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10 Years On – Solskjaer’s Man United Reserve League Champions – Where Are They Now?

10 Years On – Solskjaer’s Man United Reserve League Champions – Where Are They Now?

By Billy Brake.

Current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent three seasons in charge of the club’s reserve side between 2008 and 2011. During that time he coached a variety of players and saw numerous successes, none more so than the 2009/10 Reserve League Playoff, which saw them crowned champions of the Reserves Premier League.

With the game level 3-3 after normal time, the match went to a penalty shootout. United prevailed 3-2 after successful attempts from Federico Macheda, Rodrigo Possebon, and Ben Foster.

Where are these players ten years later?

Ben Foster

The goalkeeper arrived from Stoke City with high hopes, but never managed to replace Edwin van der Sar between the posts in the first team.

The highlight of his Manchester United career came in the 2009 League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, when Foster saved Jamie O’Hara’s penalty and was crowned Man of the Match.

After just 23 outings for United, Foster departed for Birmingham and has been with Watford since 2018.

Ben foster Manchester united


The Brazilian fullback is arguably the most successful player of the team, playing at Old Trafford for eight years and amassing 170 appearances for the club, along with three Premier League medals.

Following his time at United, which included a sending off against Bayern Munich in the Champions League a month before the Reserve League final, Rafael departed for Lyon, where he has since played 138 games.

Joe Dudgeon

After impressing at various youth levels and making his under-18 debut aged 15, Dudgeon was awarded a first-team squad number. In the same season, he became a regular feature for the reserve side, featuring in 14 of the 18 games they played on their way to the Premier Reserve League North title.

Unfortunately, knee surgery in August 2010 kept him out for three months, and despite playing a few more games for the reserves he left for Carlisle. He is now a youth coach for Northern Ireland and Manchester City, a scout for the latter, too.

Corry Evans

The younger brother of Jonny Evans, Corry didn’t manage to carve out the career at Old Trafford his brother did, and failed to make an appearance for the senior side.

He left in 2011 and his since established himself in the Championship and League One, notably with Hull City and Blackburn Rovers.

Ritchie de Laet

Richie De Laet Manchester United

De Laet signed to a three-year contract in January 2009 and featured prominently for the reserve side, eventually making his first-team debut against Hull City on the last day of the season.

The winner of the 2009/10 Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award, he went out on loan a few times before signing with Leicester City, with whom he would win a Premier League title.

He now plays for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian First Division A, having had a brief spell with Aston Villa.

Oliver Gill

Oliver Gill is the son of former United Chief Executive David Gill, who left the role in 2013 and was replaced by the divisive Ed Woodward.

Oliver Gill won the 2010/11 Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award and managed to make the bench a few times for the first team. But after a loan at Bradford City, he left United in 2011 to concentrate on his university studies.

Oliver Norwood

Norwood joined United at the age of six and spent several years at the club but never managed to appear for the first team. He left for Huddersfield Town in 2012, but has gone on to have a good career in the game.

Norwood has become something of a promotion talisman, finding success with Brighton in 2016/17, Fulham in 2017/18, and Sheffield United in 2018/19. He is still at the Blades and made 30 appearances this season.

Rodrigo Possebon

After the scouting of Rafael and Fabio da Silva, Possebon was signed by United from Internacional. He made his debut in August 2009, coming on for Ryan Giggs.

With three senior appearances, and failing to make the best out of a loan to Braga, he left United for Santos in 2010. Possebon last played for Ho Chi Minh City in the Vietnamese top flight.

Cameron Stewart

The midfielder made some appearances for England at youth level and was an exciting prospect at Old Trafford, but left for Hull City after failing to make the first team. Despite suggestions of a revived career, Stewart is now without a club after being released by Lincoln City.

Stewart may be best known for suing Leeds United when the club failed to sign him permanently after new owner Massimo Cellino pulled out. Stewart was awarded £750,000 — the total sum of the contract.

Federico Macheda

While Rafael is the player who went on to have the best United career, none had a better single moment than Federico Macheda against – funnily enough – Aston Villa. After pulling the score back to 2-2, Macheda replaced Nani and scored the winner dramatically, pushing United back to the top of the table.

The Italian never built on this moment and repeatedly went out on loan before a permanent move to Cardiff City in 2014. He has played for Panathinaikos since 2018 and has scored 24 goals in 55 games for the Greek side.

Mame Biram Diouf

The Senegalese striker signed from Molde in 2009 but spent the rest of that season on loan at his former club. He took the 32 shirt vacated by Carlos Tevez and scored once for United in nine games.

After a few years in Germany with Hannover 96, Diouf signed for Stoke City and is still playing Britannia Stadium, 155 games on.