Manchester United has launched a new Emerging Talent Programme to increase its engagement with schools and grassroots clubs across Manchester and North West
According to the club, the programme is designed to complement the work done by the Manchester United foundation, which undertakes community and curriculum-based charitable work in more than 50 schools in the region.
The new Emerging Talent Programme is set to become a bridge between this work and the club’s elite youth academy, which is fed by the club’s scouting network, and sources talent from around the world.
A range of projects will be undertaken in order to identify talented footballers across Manchester and the North West, and to support them further by offering some the chance to attend a structured development programme at the Emerging Talent Centre, based at the club’s AON Training Centre.
“Involving and engaging with a core of local talent is fundamental to everything we do at the academy and in order to do this we are committed to our presence and activity within our local community in Manchester and beyond,” said Nick Cox, Head of Academy, Manchester United.
“The new Emerging Talent programme enables us to radically increase the number of schools, grassroots clubs and communities that we interact with across Manchester and the North West, allowing us to create a wider coaching network with better exposure to local footballing talent.
“As well as identifying talent, our aim is to give young people that are passionate about football an opportunity to have an experience of Manchester United. We’re aware of our responsibility to enrich the local football community by sharing resources and knowledge. Over the next three years, we aim to engage with over 20,000 children and young people - boys and girls - through a range of positive activities via schools and grassroots clubs. The aim is to increase their love of football and give them further opportunities to continue playing the game.”
The new programme will be led by Jen Mildenhall, who becomes the Emerging Talent Programme’s Programme Manager and will be staffed by a new coaching and delivery staff who will work solely on the project. The club says its existing Football in the Community group will also be involved in the initiative.