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Manchester United appoint Ricky Sbragia as new U23 manager

Manchester United have announced the appointment of Ricky Sbragia as the club’s new U23 manager. The club have been managerless with Nicky Butt taking control of the reigns for matches last season and Tommy Martin coaching the players during the week ever since the departure of Warren Joyce who then became the manager of Wigan Athletic, then being sacked and now managing a club associated with Manchester City in Australia.

The 61-year-old managed the club’s reserves from 2002-05, guiding the club to the Manchester Senior Cup, the Premier Reserve League North and the Premier Reserve League National Championship. Sbragia left United and coached the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and a position with the Scottish FA. Sbragia comes at a time whereby his new side will need guidance ahead of a new period after a tough season where the club, at this level, did not have a recognised striker.

Some talented players from the U18 squad will move up a level next season and they will be expected Sbragia and his experience to help create the new generation for Manchester United. Academy Director Nicky Butt, who made the appointment, speaking of Sbragia’s wealth of experience, great track record and the fact he will help continue the club’s key tradition of blooding in youth, said:

“Ricky brings a wealth of experience at all levels of football coaching. He has a great track record of developing young talent and is, of course, no stranger to Manchester United.

“Ricky’s knowledge and experience will help continue our important and key tradition of blooding young players into the first team. I am delighted Ricky has returned to the club in this important role as we look to continue our development of the Academy.”

Sbragia, speaking of his happiness to be back at Manchester United and also talking about the new structure for the club’s Academy, said:

“I couldn’t be happier to be back at Manchester United. It’s an exciting time for the club, with a new structure for the Academy and a relatively new set of coaches and management team.

“I am really excited by the challenge of this role, the club has always been at the forefront when it comes to Academy football and I am delighted that the club continues to strive to be the best with its forward-thinking ideas for the future of youth football.”

The U23’s were pictured training at the AON Training Complex for the first time this summer under the guidance of Tommy Martin ahead of their pre-season training camp in Austria. The likes of Callum Gribbin, Ethan Hamilton, Devonte Redmond, Dean Henderson, Regan Poole (now loaned to Northampton Town for the entire 2017/18 season), Jake Kenyon, Demetri Mitchell, Ro-Shaun Williams, Callum Whelan, coach Tommy Martin and Chris Hulse. It will be a big season for the U23’s, but with the stability of a new manager, things will be heading in the right direction in no time.

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