News From Manchester: Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez parade awards at Manchester United academy celebration

It has been a miserable season for United's first-team but that hasn't extended to the academy. There were first-team debuts for Charlie Savage, Zidane Iqbal and Alejandro Garnacho this term while the Reds' U18s won the FA Youth Cup.

Garnacho was instrumental in that triumph and he was named United's Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year earlier this month. the forward scored seven goals in the Youth Cup and that haul included two in the final against Nottingham Forest. Garnacho has been training with United's first team and he made his debut this season with a cameo in United's 1-1 draw versus Chelsea.

Garnacho joined United from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2020 and he's now followed in the footsteps of Shola Shoretire, Marcus Rashford, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who have also won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.

Alvaro Fernandez was the winner of the Denzil Haroun Reserve-Team Player of the Year this season. The left-back has also trained with the first-team this season, however, he's yet to make his debut for United, despite making a few matchday squads.

Fernandez made 31 appearances across different levels of United's academy this season and was a key player for the U23s. Both Garnacho and Fernandez received their awards earlier this month, but both paraded their accolades again this week.

The 'academy presentation day' also gave the opportunity for some goodbyes. DMani Mellor, Dan Polakowski and Paul Woolston have all left the club and staff at United organised presentations and goodbye gifts for all three players.

Mellor will seek new a new club in England, Polakowski is headed for a scholarship at Manhattan College in the United States, and Woolston was sadly forced to retire due to a hip injury. The players were pictured with their unique framed United shirts.

Neil Wood, who has become head coach at Salford City, and Neil Ryan, who has joined the FA, also bid their farewells. Wood spent three years at United as the head coach of the club's Under-23s and his tenure was highly successful.

Wood was highly regarded at United and helped 17 academy players make their first-team debuts at Old Trafford. Sources at United have indicated they are happy with Wood's decision to coach within a first-team environment.

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