Manchester United youngsters ready to emulate Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs at Milk Cup football tournament

By Sean-Paul Doran

Manchester United’s youngsters will try to emulate the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs after an 18-man squad was named for the prestigious Milk Cup tournament.

As regular participants in the competition on Northern Ireland’s north coast, the young Reds will be hoping to go one better than last year’s Premier final defeat against Qatari side Aspire.

Current United stars Scholes, Giggs, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney, who played for boyhood club Everton, have all featured in the world-renowned youth tournament.

Paul McGuinness’ squad includes summer signings Sean Goss and Mathew Willock, as well as former Fiorentina goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.

The Reds open their group stage campaign against Irish side Co. Tyrone on Saturday, before taking on Norway’s Revo Express on Monday.

Japanese side Ichifuna complete the group stage fixtures on Tuesday and United could face Benfica, Co. Armagh, CSKA Moscow or fellow English club Bolton Wanderers in the next round.

“We normally do the Milk Cup, it’s almost an automatic choice,” director of youth football Jim Ryan told 

“We have lots of old friends there in Northern Ireland. They always look after us well and we try to help them as much as we can.”

Other stars to have graced the pitches of tournament –  in its 30th year – include David Beckham, James Milner, Thomas Hitzlsperger and World Cup winner Sergio Busquets.

The tournament is broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland and can be accessed on the iPlayer after the match, while some games will be broadcast here.

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