When he was just six-years-old, Kai Rooney was enrolled in Manchester United’s academy, with his dad, Wayne, still playing for the club. After a stint away, after Wayne first went to manage in the MLS, Kai returned to Manchester and signed with the club as an 11-year-old.
Rooney spoke to the media at the time, claiming Kai had several offers, but chose to come back to United.
I’m a proud dad. He’s been working hard, he obviously came over to the States with us to continue with his football. He went on trial with Manchester United and he’s impressed the coaches. He signed his forms yesterday so I’m delighted for him. He did have other options, other clubs to go to but he decided he wants to sign for Manchester United, so it was his decision and not mine.
In his first season with the under-12s, Kai scored 56 goals and assisted a further 28, and has already signed a sponsorship deal with Puma.
Earlier this year, Kai spoke about his dreams for the future.
In 10 years, hopefully I will be playing in the Premier League for Man United, that’s where I see myself but I’ve got to make it happen with the hard work and everything behind the scenes.
In an interview with The Athletic, Rooney spoke about Kai’s happiness in the United set up.
He’s enjoying it. That’s the most important thing. He’s doing everything he can to try to have a career in football and not just him, my other children as well. They love the game and my advice — to any children — is play to enjoy. There’s that much pressure when you do get to the professional level and sometimes you forget why you’re playing the game. You’re playing because you love playing the game and you enjoy playing the game. As long as you’re doing everything right to give yourself the best opportunity then you never know. Young players develop at different times and in different ways. He’s trying, he’s giving it a go and hopefully he can get to the level he wants.