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Ferdinand: Important Man Utd always take FA Youth Cup seriously

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says the FA Youth Cup is part of the culture of Old Trafford.

Having gone all the way to the final in his West Ham days back in 1996, the centre-back is a firm admirer of the much-respected competition.

"I had a great time playing in the Youth Cup," he told MUTV in a recent interview. "We had a great run and got to the final and played Liverpool - Michael Owen was on the other team. I played at Anfield and Upton Park at home, which was phenomenal.

"I think it's a great tournament as you get to play at stadiums and get a real feel of what it's like to play in big games as a young player. I'm sure the lads here will savour the moment when they go out there and represent Manchester United in a proper competition.

"It can be a launching pad for many careers. We've seen, over the years, players have gone on from doing well in the FA Youth Cup to becoming regulars in first teams so it's a great opportunity for them."

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