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- May 8, 2011
Manchester United confirm Otten Cup participation - Official Manchester United Website
Manchester United's Head of Academy Nicky Butt has confirmed the club are entering an Under-19 team in the Otten Cup in Eindhoven at the start of next season.
The Reds will join Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Chivas, Red Bull Brasil, Anderlecht, Borussia Monchengladbach and hosts PSV for the eight-team tournament between 5 and 7 August.
In an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com at the announcement of a new global partnership with Gulf Oil International, Butt explained his goal is to obtain more continental experience for the young players under his tutelage.
"We feel, as a club, our next step is now trying to get more international experience for our young boys and that’s one of the tournaments we’re going into," he said of the Otten Cup. "We’re looking at a few more as well. It’s important we invite some teams across here as well and do some in-house tournaments.
"We’re still at that point at the moment where it’s one of those stepping stones we’re going to go along to plan for the next few seasons."
Butt also stressed, while the schoolboys are often gaining international experience, it can drop off when the youngsters progress through the age groups.
"They do get a lot of international football, two or three tournaments a year abroad, right down to the 10 to 14-year-olds," he said. "When it gets to the next stage, the Under-15s, Under-16s and up to the youth team, there are so many games in the Youth Cup and different tournaments, it’s hard to get them abroad as much as we’d like. It’s something we’re looking at. Like I say, it’s a planning exercise we’re doing at the minute and it’s something all the coaches and all the staff are involved in."
Former midfielder Butt is getting to grips with his new role and is busy making further plans for the 2016/17 season and beyond.
"Settling in has been quite easy as I’ve been here a long time and knew all the people who work here," added Butt. "It’s quite easy in that sense but there is a lot of stuff that is a bit outside of my comfort zone.
"There a lot of people in the background who work alongside me helping me out on that side. I tend to concentrate a lot on the football side and I’ve got to do a lot of preparation for next season now. We’re having lots of meetings and doing lots of planning and hopefully I’ll be getting onto the pitch a lot more. That’s my plan."