Manchester United transfer target Paul Pogba came through the youth system at Old Trafford, and he gained valuable experience at the Etihad Stadium back in 2012.
Under-21 boss Warren Joyce took his young side to Manchester City’s back yard for the Manchester Senior Cup final, and just days before, the senior side had the title cruelly snatched away from them.
And on that night City made the Reds’ youngsters know what happened as they put Sergio Aguero’s death strike against Queens Park Rangers on the big screen during their pre-match warm-ups.
However, United’s reserves had already won three trophies that season, and Joyce spoke to Manchester Evening News about that season.
They had won the league, won the play-offs, and also the Lancashire Cup and the boss told how his side went to the Etihad three days after City had won the league.
“We were warming up and the Aguero goal was up on the big screen. City went to town. It was the full monty” he said.
Joyce said that it was a “real pressure situation” for his side, but they have to experience those kind of things because you “cannot recreate them”.
Pogba and many other United academy players have gone on to breakthrough on the first-team stage, although the former is now at Juventus.
Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are examples of players who came through the youth system and broke into the United first-team last season.
They all featured in a DVD that was made and shown to last season’s under-21 side, who came back to win 3-2 in injury time against Tottenham Hotspur Under-21 to win the title.
“We produced the video with clips of our youngsters from the age of seven. We had action from matches, winning tournament and trophies,” Joyce said.