Former Rotherham Defender Training With Premier League Club

Former Rotherham United defender Matthew Olosunde is training with Manchester United, another of his former employers, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.

However, those expecting to see the 25-year-old in action for the Premier League side will be disappointed – Olosunde is joining a training programme at Carrington for former academy graduates looking for a way back into football.

The former New York Red Bulls defender joined United as a youth in 2016 but failed to make the grade at Old Trafford. However, whilst on their books, he was capped by the United States, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute against Bolivia in 2018.

Following his release, he joined Rotherham, impressing for the Millers. He played 32 times for them as they won promotion out of League One in 2019/20 and again appeared 32 times as they dropped out of the Championship a season later.

Instead of dropping back into the third tier, he moved to Preston North End, but he only made a single league start for the club after finding himself plagued by injuries before being released.

That has led him back to Carrington, where a working group has begun a process that will eventually be open to 225 former Manchester United academy players. The initial group is aimed at helping some players who have been injured get fit, but there will be other activities aimed at helping them with their life outside of the game.

For Olosunde, it’s a chance to be back around his peers and perhaps ease himself back into the professional game.

“I had a tear in my Achilles; I got that at the beginning of the [2021/22] season, unfortunately, which kept me out for a good four months or so,” Olosunde explains.

“After that, there was a manager change, and from there, it just didn’t really work out for me. I had little injuries here or there like everyone else does, but that’s just football. I’m hoping to move on from that and continue on with my career.

“It can be tough; sometimes your mind can go adrift, but it is always good when you have people around you, even if it’s just one person to talk to. You just have to get through it, keep on going and keep talking to somebody to help you through it. An idle mind can be a scary thing. It’s important to be around your peers.”

Other players on the initial course include Tom Thorpe, who represented England through to under 21 level, and Oli Kilner, who joined Oldham after his time with United. The 19-year-old has had ten months out with a broken ankle and is hunting a route back into the game, just like Olosunde.

Writer’s View

Football clubs are showing an increasing awareness of mental health and player wellbeing, and this is a great example from Manchester United. So many players come through the academy at big clubs, and get cast aside when they are released.

This programme is not just aimed at those who are in their late teens and handling disappointment, but even former internationals like Olosunde who, when he regains full fitness, could easily do a job in the Championship or League One.

It’s easy to criticise the Premier League elite for so many things, but in this instance, it is important to acknowledge the sterling work of those involved.



1 of 15

Who is this turn of the century footballer?



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.