Manchester United shut down seven development centres in bid to streamline youth academy

Manchester United have closed seven development centres in a streamlining of their academy as Premier League clubs prioritise how best to maximise youth set-ups.

United bosses took the decision on sessions for players between six and eight years old, with a focus now on improved facilities with a smaller pool of talent.

The move comes after the downgrading of Huddersfield Town’s academy to category four status, with other top-flight clubs expected to further change the way they operate.

Manchester United were concerned they were stockpiling too many academy players

United were concerned at stockpiling too many players, which could see some slip through the net in a fiercely competitive area of the country.

Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool are all extremely active too, a main reason why Huddersfield felt they could not compete.

Seventeen of United’s centres, designed to look at youngsters who could potentially be introduced to the academy, will still be in operation throughout the North West.

United last won the FA Youth Cup in 2011 beating Sheffield United in the two-legged final

Club sources maintain additional staff are being employed to train around 20 children at each site in the hope of providing a more individualistic programme to harness their progression.

There is also a revamp of how the centres present themselves – a name switch to ‘talent centres’ has been mooted – in a bid to alleviate pressure on youngsters. Instead of serving as an audition, United are treating them as training courses with certificates at the end of a cycle.

United have 70 scouts across the region – 12 on full-time contracts – and also identify players up to Under 14s from grassroots sides.

They are invited from the likes of vaunted Manchester clubs Fletcher Moss Rangers and Moston Tigers, with United keen to retain close links with those grassroots teams. Friendlies with local teams at the The Cliff, the club’s old training base, or Carrington are planned.



Nguồn: Daily Mail

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