Midfielders Rodrigo Possebon and Tom Cleverley, as well as defender Craig Cathcart, were flown out last week to South Africa to join the first team in their pre-season.
With an hour played last Saturday, Cleverley was on the scoresheet in United’s 4-0 win over the Kaizer Chiefs, after putting away the ball from a Danny Simpson cross, headered down by Wayne Rooney.
“It’s been an unbelievable day and I’m pretty speechless,” he said after his debut. “I got the call on Tuesday to say I’d be coming out to South Africa so it’s all happened very quickly. I came on and did quite well and got a goal – I feel very proud. I’ve done well in my first match, but I want to stay there and carry it on into the season. I’m just a down to earth lad from Bradford and to see Scholesy coming on to play next to me was unbelievable; you have to pinch yourself. It’s great to play with the likes of Tevez and Rooney and it really helps you to raise your game. Hopefully I can continue to do that.”
So, what’s he been up to since?
Three days after his goal in South Africa, Cleverley is back in England, along with Cathcart, Campbell, Possebon, Simpson and Gibson, playing in the Lancashire Senior Cup final against Liverpool.
United were victorious, beating the dippers 3-2, taking the lead with every goal they scored. It was Cleverley who opened the scoring for United with less than half an hour played, thanks to a break from Campbell down the right wing. Liverpool levelled the score before Campbell again provided a goal, this time for David Gray. Again, the dippers pulled one back, with less than 20 minutes left to play, with the game looking to be decided on penalties.
However, with time running out, Cleverley bombed down the left wing, finding second-half substitute, Danny Drinkwater, to coolly score the winner.
All in all, it’s been a very good week for young Cleverley, and here’s hoping for many more!