Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday are hoping to build on the link with Manchester United

The Owls boss is a friend of United’s chief academy development chief Justin Cochrane, a former Rotherham United defender who spent time training in England’s youth ranks before switching to Old Trafford this summer.

Earlier this season, a pair of highly regarded young United spent time training with Wednesday as part of a ‘Pro Experience’ pilot project aimed at exposing academy players to the daily hardships of professional football without signing on loan.

This meant that the young people got involved in all aspects of life as an EFL football player, from life on the training ground to analysis and match preparation.

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According to The Athletic, the two young United who have spent time with Wednesday, the U-23 pair Charlie McNeill, an 18-year-old striker from Manchester City for £ 750,000 last year, and the Dutch youth international Dillon Hoogewerf, also 18, who arrived at United from Ajax in 2019.

The connection between the two clubs continues, as they traveled to United’s Carrington training ground on Wednesday at the beginning of the season, where they played a game behind closed doors, which partly aimed to get Owls striker Lee Gregory up to speed after his signature. Gregory scored twice and has not looked back.

Whether the mutual relationship between the two clubs leads to more formal player transfers remains to be seen.

Wednesday’s involvement in the Pro Experience pilot has also been extended to other clubs, with young Red Devils also being sent out to Forest Green Rovers and AFC Wimbledon in recent weeks.

Manchester United youngster Dillon Hoogewerf spent time with Sheffield Wednesday as part of the Red Devils’ ‘Pro Experience’ pilot.

A statement from Manchester United’s Head of Academy Nick Cox said: “We know they will return to Carrington with a renewed sense of purpose that will benefit the individual and the wider training group.

“Justin Cochrane has been a focal point in the establishment of this initiative, it is thanks to a number of fantastic relationships that we have been able to establish a really exciting experience for the Professional Development Phase group.

“We would like to thank Sheffield Wednesday for their continued support and look forward to seeing the many benefits this program will bring to our players both on and off the pitch.”

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