Manchester United Men’s and Women’s Youth teams celebrated memorable victories on Wednesday, bringing in some silverware as well as the prospect for more. The Women’s U-21s defeated Birmingham City in the WSL Academy Cup Final by a score of 4-1 and the Men's U-18s defeated Wolves 3-0 in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final.
For the Women’s U-21s, Alyssa Aherne scored a brace just before and after half-time to give her team the 2-goal advantage, and the game was put to bed in the final 20 minutes with goals from Rebecca May and Keira Barry. A consolation goal for Birmingham City in the final minutes wasn’t enough to mount a comeback attempt, and the celebrations began for the young side. Lots of promise for the future in the Academy ranks.
What a fantastic night for the @ManUtdWomen U21s who won the #FAWSL Academy Cup— Manchester United Foundation (@MU_Foundation) March 10, 2022
The team featured 14 players who rose through the ranks at our #RegionalTalentClub. We could not be more proud of you ❤️
Congratulations to you all #MUWomen pic.twitter.com/IJgCbNmPHd
As for the Men’s U-18s, it was another brilliant attacking display from striker Charlie McNeill, who netted a brace alongside strike partner Alejandro Garnacho’s goal to win 3-0 and get the club back to the FA Youth Cup Final for the first time since 2011. The pair of two of many players that fans are excited about for the future, and made up for the disappointment of the exit to Liverpool a season ago by putting in memorable performances.
First team skipper Harry Maguire was present for the occassion, and even delivered a pep talk to the team. He was on the other side in 2011 playing for Sheffield United against United’s Academy side, and knows firsthand the work it takes to rise through the ranks in the modern English club game.
“This great football club has always been built on youth and players coming through, Maguire said, “Manchester-born and bred coming through and playing for the first team. The Under-18s has been a big part of that. They’ve won the most Youth Cups out of any team. When I was a kid at Sheffield United, playing Man United was always the biggest game, it was always the first fixture you looked for because you’d know they’d have an amazing set of players, coaching staff and facilities. The youth at Man Utd has always been a massive part of the club and it will be for the future.”
The U-18s will host either Nottingham Forest or Chelsea at Old Trafford for the FA Youth Cup Final, the date of the Final is currently TBD.