Young Manchester United midfielder Callum Whelan has revealed how the Reds have instilled a winning mentality in the academy throughout his time at the club.
Whelan, now 19, has been at the club since the age of nine. Now, alongside four others who have also been at the club for a decade or more, he’s a key player in the under-23s set-up having been one of the players of the season for Kieran McKenna’s under-18s last year.
Speaking to ManUtd.com, Whelan revealed the highlight of his time at the club he supports has been winning the Sparkasse & VGH Cup in Germany earlier this year.
Whelan was forced in goal after an injury to Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui and made a crucial save in a penalty shoot-out to win United the tournament.
The experience, despite not playing in his regular position, provides Whelan and his teammates the motivation to hunt for more trophies.
“We’re at a club where there’s a great history of winning trophies,” he said.
“United want to win every competition they enter. I think if you get that mentality at a young age then eventually, if you do get into the first team, you already have that in you and you know what the club’s about.
“I’ve been here 10 or 11 years now, so it’s all I know. It does mean a lot. There are five of us that were here at nine and we’re still here now – Callum Gribbin, Ro-Shaun Williams, Tyrell Warren, Zak Dearnley and myself.”
Whelan is progressing very steadily at United as an utterly reliable individual is any side. He drew great praise from McKenna and regular watchers of the under-18s last season.
Many thought he deserved to win the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award more than Angel Gomes, whose higher profile due to his debut may have swayed things in his favour.