Paul Woolston joins Manchester United first team training session after announcing retirement

This week Manchester United youngster Paul Woolston announced his retirement from football after serious injury problems.

The 23-year-old had undergone two operations and felt the time was right to call it quits, a horrible career decision to have to make before he had even played a first team game.

In addition to receiving tributes to his goalkeeping quality and strong personality from David de Gea and Dean Henderson, United have rallied around the former England youth inernational.

Woolston invited to first team training

United have pledged to look after Woolston after his early retirement, and have already done right by him. Last summer his contract was set to expire, then he suffered a serious injury and underwent an operation – so United extended his deal.

Upon news of his retirement, United stated: “The club has put together a robust support programme for Paul. Various informal and formal education sessions have taken place. Woolston has received support with his coaching badges and will have the opportunity to travel abroad with younger age groups to aid his learning process.

“A variety of work-experience placements have been set up both within the club and externally. Paul has also received significant mentorship from across Manchester United to guide him into the next stage of his career.”

The first step on this path took place on Thursday, when Woolston joined the rest of the first team squad for training, which consisted of numerous academy players due to the international break.

Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Woolston was pictured centre, with goalkeeping coach Craig Mawson, Tom Heaton, Lee Grant, Dermot Mee, Dean Henderson, David de Gea, and coach Richard Hartis.

He then mixed in observing and talking to the players, getting a taste of coaching and watching some of his former academy teammates mix in with first team stars.

Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images
Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

United’s squad is fairly short right now with so many players on international duty, although there is still some really high quality left at Carrington, including Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic.

The club also had an under-18s game on Thursday, in which Ethan Ennis scored his fifth goal in his last three games to give United a 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

United’s next fixture is against Leicester City on Saturday April 2, with the game a 5.30pm kick-off.

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