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 RESERVE TEAM PROFILES 
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 RESERVE TEAM PROFILES
RESERVE TEAM PROFILES

COACH : OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER


DANNY WELBECK




Name: Danny Welbeck
Date of birth: November 26,1990
Nationality: English
Position: Striker


Danny joined the youth team in Summer 2007 and his dazzling skills and electric
pace meant he quickly caught the eye of Sir Alex's eye, who has compared him
to Nwa nkwo Kanu. He started 14 games in the 2007/2008 season, scoring nine goals
in the process, three of which came in a brilliant display against local rivals
Manchester City.

He was brought along with the senior squad for their trip to Saudi Arabia during
mid season and despite missing a penalty, he still impressed the manager with his
performance and has been handed a squad number for the first team for the 2008/2009
season.


26 thUTCp 2008
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RAFAEL DA SILVA



Name: Rafael Da Silva
Date of birth: 09 July 1990 (age 18)
Height 5ft 7.5in
Nationality: Brazilian
Position: Right back


Les Kershaw is the scout who can take the credit for bringing this brilliant talent to
Manchester United. Les watched Rafael playing in a youth tournament for Fluminense
in Hong Kong.

Rafael joined United in 2008 but wasn't eligible to play until he turned 18 in July. He
eventually made his debut against Peterborough in a pre season friendly and impressed
Sir Alex Ferguson enough to register him as a first team player for the 2008/2009
season. His competitive debut came against Newcastle United on the first day of the
season.


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[b]FABIO DA SILVA



Name: Fabio Da Silva
Date of birth: 09 July 1990 (age 18)
Height 5ft 7.5in
Nationality: Brazilian
Position: Left back


Like his brother Rafael, Fabio was spotted in 2005 by United's academy manager Les
Kershaw while playing in a youth tournament for Fluminense in Hong Kong.

He eventually joined United in 2008 but wasn't eligible to play until he turned 18
in July. He made his debut as a second half substitute against Peterborough in a
pre season friendly.

He also has international experience, having captained Brazil to the under 17 World
Cup and finishing the tournament as top scorer. He is also a free kick specialist.


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Jonny Evans



Name: Jonny Evans
Date of birth: 2 January 1988 (age 20)
Height: 6ft 2in
Nationality: Northern Irish
Position: Central defender


Jonny started his career at Greenisland FC, where he was spotted by Manchester
United scouts. He’s progressed through the ranks promisingly. His first notable
appearance was in the Amsterdam tournament against Ajax in 2006. Then at the
start of the 2006/2007 season he was sent on loan to Royal Antwerp where he
set out to impress. In December of the same season, Jonny joined Sunderland on
loan, playing a key part in helping them win the Football League Championship
title and was named "Youth Player of the Year" at the end of the successful season.

He returned to Manchester United shortly after to push for a place in the first team,
but the brilliant form of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic meant opportunities were
limited and Jonny again joined Sunderland no loan where he enjoyed another
successful spell, helping them retain their Premiership status.


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DARRON GIBSON



Name: Darron Gibson
Date of birth: 25 October 1987 (age 20)
Height 6ft 0in
Nationality: Northern Irish
Position: Midfielder


Darron joined United in 2004 from Institute FC and made his senior debut in
October 2005 in a League Cup game against Barnet. During the 2005/2006 season
he finished as the player of the year after helping them to win a treble and was
subsequently awarded with the Jimmy Murphy Award.

He has yet to make the vital breakthrough at United after spending seasons on
loan at Royal Antwerp, but made a couple of impressive performances in pre season
friendlies at the start of the 2008/2009 season, including scoring a brilliant 30 yard
strike against Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough.


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DANNY SIMPSON [ON LOAN]



Name: Danny Simpson
Date of birth: January 4,1987(age 21)
Height: 5ft 9in
Nationality: English
Position: Right back


Danny Simpson was spotted whilst playing football for Parkwyddn A.F.C. in Eccles and was quickly drafted into the
United youth setup. He came up through the reserves in 2005 and was sent to Royal Antwerp in January 2006 to gain
some first team experience.

He made his senior debut in a 1-0 win against the Kaiser Chiefs in which he impressed manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

His first competitive start for Manchester United came in a shock 2-0 defeat to Coventry City in the League Cup,
and made his Premiership debut shortly after, replacing John O'Shea. In an impressive perfrormance, he set
up the fourth goal for Wayne Rooney in a 4-0 win. his first European start was in another 4-0 win against Dynamo Kiev.

Danny is now on loan at Blackburn Rovers, where he will stay for the duration of the 2008/2009 season.


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RODRIGO POSSEBON



Name: Rodrigo Pereira Possebon
Date of birth: 13 February 1989 (age 19)
Nationality: Brazilian
Position: Central Midfield


Rodrigo Possebon was spotted by Manchester United's Brazil-based scout, John Calvert-Toulmin while playing for Brazilian outfit Internacional and was signed by United in January 2008 for an estimated €3.5 million.

He managed to obtain an Italian passport, because of his father's Italian heritage, negating the need for a work permit.

Elegant and composed in possession but full of energy, Rodrigo Possebon is an archetypal box-to-box midfielder.

A fluent English-speaker, he quickly assimilated to life in England and made his debut for the Reserves in a 2-0 Manchester Senior Cup win over Manchester City in February 2008.

He made his professional debut for the club as a substitute, coming on for Ryan Giggs during the second half of the 1–1 draw with Newcastle United on 17 August 2008.


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RON ROBERT ZIELER



Name: Ron Robert Zieler
Date of birth: 12 February 1989 (age 19)
Nationality: German
Position: Goalkeeper

Hailing from Cologne, Germany, Ron-Robert Zieler joined Manchester United in the summer of 2005 as one of the most highly-regarded young goalkeepers in Europe.

Regarded as an excellent shot-stopper, Zieler also has a reputation for being good in one-on-one situations.

In July 2008, Ron-Robert started every game and captained Germany at the UEFA U19 Championships, playing a key role in their success and continuing his rise through the international ranks.


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BEN AMOS



Name: Ben Amos
Date of birth: 10 April 1990 (age 18)
Nationality: English
Position: Goalkeeper



Hailing from Macclesfield, the tall and agile Ben Amos is yet another talented stopper to come through the ranks, and while it will be very difficult for him to earn a place in the first-team squad long-term, there’s no doubt at all that the blond-haired custodian has a promising future in the game.

During his past performances, he has displayed impressive communication, organisation and positional sense for a young keeper. His kicking and general distribution have room for improvement but aren’t exactly weaknesses either.

Amos has represented his country at Under 16, Under 17 and Under 18 level already, and was only denied the opportunity to go to the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Cup with England by a dislocated shoulder injury picked up in United’s Youth Cup run earlier that year.

His bad luck with international tournaments continued in the summer of 2008 when he made the provisional squad for the European U19 Championships but was left out of the final travelling party. Nonetheless he’s come a long way since being released by Crewe at the age of ten and all the evidence so far suggests he’s set to go a fair way further.


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RICHARD ECKERSLEY



Name: Richard Eckersley
Date of birth: 12 March 1989 (age 19)
Nationality: English
Position: Defender


Richard Eckersley is a versatile defender and the younger brother of former Uniter reserves midfielder, Adam.

Predominantly a right-sided defender, the Salford born and bred full-back is also comfortable at left-back.

Injuries limited his chances in the Academy Under-18s in 2005/06 when he made just three league appearances for the young Reds side., however, Eckersley had progressed so well by 2007/08 that Reserves coach Brian McClair shortlisted him for the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award and was eventually unveiled as the winner at the 2008 Players of the Year ceremony at Old Trafford.


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DAVID GRAY



Name: David Gray
Date of birth: 4 May 1988 (age 20)
Height: 5ft 11in
Nationality: Scottish
Position: Right back, right midfield


David was signed by Manchester United for £50,000 after coming up through the
ranks of Heart of Midlothian.

He first broke into the reserve team in the 2005/2006 season, playing mostly
as substitute right back.

His senior debut came in a League Cup match against Dario Gradi's Crewe Alexandra.
The game was won by Kieran Lee just before the end of injury time, after coming on
as a substitute for David.

He suffered a setback in 2007, when he suffered an injury that ruled him out for
the whole of his season long loan spell to Royal Antwerp.

After recovering, he was sent to crewe Alexandra in November 2007, where he was
mainly used to cover for injured first team players. His versatility means he's played
positions as varied as centre forward and centre half, as well as right back and right wing.


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ANTONIO BRYAN



Name: Antonio Bryan
Date of birth: October 4,1989(age 18)
Nationality: English
Position: Striker / Winger


Born and bred in Manchester, pacy striker Antonio Brian has been with United since the age of 12 and has steadily risen through the ranks.

Antonio is also known for his strength and is very adapt at holding up the ball and bringing his team mates into play. He has developed somewhat of a reputation of scoring late vital goals like he did in the FA Youth Cup semi finals against Arsenal.

Blessed with good acceleration and pace, but not with height, Antonia found himself playing in wide positions at U-18 level and will be looking to find his best position on the pitch this year and cement his place in Man Utd’s Reserves team.


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JAMES CHESTER



Name: James Chester
Date of birth: January 23,1989(age 19)
Nationality: English
Position: Centre Back


The story of James Chester thus far could be the basis for a movie and all that is needed is a fairy tale ending.

At the age of five, Warrington-born Chester was spotted by United scouts playing for his local team Winwick Athletic – in the under 9s with boys four years older than he was!
By the age of eight United decided to invite him for some training sessions and James has since gone on to graduate from the Youth Academy in 2007.

A tough-tackling centre back, Chester became an integral part of the Reserves’ defense in the second half of the 2006/07 season and was their top appearance maker in 07/08, playing a key role as the Reserves marched to glory in the Manchester Senior Cup.


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TOM CLEVERLY



Name: Tom Cleverly
Date of birth: August 12, 1989(age 19)
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder


Basingstoke-born Tom Cleverly is a versatile midfielder, who joined Manchester United in 2005 and has steadily progressed through the ranks.

He is also comfortable playing defense, but it is his ability to play anywhere across the centre of the pitch that has drawn plaudit from Brian McClair, as well as Jim Ryan.
Cleverly made the step up from the U-18s to the Reserves in 2007/08 and his professionalism and impressive displays led him to be named as temporary captain in the absence of the injured Sam Hewson.

Although he did not win, cleverly was nominated by Jim Ryan as one of the candidates for the prestigious Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award.

During this year’s pre-season tour of South Africa, Sir Alex Ferguson gave Cleverly, as well as fellow team mates Rodrigo Possebon and Craig Catcart late invitations to join the senior squad.

Cleverley marked his non-competitive debut with a goal as United claimed victory in the Vodacom Challenge final. Just a few weeks later, he was handed the No.35 shirt in the senior squad.


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SAM HEWSON



Name: Sam Hewson
Date of birth: November 28,1988
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder


Hailing from Bolton, Sam Hewson was spotted by United scouts at the age of 8 while playing for his local team AFC Bolton. He was invited for trials a year later and impressed the United coaches enough to earn himself a place in Man Utd's Academy.

He made his debut for the U-18s in 2004, making 24 appearances and scoring 6 goals, which led to him being called up regularly to Man Utd's Reserves' team.

Hewson is a box-to-box midfielder, who has the ability to break up the opposition's attacking play and start attacks with his creativity, as well as ability to push forward with the ball.

Last season proved to be a fruitful season for Sam, as his performances earned him a nomination for the Reserves Player of the Year, as well as a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League squad, where he was handed the number 33 shirt.


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