Manchester United U18s v Man United Youth Candidates
Youth players are key for squads now, and a good youth squad can set a team up for many years. Manchester United have an excellent youth system, and now, a squad has been put together, by the scouts, of youth candidates they have found. Then, they joined up to play the Manchester United U18 squad. They could get experience, but most importantly, David Moyes and the other staff could get to see the players, and maybe find a possible gem, who could be a Manchester great in years to come.
The One To Watch
Scouts have said Belgian striker Van Antoine is the one to watch today. Antoine is currently 15 years old, born in July 1997. Van Antoine has been described as having the possibility of being one of the greatest footballers of his generation. With this in mind, many will be watching to see if he scores, but also how he plays with others. Early scout reports show his pace and finishing are of a very high standard for his age, as well as his determination.
0 min: Manchester United Under 18s kick the game off.
1 min: Ian Swift gets behind the defense with just the goalkeeper to beat, but it hits the upright. The rebound falls to Smolka, he applies the finish, and GOAL! William Smolka scores for the Manchester United Youth Candidates in the first minute. 1-0 already.
15 min: The thrown in is taken by Love, Pearson gets the ball into the six yard box, for Byrne to get to, and GOAL! Sam Byrne scores for Manchester United Under 18's. The score's all even now at 1-1.
34 mim: Smolka collects the ball, runs down the wing and cuts across. William Smolka shoots, and it's a scorcher from 20 yards out! William Smolka scores his second for the Youth Candidates. They lead 2-1 with half time approaching.
55 min: Matthew Willock curls it in first time to the back post, Dalley looked to latch onto it, but it falls to Byrne, who finishes and scores! Sam Byrne scores his second to once again equalize the score. 2-2 at the Trafford Centre.
59 min: Dominic Thomas swings in a deep cross, Smolka makes the space and heads the ball. GOAL! It's a hat-trick for the midfielder. What a fine display for Moyes and co. to watch, this couldn't be better for him. 3-2 to the Youth Candidates.
75 min: Jack Barmby takes the ball from Reed around the halfway life, takes on the defenders, and dummies the ball getting into the box. Barmby shoots, and it's a fabulous solo goal! Barmby equalizes. What a game this is! 4-4 with 15 minutes remaining.
84 min: William Smolka crosses the ball in, towards the keeper, but he can only punch it out. It falls nicely to Dominic Thomas, he's sure to finish! GOAL! Surely that's the winner from substitute Dominic Thomas. 4-3 to the Youth Candidates, this may be the goal they needed.
90 min: Full time from the Trafford Centre, and the Youth Candidates have edged a victory against the Under 18's in a seven goal thriller. Moyes will be sure to have found some players today. The scouts may have thought Van Antoine would steal the show today, but instead it was all about William Smolka. We hope to see a few of these stars lining up for the first team one day.
This was the make or break moment. 18 players pulled on that Manchester United shirt for the day, but how many would do it again? The contract could change their lives, playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. But who would be given the opportunity. 12 players were given a contract until the end of the season, but only 3 or 4 would be given an extension. However, for know, they were Manchester United players.
The players were called up randomly. They knew six players would miss out, but who would get the contract. Raymond Keatings was the first name called. Rhys White followed, then Craig Thomas, Ian Swift, Ashley Reed. Velibol Simic was the next, who has been touted as the next Nemanja Vidic. Dominic Thomas was called, and then the man himself William Smolka. Jon Marshall, Paul Osei and Dane Hulse were called too. There was one place left. Van Antoine, the man everyone expected to storm the show was yet to be called. Nevertheless, Callum Brizell, who had a brilliant game, hadn't been called. Who would get the last remaining spot?
Van Antoine was given the opportunity. If he could be one of the best of his generation, they couldn't risk it. But would he get the extension at the end of the season. Who knows? But these 12 players, they could be the future of Manchester United.