Michael Keane has been named the Reserve Player of the Year for 2012 after an impressive season at the heart of United’s title-winning defence.
The 19-year old defender, brother of Reserves striker Will, was a clear winner with 60% of the votes, beating Jesse Lingard (24%) and Larnell Cole (16%) into second and third respectively.
Fearless in defence and comfortable on the ball, Keane has established himself at centre-back for Warren Joyce’s side this season, having arrived at the club as a full-back.
His promising start to the campaign was rewarded with a first-team debut as a substitute in United’s Carling Cup win at Aldershot in October.
Keane made 27 appearances in all competitions for the second string in 2011/12, scoring five goals, as Joyce’s men powered to Reserve League North and then national play-off final glory.
Michael told MUTV: “I was surprised but really pleased to win the award. It’s great to know that it’s been voted for by the fans, because they come to watch us and follow us throughout the season.”
Looking back on his senior debut this season, away to Aldershot, the award-winner said: “It was incredible. Just to travel with the first team is special. But to get on the pitch is unbelievable. It’s something I and my family had dreamed of.
“Now I hope to go on the pre-season tour with the first team and if that goes well, then I might go on loan or stay here. It will be up to Sir Alex of course.”
Fellow reserve-award nominee Larnell Cole graciously said Michael “deserved to win the award” while another runner-up Jesse Lingard added: “He’s had a good, strong campaign at the back and he’s been picked for England. His confidence has gone sky high.”