Manchester United launch pioneering initiative to help former players

Man Utd have launched a new initiative which will help former academy players
A launch event was held at Old Trafford last weekA launch event was held at Old Trafford last week
A launch event was held at Old Trafford last week

Manchester United have formally launched an Alumni Programme designed to give former players support in whatever they decide to do after leaving the club.

Academy staff have dedicated two years to the development of the programme which will see more than 200 former players remain actively engaged with the academy and receive formal access to support, help and advice.

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More than 40 of those former players were in attendance at Old Trafford last Friday to watch the U21s game against Liverpool and celebrate the launch of the pioneering initiative.

United will host a range of events throughout the year under the slogan ‘United Once, United Forever’. The initiative seeks to significantly increase communication with former academy players, offering access to informal education and workshops on personal development and life skills, further education and qualifications, support in finding new playing and post-playing career opportunities and wide-ranging wellbeing support.

In addition, a formal network of young people who have shared similar experiences will also be created. The group will be provided with regular opportunities to network in order to support each other by sharing knowledge, skills and expertise.

Earlier this season, the academy hosted a pilot event for the programme which saw several former players return to Carrington to participate in a training camp. The main focus of the week was coaching and physical preparation devised to support the attendees in finding a new playing contract at another club.

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The launch of the Alumni Programme is a key part in United's aftercare support for departing players, each of whom enjoy a lifelong association with the club. The provisions far exceed the governing bodies minimum requirements, with the academy holding itself to the highest possible standard of support for those exiting its system.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Director of the Academy, Nick Cox said: “I am extremely proud of our aftercare programme, we put a huge amount of focus on ensuring that we are able to continue to support young people long after they leave the academy.

“We have always kept excellent relationships with everyone who has been part of our system; the Alumni initiative is designed to formalise our network to ensure that no player misses out on the incredible opportunities that come from being associated with Manchester United.”

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