James Wilson was named the Jimmy Murphy Academy Player of the Year last night at the Manchester United end of season awards.
These players were looking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Ben Pearson as well as past winners including Mats Daehli, Danny Welbeck, Paul Scholes and current interim manager Ryan Giggs.
It was a surprising shortlist considering Wilson had only played ten games at that level including FA Youth Cup appearances. It was also surprising that consistent performers like Ben Barber (who has subsequently signed professional forms at Stoke City) or Matty Willock didn’t make the shortlist.
Unlike most of the awards up for grabs, this isn’t decided by the fans as the Under-18s coaching staff pick the winner.
— United Indonesia (@UtdIndonesia) May 8, 2014
Wilson, who made his debut for the first team during the week, was chosen as the winner. With the season that “Wilo” had, it would have been a travesty if he hadn’t been acknowledged.
The 18-year-old has been on a fantastic run of goalscoring form this season scoring 24 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions at all levels. He scored nine goals in ten appearances at Under-18 level, including the FA Youth Cup run.
He was also joint top scorer in the group stage of the Under-19 UEFA Youth League with five goals in six appearances. He also scored eight goals in 12 Under-21 appearances before bagging a brace on his senior debut.
Although predominantly played as a striker, he can also play on the left and is captain of the Under-18s side when he plays and was captain for the Under-19 Youth League campaign. Wilson is a natural leader on and off the pitch.
He can score any type of goal, from the simple to the sublime, and loves to go round the keeper in the process. It’s not just his ability to sniff out a goal as his work-rate is also incredible.
He has a cool head and whether he scores or misses (rarely) a chance, he just puts his head down runs and goes again.
Here’s to a bright future for Wilson. Take a look at a couple of his goals from this campaign:
And a great finish here…