Manchester United have launched an innovative new project designed to assist former academy graduates who have left the club and are struggling to decide their next step in life.
The new scheme saw seven former United academy players return to Carrington for a week to take part in the Alumni Training Camp.
Nick Cox, the Director of Academy at Manchester United, took to LinkedIn to announce the new Alumni Programme which featured a news report on ITV.
Cox said that the camp is “devised to help support them to secure a playing contract at their next club.
The group, who each left us at different stages in recent years, have been with us all week with the main focus being on coaching and physical preparation.”
After years of offering support to former players, United is looking to formalize the relationship with the new structure which will be fully launched in the new year.
Cox added that “the program will see us contact a population of 227 former players; these are players that have left us since 2012 and were registered with us over the age of 15 or for a period of 5 years or more.”
“Of course if players that fall outside of this cohort make contact we won’t turn them away.”
“The program will offer social events, educational workshops, and guidance for former players.”
The camps will not just focus on playing football but also on transitioning to other roles within the game or even entirely outside of the sport.
For example, Matt Olosunde who has struggled with injuries for the past two years, took part in gaining experience in the world of player recruitment.
Another attendee was FA Youth Cup-winning captain Tom Thorpe, who returned to playing last season after five years, but is now without a club again as he recovers from an ACL injury.
The other former players that were present included Callum Gribbin, Oli Kilner, Eric Hanbury, Ro-Shaun Williams, and Joe Thompson.