Manchester United will not release any players under age of 19

Academy Manager Nick Cox says the club have a duty to help young players recover from lockdown

Academy Manager Nick Cox says the club have a duty to help young players recover from lockdown

MANCHESTER UNITED have decided not to release any players under the age of 19 from their Academy in recognition of the impact that coronavirus and lockdown has had on them.

Even Under-23 players released at the end of June have been given financial support and the opportunity to train with the club beyond September if they want to.

Academy Manager Nick Cox, who appeared on episode #15 of the TGG podcast, said: “We took the decision, whilst people were on lockdown, that it just wasn’t right to release kids from the programme - and actually that we’ve got a role to play in the recovery.

“I don’t say recovery lightly. There’s going to be a recovery process here. People have been through trauma. Different people, different levels of trauma.

“So there was no way we were going to release anyone during that period of time and we managed to be consistent with that message right the way through to our very young professionals, or anyone that hadn’t made a senior appearance.

“We’ve got to use football as a vehicle to help people recover. And then once we’re back to some familiar ground, we can start to think about ‘what does the world look like from here on?’ from a football development point of view.

“But slow and steady is the answer right now. I think we all have a duty to look after young people, who have never faced such a difficult time. Full stop. Ever.

“Some people won’t have been affected too much. Some people have had a really difficult period of time. The football club has a duty to assist and aid young people’s recovery from what they’ve just been through.

“They have been deprived of social interaction, they haven’t been hanging out with their mates, their routine’s gone, their structure’s gone.”

  • U9s to U14s: All given a full-year registration for this season.
  • U14s: Given extensions until Christmas, when there will be a review.
  • U15s: All under contract for another year.
  • U16s: All retained.
  • U17s: All still under contract.
  • U18s: Two players given six-month extensions to their contracts. Rest under contract for longer.
  • U23s: Players told in February whether or not their contracts would be renewed. Those that were being released at the end of June given financial support and the opportunity to return for pre-season until September. Also have the opportunity to train with United beyond September if required.

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