Manchester United and Nottingham Forest meet at Old Trafford on Wednesday night

Tuesday 10 May 2022
Manchester United's Charlie McNeill celebrates at Old Trafford in their FA Youth Cup semi-final win over Wolves

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Manchester United and Nottingham Forest will meet in the FA Youth Cup Final at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening to decide who will be crowned as winners for 2022.

With a bumper crowd expected at Old Trafford to see the Final, and fans from across the world able to tune in to watch it live on The FA Player, the scene is set for an interesting contest.

United take home advantage for the Final, after they were drawn out first when the semi-final and Final draw took place in February.

Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
  • The FA Youth Cup Final
  • 7.30pm BST, Wednesday 11 May 2022
  • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Watch live on The FA Player

It’s a first-time appearance in the Final for Forest, who are coached by former Manchester United reserve team and academy coach Warren Joyce.

And with United currently being the Youth Cup’s most successful club, the Reds are aiming to add an eleventh title to their collection.

It’s their first appearance in the Final since 2011 when they beat Sheffield United over two legs with a team containing the likes of Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Michael Keane and Ravel Morrison.

In charge of Sheffield United that day was Travis Binnion, who is now looking to lead United’s U18s to Youth Cup glory.

“Reaching this point in the FA Youth Cup is the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work,” revealed Binnion.

“These kids have been in the building for anywhere between two and ten years, so we as a group of staff are really proud of the boys’ efforts and their progression through the season.

“Nottingham Forest are in form, they’ve got threats, they don’t give up goals lightly, they compete well. They’ll come with a gameplan and it’s our job to make sure we’re ready, which we will be.

“We’ll play as we know we can play and when we do, we’re a hard team to play against, particularly at Old Trafford.

“We’ve won four games here already. The boys feel at home here, so it’s a huge advantage and it’s one we’ve grown with through each round. We can’t wait to get back on the pitch there.

“That’s why we enjoy these moments and we look to put players in those positions to be ready for that [first-team] opportunity when it comes. The Youth Cup is a fantastic setting for that.”

Nottingham Forest celebrate their stunning comeback victory over Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup semi-final at the City Ground

Looking to scupper United’s hopes though, are a Forest side who have enjoyed an impressive run in the competition.

Their stunning victory over Chelsea at the City Ground in the semi-final will stand as a warning for United and in Joyce, they have an experienced coach who knows more than most about the way their opponents might work.

“To get to the FA Youth Cup Final for the first time in Nottingham Forest’s history is a massive achievement for the boys and everybody connected with the group,” said Joyce.

“I was at Manchester United and they’ve waited a long time to get back into the Final themselves, so it’s a fantastic achievement.

“Every game in this competition has been a massive learning process for the players in a variety of different ways. That’s what you want. You want tests and challenges for the players to develop them to hopefully break through to first-team football.

“This match is about these players having gone on that journey and worked fantastically hard to get to a final and challenge yourself against one of the biggest clubs in the world on their home pitch with the home crowd.

“It’s a great opportunity to prove what type of character you’ve got as a player and a team and for players to express themselves, showing how good they are in front of people who are paying to come and watch.

“You try to manufacture situations and environments to develop the players and test them and this is another massive challenge that we’re looking forward to, and we want to bring our very best game to the Final.”

The Final kicks-off at 7.30pm BST on Wednesday 11 May, and fans can watch it live on The FA Player or as part of a Paid Online Event (POE) on Facebook for 99p.

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By Nicholas Veevers