‘An honour’ - Man Utd youngsters scoop end-of-season awards

Ethan Wheatley and Elyh Harrison collect the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award and the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award at Old Trafford.Ethan Wheatley and Elyh Harrison collect the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award and the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award at Old Trafford.
Ethan Wheatley and Elyh Harrison collect the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award and the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award at Old Trafford.
Two of Manchester United stars from the Under-18s were received prizes on the Old Trafford pitch on Tuesday night.

Manchester United pair Ethan Wheatley and Elyh Harrison were presented with end-of-season awards at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, in recognition of excellent 2023/24 campaigns.

Wheatley claimed the prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award, while Harrison was handed the Denzil Haroun Reserve-Team Player of the Year prize.

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The former became the 250th youth-team graduate to represent the first team when he came off the bench against Sheffield United last month, and Wheatley has made three senior appearances for the club.

But it’s for the youth teams that the striker has shone this season. He has netted eight in seven Under-18 matches and has also made the step up to Under-21s football this term. In total, Wheatley netted 14 times this season across the various teams, and his goal contributions helped guide the Under-18s to Premier League North success, while United also won the Premier League Cup final and beat Chelsea 2-1 on Tuesday to be crowned national league champions.

Wheatley scored in both finals and he and his Under-18 team-mates were presented on the Old Trafford pitch on Tuesday night with all three trophies, ahead of United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle United.

Wheatley was presented with his award ahead of the game and follows in the footsteps of Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho, who won the trophy in each of the last two seasons. Previous winners also include Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Marcus Rashford.

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“It’s just an honour to make my debut. And then that number 250 is just a little extra as well,” the teenager told the club’s website.

"Last season it was a bit stop-start. I didn't really get to develop as much as I wanted. This season I've been able to stay on the pitch and work on using my body, all these little technical bits as well, and I was talking to the coaches before the game.

"I feel like everything just came into place these last few weeks, and I'm feeling a lot more confident with the way I'm playing.”

As for Harrison, the young goalkeeper collected the Reserve-Team Player of the Year after a campaign that has seen him force his way into the Under-21s, while also helping the Under-18s collect silverware.

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“Elyh has equipped himself brilliantly throughout the season, consistently performing for our Under-18s, Under-21s and often training with the first team,” said Nick Cox, United's director of academy.

"This variety of experiences will stand him in great stead as he continues his development as a really exciting young goalkeeper. Winning this prestigious award at only 18 years of age is really impressive and shows just how mature Elyh is.”

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