• Rashford sends special message to Man Utd youth teams

    Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has sent a message of encouragement to the club’s academy players after their seasons were shut down on Friday.

    On Friday the Premier League announced that all clubs have agreed that this season’s academy programme will be cancelled due to the coronavirus, with levels from Under-23 all the way to Under-9 shut down.

    Rashford is one of United’s most prominent academy products in recent seasons, with the 22-year-old having graduated to become a key player for both club and country.

    The forward has sent a message to United’s academy players, saying they should ‘get creative’ and try to make the best of a bad situation.

    ‘The news you got yesterday was probably not what you wanted to hear,’ Rashford wrote on Twitter. ‘I know all you want to do is play because I’m the same but the decision has been made to protect everyone involved. This is bigger than football.

    ‘You might be feeling a bit low but the best thing you can do is pick up your ball and get out in the garden.

    ‘When I was in the academy I used to find a spot in the garden and aim for targets just so I could practice my accuracy, get creative!

    ‘Now is not the time to fall out of love with the game, it’s a time to remember why you fell in love with it in the first place. You’ve got this and we can’t wait to see you all back next season.’

    Friday’s decision has caused plenty of uncertainty, with Manchester United’s Under-23 side now forced to wait to find out whether or not they will be promoted back to the top tier of Premier League 2.

    The methodology for determining the final league standings and outcomes for the season is set to be decided at a future date.

    ‘We will continue to support our young players’ football development and mental wellbeing during this time and look forward to welcoming them back to full time training when this is possible,’ Nick Cox, head of Man Utd’s academy, said in a statement on Friday.

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