United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Posts Tagged ‘conor mccormack’

Club confirm the release of seven

Posted by nickogs20 on June 27, 2008

United have this afternoon confirmed what we pretty much knew already – a septet of youngsters will be released when their contracts expire on Monday. Although the identity of these players have been known for a while, for the record they are defenders Michael Lea and Kieran Lee, midfielders Ritchie Jones and Conor McCormack, wingers Séan Evans and Michael Barnes, and forward Chris Fagan.

It has been known since early 2008 that Lea, Evans, Barnes and Fagan wouldn’t be offered new contracts this summer, and the quartet have spent a lot of time since then on trial at other clubs. Jones’ contract was also known to be expiring and it was anticipated he would move on, although this hadn’t been confirmed. News of McCormack’s release came in April (initially via United.no) and was confirmed by the player himself in interviews around the time of the Champions League Final, while Kieran Lee’s free transfer to Oldham Athletic – perhaps the biggest surprise of the seven – was announced at around the same time.

Best of luck to all seven in their future careers.

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Jones to Swindon/mystery club, McCormack to Triestina?

Posted by nickogs20 on June 25, 2008

Ritchie Jones, copyright soccernetIt’s always good to see released players find new clubs to continue their career with, and reports today indicate a couple of those being let go this summer are on the verge of doing so.

The Swindon Advertiser are reporting that an unnamed United youngster has been invited to join Swindon Town for pre-season training, effectively on trial. The player may be unnamed but it’s not exactly difficult to work out who it is from the ‘clues’ the newspaper gives – the player is 21 years old, plays right or central midfield and is out of contract at Old Trafford, and “has made a handful of appearances for United in cup competitions, as well as gaining experience from two loan spells in the Championship in 2006/07, and time in League One last season”. Step forward Ritchie Jones. Jones hasn’t officially been released but he is out of contract this summer and it seems unlikely United will offer him a new one. He of course spent time on loan at Championship sides Colchester and Barnsley in 06/07 and League One Yeovil last season.

Ritchie is already thought to have recieved a contract offer from an unnamed league club, so whether he takes Swindon boss Maurice Malpas up on this offer will likely depend on the relative standing of the mystery club compared to the Wiltshire side. It would seem to be something of a risk for the midfielder to turn down a solid contract offer to go on trial somewhere else with no guarantee of a permanent deal, but it may be that the existing offer is from a club in League Two – Swindon are of course in League One and Ritchie may have enough confidence in his ability to play at a relatively higher level to take that risk.

Meanwhile, the Irish Daily Star say midfielder Conor McCormack is on the verge of signing a contract with Italian Serie B side Triestina. The 18 year old was released in April after two seasons in the academy, and went on trial to the club from the north-east of Italy in May, scoring and impressing. Conor and 17 year old Michael Collins, released by Liverpool recently, are apparently “putting the finishing touches to contracts” this week.

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Where next for those moving on?

Posted by nickogs20 on June 7, 2008

For most United fans, all the focus now and over the next couple of months will understandably be on players coming in (or potentially coming in), but spare a thought for those leaving Old Trafford – in particular those leaving to an uncertain future. Several players are set to be released or not have their contracts renewed this summer, and while United do everything they can to ensure these players find another club, there are essentially only so many professional contracts up for grabs each year and there are an awful lots of players competing for them.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Dagbladet – Eikrem to sign pro deal

Posted by nickogs20 on May 7, 2008

Norwegian paper Dagbladet is reporting that United are set to offer Academy midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem a professional contract in the next couple of weeks.

Their article quotes the 17 year old as saying “The signals from the club thus far have all been so positive, I’ve never had any doubts I would be staying on”. Eikrem’s agent Jim Solbakken has apparently negotiated the deal which is expected to be signed when Magnus’ current scholarship contract runs out in the summer. It is also expected that the contract will be for one year initially, giving United the opportunity to assess the youngster’s progress before deciding whether to offer a longer professional deal. Magnus has always been considered a ‘long-term project’ by the coaching staff at United due to his slight physique, and they’ll be looking to see some significant development in that area over the next 12 months as the boy from Molde steps up to regular reserve football.

News on professional terms for Eikrem’s fellow second years is thin on the ground currently, with the club being typically unforthcoming with any details. united.no (the website of the MUFC Supporters Club’s Scandinavian Branch) reported back at the end of March that Conor McCormack had been released and was looking for a new club, but that as yet is unconfirmed. Ben Amos, Daniel Drinkwater, Daniel Galbraith, Corry Evans and Antonio Bryan have all been strong performers for the U18’s and semi-regular contributors at reserve level this season and you would expect them all to be retained, be that on professional terms or as third-year scholars. Jimmy Derbyshire has been in and out of the Academy side and there may be some doubt over his future with the club, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him kept on either. Naturally we’ll bring you up to date with any developments on this front as they come to light.

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Academy Preview – Reds finish off with trip to Tyneside

Posted by nickogs20 on April 11, 2008

The u18’s travel to the north east tomorrow morning for their season-closer against Newcastle with third place in Premier Academy League Group C firmly in their sights. League position is far from the be all and end all at this level (at least as far as MUFC are concerned), but a strong top three finish will be some consolation for the young Reds after the disappointment of an early youth cup exit. A win at the Magpies’ Little Benton training ground will be enough to secure United third place behind City and Everton – a draw will also do the trick, providing Crewe’s youngsters don’t win by an eight-goal margin of course. You never know at this level…

Newcastle have had a disappointing PAL season, with 15 defeats in their 27 fixtures so far leaving them languishing near the bottom of Group D. A number of their starting lineup tomorrow have recent experience of playing United, having been involved in the recent reserve double-header between the two teams. Midfielder Jonny Godsmark gave the Geordies the lead at the Marstons Arena a couple of weeks back before United stormed back to win 3-1, while winger Kazenga LuaLua (younger brother of former Newcastle and Pompey forward Lomana) and Dutch forward Frank Wiafe Danquah also featured that night in Northwich. Newcastle will have England U17 international Ryan Donaldson leading an attack that promises to be full of pace.

The United line-up is hard to predict, with Paul McGuinness likely to be torn between fielding the strongest possible eleven and experimenting a little to give some fringe players much needed gametime. Barring over-age appearances next season, Ben Amos, Corry Evans, Danny Drinkwater, James Derbyshire, Anton Bryan, Daniel Gabraith and Magnus Eikrem will all be playing in their final PAL fixture if selected (Conor McCormack has apparently already left the club) and in some cases may even be pulling on the red shirt for the last time.

Live coverage is on MUTV from 11.55am tomorrow morning, with the game kicking off at noon.

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