Joe Thompson, a graduate himself, is playing a key role in inviting other graduates back to the club and engaging with them to work out the best methods of organising the Alumni programme.
“I’m very, very excited,” he said of the project, just after getting his boots on to train.
“For me, it’s about taking what I learnt through my career, including life skills, and being able to pass that message down and be a soundboard and, ultimately, create a network where, whoever you are or whenever you leave, you know that you’ve got a home here. It is United and it is forever.
“Any kid that comes in this building should be immensely proud. It’s something that so many children around the world crave and want, so we should never shy away from that achievement. It’s going to come to an end at some point – even if you have a 15-20 year career at the club – and so it’s about passing that message down, the core values that you learn here. And I always say, the coaches here taught me things way beyond the white lines of a football pitch, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
You can read more about the burgeoning Academy Alumni programme in a feature piece later this week on ManUtd.com and the United App. In mid-December, Inside United will take an in-depth look at the programme with exclusive insight from all those involved. You can pre-order the magazine now.