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“He’s been great…” – How Phil Jones is helping Man United academy in two different ways



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Credit: Man Utd

Phil Jones has been helping out with the Manchester United academy this season as he decides on the next steps for his career.

The defender spent 12 years at Old Trafford as a player but left at the end of his contract earlier this year.

Now, Jones is spending time studying for his A licence and badges with the help of United and has regularly been seen with the Under-18s squad, who are running away in the league.

After ten games, the young Reds have a perfect record with 30 points, nine points above second-place Liverpool.

Manager Adam Lawrence is preparing for the start of their FA Youth Cup campaign, with a third-round clash against Derby County coming on Tuesday evening at Old Trafford.

The club will be hoping that the talented youngsters can repeat the cup victory of two seasons ago when the likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo and Dan Gore were key players in an Old Trafford final win where 67,000 fans were in attendance.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News ahead of that clash, Lawrence has praised the impact of Jones in the academy set-up. The coach particularly enjoys the experience he can provide the youngsters both on the pitch and off it.

“It’s been great with Phil, he is with us weekly. He spends time with the under-14s and under-18s as well so he gets to experience like the different age groups of the academy,” Lawrence said.

“But for us, he’s been great. He’s obviously from the club in terms of his background and what he’s done here and I think as well for the players, to not just learn from him in terms of the areas of his game and his knowledge, but also some of the off the field stuff and what they’re going through – whether it be team selection, how you prepare for games, diet, nutrition.

“Myself and Colin have really appreciated him being involved in the program and he’s added some real value from in a different way. Hopefully, we’ve given him the opportunity to start coaching on the field with players. I know he’s been of massive value and he’ll continue to do that as well.”

Jones has not yet officially retired from football and he’s continuing to contemplate the next steps in his career, according to the Manchester Evening News, and the defender could still return to the game if an offer comes in.