough for UTD.

      So sad that you think because your kids dont make it that it is the error of the experts…..if your boys made it with fnsw that is a sign they are never going to make it so stop embarrassing yourselves with nasty remarks about great talent that are noticed by the experts nad get your boys into some other sport.

  8. rizwan said

    Thank you…

  9. loveit321 said

    Congratulations to all but especially to Liam Jacob it is wonderful to see our true Aussie talent recognized in such a well respected club like UTD.

    I think it is you keepyuppy that has embarrassed yourself by making such a stupid comment…..lets hope UTD doesnt think all Aussies are as pathetic as you.

    It must be hard for you knowing that there are so many scouts here in Australia that actually know talent when they see it, obviously your sons are not talented enough and im sure these scouts and clubs know alot more than you.

  10. tweetee said

    Congrats to Manu on signing Liam Jacob. Having watched Liam play he is a quality keeper and has a great aussie work ethic. I for one am happy Liam chose to sign with us. I watched the Manu v Liverpool under 16s game this year when the scousers beat us 6-0 with Liam keeping for them. Our keeper was an Australian trialist so judging by the comment made by Loveit321 I assume that this lad must have been either Keepyuppy or Johnno1’s son and if that is the case I am glad that we have chosen Liam over these nasty vindictive people our family orientated club does not need people with their mentality. I am 6’1″ and when Liam walked past me he was at least a few inches taller than what I am. The Liverpool back line were very organised and did not appear to have any trouble hearing the Church mouses instructions. So I for one would like to welcome Liam to our great club.

  11. Keepy Uppy said

    Maybe my comment was not the best. I do wish the player all the best. And I am just giving the feedback that was told me in Australia. We are a long way from there, its just we do figure there are atleast other Australians playing in our domestic competition that would obviously do very well if this is the standard.

    Best of luck to the player. Great Effort.

  12. loveit321 said

    Not maybe keepyuppy…your comment was nasty. The feedback you are referring to is from other parents who also have a very nasty and jealous streak in them. I have been watching the premier youth league for 4 years and i can tell you there is no better keeper than Liam.
    There are however alot of players and keepers that think they are superstars and have the bad attitude to go with it….if they are who you are referring to i think you’ll find that good coaches and well respected clubs here and overseas will not be interested.
    However, the poor kicking quiet church mouse is obviously what they were looking for so i say if you dont know the facts you really should keep your nasty and incorrect comments to yourself. I have seen all the keepers play over here and they are not ever going to be up to Liams standards…and that is a fact.

  13. keepyuppy said

    Guess I was right feedback from current Aust camp is relevant.

    • loveit321 said

      hahahah What Australian camp would you be talking about Keepyuppy…..the one that has players that are not Australias best????

      The only feedback that is relevant is that the right players get chosen on performance overseas and not how much they can pay or who they know that can get the players in!!!

      But thanks again for your useless information from the gossips back in Australia……always good for a laugh!

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