Northern Ireland under-17 captain Ethan Galbraith is set to sign a three-year deal at Manchester United this weekend.
Born in County Antrim, Galbraith had two successful trials at United last season, playing with the under-16s and training with various squads. He played for United’s under-16s at the Liam Brady Tournament, where the Reds finished 3rd, against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
He was spotted when playing for Linfield under-16s by Utd scout Tony Coulter and signed a pre-contract in January 2016, watched over by Head of Academy Nicky Butt as well as Ryan Giggs and Coulter.
His three-year deal will be a one-year scholarship until his 17th birthday before a two-year professional deal taking him up to his 19th birthday.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, he revealed he’s been sent exercises by United since signing that pre-contract six months ago to prepare him to join up fully with the under-18s.
“I signed the pre-contract in January and I will finally travel over to Manchester this weekend to live there and sign my full deal,” he said.
“It is massive, and I am buzzing for it. I am over the moon.
“I signed my pre-contract with Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs back in January. It was unbelievable meeting them. I went over to watch United play Liverpool at Old Trafford. Then I went into a wee room to sign the contract, and when I saw Giggs and Butt, it was mental.
“They told me how much work I would have to put in. They told me how much I need to work, and this is just the start of it. It is a challenge, but I can’t wait for it.”
In an extensive interview with the Irish Mirror, here, he said that he’s “just a teenager from Glengormley who has always wanted to play full-time football. So to sign a deal with a club like Manchester United is massive.”
One other interesting quote from Galbraith was on Kieran McKenna, United under-18s manager.
“Kieran is from Ballinamallard. I met him and he is really dead on. It is good having someone from Northern Ireland over there,” he said.
“He used to be at Tottenham and then he came to United, so it is great having him here. He talks me through things.”
Ethan has previously had trials elsewhere, including at Liverpool.