Fifteen pupils from the Foundation partner school in Leigh were invited to the Aon Training Complex to enjoy a question and answer session with Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj.
The pair shared their appreciation of playing for the first-team of one of the biggest football clubs in the world and gave the students advice linked to their own success:
“Signing for United was a big step, a new challenge and I am very happy to be here,” said Fellaini. “It is important to be mature to fit in with the other players, and to be professional in training, in the gym and, most importantly, on the pitch.”
Januzaj added, “I have progressed from playing on the streets to small clubs then bigger and bigger clubs. I always listened to my parents as they know the best for you. I am still learning every day in training and am now very happy to be part of the first-team.”
Following the Q&A the players handed out signed certificates to the pupils for their academic achievements, before posing for photographs outside the new Jimmy Murphy visitors’ centre at the training complex.
15-year-old pupil Ross Doohan from Atherton was chosen by his head of year to attend the visit for excelling in his role of team leader, which entails helping out with events and sitting on the student council. He said, “It’s a great honour to be here today, especially to meet first-team players. They told us to always try our hardest and I’ll take that away with me and apply it to myself when my exams come in June.”
13-year-old Kyle Burrows, also from Atherton, attends the enterprise course delivered at Bedford by Manchester United Foundation tutors. The course is the first of its kind from the Foundation, where students in year 8 are able to pick Manchester United Education as one of their GCSE options and will work with the Foundation for the next three years. It offers a range of educational opportunities for students aimed at improving their confidence, life-skills, and training and ultimately their career prospects.
Kyle commented, “I’m really excited to be here because I’ve always wanted to come and meet players. I asked if they played any sports when they were younger but they said they just focused on football because that’s what they wanted to do. They told us to follow our dreams and you can achieve anything you want if you try hard enough.”
Bedford High School is one of just nine schools to be partnered with the Manchester United Foundation and is the only school outside Manchester to benefit from such a link. The Foundation aims to create strong links with schools and the communities they serve, inspiring young people to create better futures for themselves.