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Teenager Manni Norkett signs for Manchester United


By Warwick Lane


Manni Norkett with Manchester United’s 12-14 lead phase scout Ronnie Cusick.
Manni Norkett with Manchester United’s 12-14 lead phase scout Ronnie Cusick.

A 13-year-old footballer is excited for the future after completing a dream signing for Manchester United.

Striker Manni Norkett, of North Muskham, has been touted as one of the brightest talents in the youth game.

He was offered contracts by around 15 professional clubs, including Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton, before deciding to choose the Red Devils’ academy to progress his development.

Tuxford Academy pupil Norkett said he was looking forward to the opportunity to improve his game.

"I am really excited," he said. "I wanted to sign for Manchester United because I think they will suit my style of play more than other teams.

"I like to run and play with a bit more freedom going forward.

"Football is just football for me and I love everything about it, but I like to score as many goals as I can.

"The coaches (at Manchester United) are different than what I thought. It has been really great there so far.

"I want to be selected for England youth teams later this year, so I will be working hard towards that."

Norkett has appeared for United against other category-one academies, and travelled to Los Angeles to represent the club in the under-14 LA Galaxy Cup

He scored in every game against players more than a year his senior, as they drew 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy and lost to Real So Cal, Real Salt Lake and San Diego Surf.

Norkett excelled at junior football, improving his game at several academies, including Manchester City, Grimsby Town and Sheffield United.

He also honed his skills playing competitive youth league football and scoring goals for the likes of Collingham, Newark Town, RHP Colts and Birchwood Colts.

Norkett received coaching from Deano’s Pro Soccer Academy, which is run by former professional footballer and St Kitts and Nevis international Dean Walling.

Norkett’s father, Jamie Norkett, said he was delighted for his son after all the hard work he had put in.

"It is a very special moment," he said. "You try to be supportive and help them achieve their dreams.

"Manni has taken everything on board. There have been tough times and setbacks, but each time he comes back stronger. I could not be happier for him.

"To have the choice of all those clubs was amazing. The phone did not stop ringing with offers.

"Manni likes to set himself a target each season for the goals he wants to score — he has around 75 this year.

"We are grateful to Tuxford Academy, who have been supportive. Without them he might not have had this chance."

Garry Attwood, one of his coaches at RHP Colts, said: "He is a dream to manage. His attitude is spot on.

"His work rate, positioning, ability and everything about him is strong. He could be the real deal."



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