United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Posts Tagged ‘hearts’

Rampant Reds advance to Milk Cup semi-final date with Watford

Posted by nickogs20 on July 30, 2008

United’s U17 side took their goal tally for the week to an impressive thirteen in just three games after thrashing Dublin side Cherry Orchard 5-1 in Ballymoney to secure a place in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup semi-finals.

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Ritchie Jones signs for Hartlepool

Posted by nickogs20 on July 4, 2008

Hearts, Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers, Swindon, Port Vale… all have appeared on the verge of securing Ritchie Jones’ signature over the last week or so following his release by United, but seemingly from nowhere it’s Hartlepool United who have snuck in under the radar and snapped up the 22 year-old.

Jones has been in advanced talks with Swindon and even underwent medicals at Hearts and Port Vale over the last couple of days but the midfielder has opted to sign for the North-East club, who finished last season 15th in League One. That decision, or rather the failure of the player and his agent to keep the other interested parties fully appraised of the situation, has irked Swindon boss Maurice Malpas and his Port Vale counterpart Lee Sinnott, the latter telling his club’s official website:

“On Thursday morning when we got in touch with him we were informed he would be coming to sign the forms yesterday afternoon at 4.00pm.

“Things changed again and we were expecting him to come to the club this afternoon at 4.00pm, but then at 3.15 we found out he wouldn’t be coming and he had signed for Hartlepool.

“These things happen in football, but perhaps when he looks back on things he will realise he could have kept us in the loop.

“We have been trying to contact him all day yesterday and again today. Perhaps people will be able to draw their own conclusions on that.

All that will be of little consequence to Hartlepool manager Danny Wilson, who has described the signing as ‘a feather in our cap’ on the Monkey Hangers’ official site:

“Potentially we have an excellent player on our books – he has a fantastic pedigree in terms of upbringing. Where better to start out from the age of 9 than Manchester United?

“He has some very good habits so that’s one thing we won’t have to work on.

“We’ve brought another potentially very good player in and there now becomes some intense competition in that area and that is what we want.

“Ritchie has high fitness levels, he can get goals and he is creative but as I have said before, he also has a big test in front of him to get into the team and stay there.”

Good luck to Ritchie at Victoria Park.

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Released Evans gets SPL chance

Posted by nickogs20 on July 4, 2008

Just a couple of days after his Old Trafford contract expired, Sean Evans has landed himself a trial at Scottish Premier League side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Evans will spend a week with the Northern Scotland club, with ICT boss Craig Brewster saying “the plan is to have a look at the boy for a week and, at the same time, he can see what we are all about up here”.

ICT had Evans’ erstwhile team-mate Michael Barnes (also now a free agent) on trial last season and their interest in Evans stems from that, with the 20 year-old left-winger being recommended by (amongst others) Sir Alex Ferguson as someone who has what it takes to make the grade as a professional footballer. If Evans does earn himself a contract with Caley Thistle it is possible he will come up against another former team-mate and recent departure from United in the SPL this season – Ritchie Jones has this week had a medical at Hearts and looks set to sign for the Tynecastle outfit in the next couple of days. Meanwhile another of the released seven, Michael Lea, is expected to turn his informal fitness work with Scunthorpe United into an official trial period.

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Lee Martin considering his options; Alumni on the move

Posted by nickogs20 on July 1, 2008

With everyone due back at Carrington for the start of pre-season in the next couple of days, one of the first players to be knocking on the manager’s door will be winger Lee Martin. Martin has effectively spent the last two and a half years out on loan, enjoying spells at Antwerp, Rangers, Stoke City, Plymouth and Sheffield United in that period, and at 21 years old the youngster from Taunton will be keen to find out how he fits into the manager’s plans – if at all.

Martin featured in just nine games for the Bramall Lane club in the second half of last season before succumbing to a knee ligament injury (injuries also curtailed or disrupted his spells at Rangers and Plymouth), but the Yorkshire club’s rumoured interest in recruiting the player on a permanent basis suggests he did enough to impress Blades boss Kevin Blackwell. Should SAF decree that Lee’s future lies away from Old Trafford and were Sheffield United to come in with an offer, would the interest be reciprocated? An interview with the Yorkshire Daily Post would suggest so:

“I’m still at United and it’s a matter of going back on the first of July and speaking to the gaffer. It’s all up in the air and nothing has been said yet. It’s a bit weird and just a waiting game at the minute. I enjoyed my time at Sheffield United and would definitely go back if an offer came in. But it’s out of my hands.”

They definitely have a great chance (of achieving promotion to the Premier League). I think they have got one of the strongest squads in the Championship and with the gaffer, Kevin Blackwell, they’ve got a really talented manager. It’s a massive club which belongs in the Premiership. They know they have to get there next season and after such a strong finish under Kevin they will fancy their chances.”

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Elsewhere, with the transfer window now officially open, a number of former United academy players are on the move. Former Reserves skipper David Jones is the most high-profile, leaving relegated Derby County to join up with former reserves team-mate Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at Wolves in a deal worth £1.2m. Goalkeeper Ben Williams has left Crewe to join Carlisle United (This interview with Radio Cumbria includes some interesting accounts of his time at United), while forward Eddie Johnson has rejoined Crewe on trial after being released by Bradford.

Meanwhile a more recent academy graduate seemingly has clubs fighting to secure his services. Ritchie Jones’ contract with United officially expired yesterday and, as reported here last week, Swindon have offered him the chance to spend pre-season with them. The Wiltshire side face competition for the midfielder’s signing though, with Burnley, Tranmere Rovers and Hearts of the SPL all showing interest.

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