Eric Harrison, the Manchester United coach credited with bringing through that fantastic team of 1992, has claimed that he owes his ability to establish a great youth team to Sir Alex Ferguson putting faith in the academy.
Harrison says that after a few weeks Ferguson spoke to him about his concerns regarding the youth team. This is an account Ferguson himself spoke about at the recent evening he spent with fans at the Lowry. Having seen our kids get thrashed by City, our former manager knew he had to change things quickly.
“Sir Alex had only been there three or four weeks,” said Harrison. “He got me in his office and said: ‘I’m not entirely satisfied with the youth set-up.’ I thought he was having a go at me personally. He said: ‘I want more players through.’ So I said: ‘Do you know how many scouts Manchester City have? About 10 times more than we have.’ He said: ‘Leave that with me, I’ll sort that out.’ And within about a month scouts were coming in right, left and centre, good scouts as well. Many a time when the first team finished training early they would come over and watch the youth team, especially Steve Bruce. And Steve used to say to me: ‘Eric, what a bunch of players you’ve got there.’ That’s a top player like Steve Bruce saying that. And little did he know that he’d be kicked out of the team when you got a bit older! But your group, you’ll never get a group like that again. It’s virtually impossible.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.