Andreas Pereira along with Tom Thorpe and Joel Pereira met with students and staff at New Charter Academy, which is one of eleven schools across Greater Manchester to be partnered with the Foundation.
Players were given a tour of the school, and took part in football drills followed by a Q&A session, before inviting students to attend the U21 derby between United and City at Old Trafford on 12th May.
U21 captain, Tom Thorpe, who is from Denton spoke about the importance of visiting a school on his home patch: “I know Manchester United Foundation does a lot of work in local schools in the area and I think it’s great that we can come, help out and show our faces, especially for someone like me who is local. It shows that if you dream of one day playing football or playing for Manchester United, that if you do your best and work hard, you have a chance.”
He also spoke of their upcoming U21 fixture: “We have a big game coming up at Old Trafford and putting the title aside, it’s against City, they’re our biggest rivals and we want to win, add to this we have a chance of winning the league it gives the match extra spice, all the players are really looking forward to it.”
Foundation coach Ben Smith, who is based full time at the school, said, ““The pupils really enjoyed speaking to the players and learning about their careers so far but what made it really special is that Tom Thorpe is from this area. It was nice for them to see that a lad from this area has gone on to make an appearance for the Manchester United first team and will continue to do great things. It gives them the idea that they can go on to do great things as well.”
Across town, U21 player of the year nominees Liam Grimshaw and Donald Love joined team-mates Keiran O’Hara, Joe Rothwell, and James Weir, in surprising students at The Swinton High School. Players shared their experiences and offered advice to the year 7 and 8 students.
United defender Grimshaw explained why it’s important for young players to give back, he said, “It always good to come and work with these young kids because we all started here, at school, all the kids here will have dreams and aspirations like we did. When you’re at a big club like Manchester United you have to be a role model to them.”
Other U21 squad members including midfielder Ben Pearson and recently signed Sadiq El Fitouri also attended visits at Middleton High School and The Albion Academy.