The Manchester United youth academy hasn’t been churning out world class players at the rate that it used to, and the club have appointed former academy graduate Nicky Butt as the new head to help improve the situation.
Butt was part of the legendary ‘Class of 92’ group who graduated from the academy ranks and into the first team, alongside the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers. The Englishman has been involved with Manchester United since 2012, coaching numerous junior teams.
“Manchester United’s Academy is completely focused on producing young players for our first team,” said executive vice-chairman of Manchester United Ed Woodward, in a statement to the official club website.
“As a graduate of its finest team in the modern era, Nicky will bring passion, energy and experience to drive the Academy forward, retaining the characteristics that give us a competitive advantage – namely an unmatched track record of player development together with the runway of first-team action. In the last four years, some 15 Academy graduates have played for the first team, playing a total of 173 appearances – a record of which the Club is very proud.”
The class of ’92 becoming the faculty now
Nicky Butt is the latest member of the ‘Class of 92’ to join the coaching ranks of a club. Gary Neville had earlier made waves with his decision to manage Valencia CF in the La Liga, where his brother Phil was already working in the role of an assistant coach.
At Manchester United, Ryan Giggs is reportedly being groomed as the heir apparent as he continues to assist Van Gaal in the dugout. He was previously appointed as the caretaker-manager following David Moyes’ unceremonious sacking in 2014.
It will be interesting to see how Nicky Butt fares in his new job, especially in the light of the progress made by Manchester City’s youth academy in recent years.