6 Man Utd players benefiting from unique EFL work experience arrangement

Asia's Tech News Daily

Manchester United have taken a unique approach to the development of some of their young talents this season.

Normally, the best and perhaps easiest way for youngsters to get regular men’s football is to be sent out on loan for a full campaign or half a season.

But United’s coaching staff have devised a fresh way of nurturing the stars of tomorrow.

The Athletic reports that a scheme led by Justin Cochrane, who joined the club as head of academy player development last summer, has seen a clutch of Neil Wood’s under-23s squad spend a portion of time away from the club.

The week-long spells are seen as a ‘work experience’ for the youngsters and involve them joining in with training sessions at EFL clubs.

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So far the arrangement has seen at least six players depart Old Trafford on a temporary basis.

Joe Hugill and Charlie Wellens both spent time at Forest Green Rovers whilst Charlie McNeill and Dillon Hoogewerf went to Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Meanwhile, AFC Wimbledon took care of Rhys Bennett and Dermot Mee for a week.

The arrangements did not extend to the youngsters experiencing match minutes for their temporary clubs, but they were involved with the senior group in training and some even travelled with the matchday squad and completed the warm-ups.

Manchester United’s Head of Academy Nick Cox said of the scheme: “We know that they will return to Carrington with a renewed sense of purpose that will benefit the individual and the wider training group.

“Justin Cochrane has been pivotal in establishing this initiative, it is thanks to a number of fantastic relationships that we have been able to establish a really exciting experience for the Professional Development Phase group.”

The report adds that feedback from the scheme so far has been positive.

Whilst the aforementioned players feature at the lower end of the age scale, United do have a clutch of young players out on loan in the EFL already.

Ethan Laird and James Garner are just two players on season-long loans in the Championship. The pair are spending the campaign with Swansea City and Nottingham Forest respectively.

There are also players out on loan further down the pyramid, with Ethan Galbraith impressing at League One side Doncaster Rovers.

In the case of United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop there is another unique arrangement involving him.

Bishop is on loan at League Two side Mansfield but at Old Trafford his role is widely regarded as a ‘practice squad’ player.

The exact definition of that is hard to pin down but his only appearance for the Red Devils so far was for the Under-23s in an EFL Trophy win over Salford in September 2020.

He is not a regular for Neil Wood’s side, but was recently called back to Old Trafford to join in with first team training during an international break.

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