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Man United player

Emerging Talent Programme (ETP) graduate, Jaydan Kamason, has become the first player from the scheme to sign a professional contract with Manchester United.

Jaydan joined the ETP at the age of 10, whilst playing for local grassroots team Stockport Vikings. After spending a period of time developing in the ETP, working with bespoke coaching and delivery staff, Jaydan transitioned to the main Academy group where he has spent the last six years.

While the Academy does not normally announce a player’s first professional contract, an exception has been made in this case to celebrate the success of the ETP in creating opportunities for children across Greater Manchester to develop their talent.

The Academy’s Emerging Talent Programme delivers a range of projects in the community that ensure as many children as possible have the chance to engage with Manchester United, experience how the Academy operates and create incredible memories playing the game.

Led by Jen Mildenhall, Academy coaches, including David Campbell, Lee Dunn, Sophie Hunt, James McGerity and Zoe Flanagan, engage with schools, grassroots football clubs and community groups across Manchester’s 10 boroughs. In total, 12,000 children engage with the programme each year across 500 primary schools, 200 secondary schools and hundreds of junior teams. In addition, 800 coaches have benefited from workshops, webinars and practical sessions in the last year alone.

The programme staff work closely with the recruitment team, including Luke Federenko and Callum Tongue, to identify talented footballers and offer them the opportunity to attend a structured development programme at the club’s Emerging Talent Centre, based at the Carrington Training Complex.

The Centre gives boys an opportunity to engage in regular coaching and a bespoke games programme, while continuing with to play for their local junior teams. With support from expert staff, players that demonstrate high potential are invited to join the main Academy programme.

To date, a total of 46 players have gone on to register as a player, and a further 350 have registered at other professional clubs, with staff signposting them to Football League sides across the north-west.


Director of Academy Nick Cox said “This is an extremely proud day for everyone associated with the Emerging Talent Programme. Jaydan signing his first professional contract is a landmark moment that showcases the exceptional quality of work that takes place every day by Jen [Mildenhall] and her team.

“Enabling young people to access and experience the multitude of benefits that come from engaging with our Academy is the primary aim of the Emerging Talent Programme, however the byproduct of the activities is the ability to identify excellent talents such as Jaydan. The programme further strengthens the inclusivity and accessibility of our Academy and continues to have an outstanding impact on the lives of children and grassroots coaches across the region.”

Jen Mildenhall, Emerging Talent Programme manager, said “The signing of Jaydan’s first professional contract represents an opportunity to reflect on the success we’ve had since the programme began. His development since joining the Academy is a shining example of what can be achieved when boys are engaged with the Emerging Talent Programme.

“While increasing our exposure to local talent has seen the Academy recruit a number of exciting players such as Jaydan, we are equally delighted with the positive impact that we’ve had on the north-west football ecosystem through sharing resources and the creation of a wider coaching network that has raised the standard of provision across the region.”


Jaydan Kamason was born to Sierra Leonean parents and he is the first Sierra Leonean to sign a professional contract with Man. United.


Credit: Man Utd., Communications Department


Copyright –Published in print in Expo Times Newspaper on Wednesday, December 20th, 2023 (ExpoTimes News – Expo Media Group (expomediasl.com)