The group of under 16s spent the afternoon performing a number of drills and activities in preparation for an upcoming fixture against Bolton Wanderers.
The teenagers, who come from across Greater Manchester, were surprised when United players Adnan Januzaj, Sam Johnstone, Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela and Paddy McNair took time out of a first-team training session to give them advice before their big game.
Andre, who first engaged with Manchester United Foundation and Street Reds through the Burnage project, was keen to express the importance of the development team. “Not only does the Street Reds development squad help us to grow up as footballers but it gives us the opportunity to develop as people,” he said.
Team captain and Hulme Street Reds participant Johnny was also explained how important it is for young players to look for future opportunities. He said, “Not only does Street Reds give us the chance to play regular football but the development squad pushes us forward to potentially earn a final chance at an academy place.“
Thomas Oldbury, Street Reds development squad co-ordinator, gave an insight into the benefits of the project. “The Foundation runs 12 Street Reds community football sessions providing a safe environment for over 1,000 young footballers a week,” he said. “With the development squad we’ve helped bring together a group of players from across the city that show footballing potential.”
Thomas added, “We give these players a bit of structure and team to play in while making them feel a part of the club. The visit to the Aon Training Complex was a fantastic reward for how well they’ve got on and have developed into a team. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to bring these young people together and allow them to form a number of strong bonds across their communities.”