Get to know the 2012 tour squad

The Manchester United tour 2012 22 man squad that’s departed for South Africa and China contains a few names that might not be familiar to you if you’re not a follower of reserve / youth team football. RedMancunian.com has put together some key info on 11 of the youngsters you might be watching for the first time..


Ben Amos

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Position: GK
Age: 22
Nationality: English
International experience: U16, U17, U18, U19, U20, U21
1st Team Appearances: 7
Loans: Peterborough (09-10), Molde (2010), Oldham Athletic (10-11)

Local lad, Ben, signed for United age 11. No stranger to summer tours to South Africa, Ben made his debut for United against Portsmouth in Nigeria on the way back from 2008’s pre-season tour there. He had a decent run the in Carling Cup last season, playing in the games against Leeds and Aldershot away, and Crystal Palace at home. He also made his first Premier League start last season in our 2-0 win over Stoke City.


Sam Johnstone

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Position: GK
Age: 19
Nationality: English
International experience: U16, U17, U19
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: Scunthorpe United (11-12)

Capped at U16, U17 and U19 level for England, Sam Johnstone started the first two group games for England’s U17’s when they became European Champions in 2010. (He was rested for the third game, and didn’t reclaim his place after that). Sam spent September 2011 to January 2012 with Scunthorpe playing 10 games for them in-between dislocating his finger in the October and returned a much more confident player. Inclusion on this tour can only be a good thing for the youngster.


Tyler Blackett

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Position: LB
Age: 18
Nationality: English
International experience: U16, U17, U18
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Joint youngest player on the tour, Blackett was part of the FA Youth Cup winning side of 10-11 and given that most of that side graduated to Reserve level last year, he played regularly for the Youth team in what was an indifferent season league wise, coupled with an unexpectedly good FA Youth Cup run. As noted here, although primarily an attacking left-back, he also strikes a sweet free kick, which could be handy if Bebe’s not feeling up to it……


Frederic Veseli

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Position: CB
Age: 19
Nationality: Swiss
International experience: U15, U16, U17, U18, U19, U20, U21
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Signed from Manchester City in January on a six month contract, Freddie has had very few opportunities to play, and in all honesty, is yet to impress to the point where we at RedMancunian were surprised  he had been offered a new contract. Nevertheless, Verseli was part of the 2009 Swiss Under 17 side that won the Under 17 World Cup so he has potential. Given he is one of only 5 defenders going on the tour, this is golden opportunity for him to show what he can do.


Scott Wootton

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Position: CB
Age: 20
Nationality: English
International experience: U17
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: Tranmere Rovers (10-11), Peterborough (11-12), Nottingham Forrest (11-12)

Former Liverpool trainee, Wootton, captained our Academy side in 09-10 and has been out on loan off and on since graduating to reserve level. He spent the early part of last season down at Peterborough with Ryan Tunnicliffe before ending the season with Nottingham Forrest.


Marnick Vermijl

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Position: RB
Age: 20
Nationality: Belgian
International experience: U17, U18, U19
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Signed from Standard Liege two years ago, Marnick’s versatility makes him a valuable player for us at reserve level. He has been used in a wide variety of positions in United’s reserves including playing as an advanced winger, a wide midfielder, and at right back. As previously mentioned though, the lack of recognised defenders, as well as the abundance of midfield players, means he’ll probably stick to defence on this tour.


Ryan Tunnicliffe

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Position: MC
Age: 19
Nationality: English
International experience: U16, U17
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: Peterborough United (11-12)

Another FA Youth cup winner, in the same year he was named Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year, Tunicliffe is a box to box hard-man midfielder with an excellent work ethic. It’s fair to say he didn’t play as much as he would have liked during his loan spell at Peterborough United last year, but once he returned he was excellent for the reserves again, helping them to the National Reserve League title.


Jesse Lingard

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Position: Winger
Age: 19
Nationality: English
International experience: U17
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Lingard is a slight and tricky winger who was many reserve fans player of the season last year. (The award was actually won by Michael Keane). Much more rugged than his diminutive size would suggest, Jesse has made the bench for the first team, but is yet to get on the field. Another key player in last years run to the National Reserve League title.


Nick Powell

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Position: AM
Age: 18
Nationality: English
International experience: U16, U17, U18
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Used by Crewe as a support striker last season, Sir Alex has confirmed new signing Nick Powell will play in midfield for us, and the tour will provide him his first opportunity to impress. After scoring 16 goals last season, we’ll be looking for him to provide some attacking impetuous from the middle of the park.


Robbie Brady

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Position: AM (LB for the tour)
Age: 20
Nationality: Irish
International experience: U17, U19, U21
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: Hull City (11-12)

Brady spent last season out on loan to Hull City making 39 appearances and scoring 3 goals. Although he’s a little too greedy, and shoots too readily for my liking, these are elements of his game that can be refined and will be less prevalent if he plays at left-back as suggested by Sir Alex in his first tour press conference. Brady has also been on the bench for the first team, but hasn’t yet come on for them. He won the Irish FA’s Under 21 International Player of the Year award in 2011.


Davide Petrucci

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Position: AM
Age: 20
Nationality: Italian
International experience: U19, U21
1st Team Appearances: 0
Loans: none

Davide was also one of the stars of the reserves last season. An attacking midfielder, he has demonstrated both range and touch on passes in all areas of the field. Although labelled injury-prone in the past, Petrucci seems to be growing out of that and his inclusion in the tour squad presumably puts pay to rumours that he would be leaving the club after attracting interest from several clubs in his native Italy.


Whilst we’re unlikely to see all of the above before United return to England after the trip to China, the experience they will all gain by being around Sir Alex and his coaching staff will no doubt be invaluable.

About Sam 73 Articles
MUFC ST holder N2412. Sub Editor of RedMancunian.com - Follow the first team, home and away, and the reserves and youth teams. Edinburgh Uni graduate.

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