Manchester United’s pre-season fixture against Wrexham might become a must-watch affair for youth football enthusiasts if a recent development is any indication.
The club has announced that 15 additional youngsters are being flown in for the fixture, kicking off on July 26, 3.30 AM BST.
The list contains some names which will be known to the fans, as they have been in and around the senior team before. These include players like Joe Hugill, Charlie McNeil, Shola Shoretire, and Marc Jurado among others.
For some, it will be the first taste of playing a “senior” fixture. These include Sonny Aljofree, Toby Collyer, Elyh Harrison, Logan Pye, and more.
The game against the League Two side was always going to be a youthful affair, considering United play Real Madrid at the massive NRG stadium less than 24 hours after the game.
Youth coach Travis Binnion will take control of this team with Technical Director Darren Fletcher helping him.
Wrexham has been a much-anticipated fixture in United’s pre-season due to their owners, Ryan Reynold and Rob McElhenney raising the club profile rapidly.
However, at the end of the day, they remain a League Two side who will be playing their first season in the fourth division after 15 years.
Therefore, it is an ideal opportunity for Erik ten Hag to give the youngsters a chance to perform against seasoned professionals.
Furthermore, the Snapdragon stadium is expected to be full for this game. For many youngsters, this is the largest crowd they will have ever played in front of.
That is a massive experience that no training ground drill can provide.
Among the names listed, some players to watch out for will be McNeill, who has senior competitive minutes under his belt; Joe Hugill, who has impressed in this pre-season, and Shola Shoretire, who was once a highly-rated prospect at 16.
Leading the team is likely to be Jonny Evans. The 35-year-old returned to the club this summer window on a short-term deal and his vast experience is likely to prove invaluable to a team full of players just starting out in their careers.