Manchester United have confirmed a trip to Norway this summer, where both the men’s and women’s teams will play pre-season friendlies in late July. It’s the first combined trip for the club’s two teams since the women’s team was revived in 2018, and will feature a match against manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hometown club, Kristiansund.
The Manchester United Women recently celebrated an historic first season, one in which they dominated Championship opposition to earn promotion to the Women’s Super League, England’s top tier of professional football. Casey Stoney’s side will face Valerenga in Oslo, Norway in a trip that promotes Manchester United, but also women’s football in general. Norwegian Football has faced criticism for its lack of support of women’s football professionally, and made headlines when Lyon superstar and Ballon D’or winner Ada Hegerberg removed herself from the Norwegian national team before the 2019 World Cup.
The Manchester United Men, on the other hand, finished a season in which there wasn’t much to shout about. Solskjaer’s arrival as caretaker in December kickstarted a fantastic run of form that brought the team back into the top 4 conversation, but they couldn’t keep up the momentum and collapsed down the stretch. After a tour of Asia, Solskjaer will take his side to his homeland before kicking off his first full season as manager. Fans will hope to see some fresh, and especially some new, faces take on Kristiansund before heading back to Old Trafford.
The 2019/20 season will be an important one for both United teams, one looking to restore itself to its former glories while the other looks to create its own history. It is equally important that they are treated equally, and given a proper pre-season before charging ahead into the new year.