Interim Manager – Nicky Butt (matches), Tommy Martin (training)
Ex-Manager – Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce is a superb coach, producing some of United’s finest academy graduates in recent years, and keeping talented youngsters grounded despite their obvious ability.
Joyce had a good playing career, most prolifically at Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End. He finished his career at Hull City, becoming player-manager in his final season at the club and performing “The Great Escape” by keeping the Tigers in the Football League, preventing likely bankruptcy by mastering their survival in the Fourth Division.
“If the coach is there wearing a nice shiny tracksuit and a gold badge, and wants an easy life then the players will be like that. We look to blame the players in football, but it is up to you as a coach to mould them correctly.” – Warren Joyce, 2007
He was eventually replaced at Hull, and had coaching roles at Leeds United, Stockport County, and Tranmere Rovers before becoming manager at Royal Antwerp in September 2006, then in partnership with Manchester United.
In 2008, having clearly impressed at Antwerp, Joyce took charge of United’s under-21 side alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After the baby-faced assassin left for the managerial role at Molde FK in his home country, Norway, Joyce was left in sole-charge of the under-21 side. That was in 2010, and Joyce guided the under-21s to the U21 Premier League title in 2012/13, 2014/15, and 2015/16.
Joyce has rejected offers for first team managerial opportunities on many occasions. He was linked with a return to Hull City in 2011, and more recently linked with Blackburn Rovers.
Main league: Premier League 2
This competition replaced the under-21 Premier League (which United won on three occasions out of four seasons). It carried with it some changes to the format. Under-23 players are now eligible, while “each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three ‘over-age’ outfield players in every match.”
Each side must also play at least three games at their main stadium, so there are usually three games at Old Trafford. These games are free for members and, usually, come at the end of the season or for big games such as the Manchester derby or the home fixture against Liverpool.
There are two divisions in Premier League 2, with 12 teams in each. Two teams are relegated from Division One each season. The team that finish top of Division One are champions. That statement seems obvious, but some youth competitions see a “final” to decide who are champions.
Cup competition: Premier League International Cup
Manchester United have entered this competition for the first time, having declined offers of entry in past seasons.
“Twelve of England’s best academy sides compete against 12 of the top development squads in the rest of Europe in the Premier League International Cup.”
“Teams competing in the PL International Cup will be made up of Under-23 players, aside from a maximum of three outfield players and the goalkeeper, who can be born before 1 January 1993. All matches are played in England.”
Manchester City and Villarreal are the only previous winners of the tournament.
In 2016/17, Manchester United are in a group with Villarreal, Middlesbrough, and Sparta Prague.
Others: Manchester Senior Cup, Lancashire Senior Cup