Manchester United’s under 21s are the team below the first team at Manchester United and are formerly known as the reserves. They currently play in League One of the Professional Development League. The Professional Development League is a system of youth leagues for the professional clubs in England. This replaced the old reserves leagues in 2012. The new system was introduced by the Football Association (FA) as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). The aim of the EPPP is to help the development of youth players in the English club system and therefore produce more players for the English national team. The essence is the under 21 team is still the reserve team but teams are only allowed to play one goalkeeper over the age of 21 and three outfield players over the age of 21.
Manchester United won the previous reserve league on five occasions (2002, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012) between its introduction in 1999 and its dissolution in 2012. United also won the Professional Development League One in its inaugural season in 2012/13. Manchester United’s under 21s also play in the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup. United have won the Manchester Senior Cup on twenty seven occasions, winning it for the last four-seasons. They have also won the Lancashire Senior Cup on fifteen occasions, the last win coming in 2013.
Manchester United under 21s are currently managed by Warren Joyce. Warren Joyce is a former professional footballer, playing for Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Hull City. He joined the coaching staff at Manchester United in 2008 when he was appointed joint manager of the reserve side alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Joyce and Solskjaer worked as joint managers for three seasons until 2011, when Solskjaer returned to Norway to manage Molde. Joyce then took sole charge of the reserve side at Manchester United. During his time in charge of the reserves/under21s Joyce has seen his side win the League on three occasions as well as enjoying numerous success in the Manchester and Lancashire Senior Cups. Joyce and his team currently sit top of the Professional Development League One as they look to win the league once again.
Look out for more articles on the Under 21s, including match reports and player profiles.
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