It has been a season full of contrasts for both Manchester UnitedUnder-21 and Under-18 teams. While the former enjoyed a very successful term, having claimed the first edition of the revamped Premier Reserves League and the Manchester Senior Cup, the latter were knocked out at the early stages of the FA Youth Cup and failed to qualify for the Premier League play-off.
Manchester United Under-21
Mirroring a typical senior United team comeback, the Under-21’s came from behind 0-2 to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at the final of the Premier League played at Old Trafford. Larnell Cole, United’s top-scorer of the season with 13 goals in all competitions, was the star of the show after netting a hat-trick.
Adnan Januzaj won the Denzil Haroun Award as the Reserve Team Player of the Year and was on the verge of making his debut for the senior team, as the 18-year old Belgian starlet was an unused substitute in the season finale at The Hawthorns.
The team coached by Warren Joyce also retained the Manchester Senior Cup after fixture congestion ensured that the final could not be played this season. United were table-toppers having won all four matches played and were set to win the title.
A treble may be completed soon, as the Under-21’s also reached the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup, which will be played before the start of the new season, and will see United and Manchester City locking horns.
Manchester United Under-18
The team coached by Paul McGuinness played some terrific attacking football but did not manage to lift any trophy. However, there were plenty if signs indicating the Under-18’s are a very decent bunch of players.
Combative midfielder Ben Pearce deservedly scooped the Jimmy Murphy Award, as the Young Player of the Year, while James Wilson was United’s top-scorer after finding the net 14 times in all competitive matches.
United reached the second phase of the Premier League but were not able to go all the way, as they were cancelled out by Everton on goal difference. Fulham were the unexpected champions after beating 3-0 Reading in the final.
The lowest point of the season was unquestionably losing 4-3 to Burnley at Old Trafford at the FA Youth Cup. Norwich City ended up becoming the surprising winners of the competition after beating 4-2 Chelsea in the final.