Remember the film, where the washed-up club fighter gets one last chance and that chance happens to be against the heavyweight champion of the world? Of course you do, you’d have to have been living in a box or perhaps somewhere like Barnsley not to have seen the film Rocky or one of its thirty seven sequels.
While Sylvester Stallone’s magnum opus may not be quite as fresh in the memory as the bread in his latest venture, everyone can remember and admire the story of the underdog achieving his dream against the odds. It seems United haven’t restricted their transfer policy to millionaires from Monaco or Madrid’s finest wingers, even a lad from non-league can get a chance under Louis Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy.’
The Mail notes:
Louis van Gaal will take a youngster from non-league Glossop North End on Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the United States after a successful trial.
Sam Grimshaw, a 21-year-old left back or left winger, will link up with the Barclays Premier League side as they cross the Atlantic in the July for a tour that includes games against Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
The youngster was a second half substitute in the FA Vase final as his side lost 2-1 in extra time to North Shields at Wembley.
And after the game, Glossop manager Chris Willcock hinted that a deal for United to sign Grimshaw would go through with the opening of the transfer window on July 1.
‘He’s been invited with Man United now to go on tour to America which is a great coup for the club really, so we’ll see how that develops,’ Willcock said.
‘Once the Premier League window opens, regarding signing players, watch this space… We’ll see what happens.
‘He’s a young man who’s got really good qualities, still learning the game, and I’m sure being around a club of the stature of Manchester United will only improve anybody.’
It’s highly unlikely a youngster from non-league can make the step up to the Premier League, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Chris Smalling is an example of how someone can make the move from outside the top divisions to the very highest levels as he started his career Maidstone United. It’s good that Van Gaal isn’t restricting himself to just big money players and at least considering those from the lower leagues and we’ll have to wait and see whether Grimshaw can defy the odds. Going from playing in front of a few hundred fans to plying your trade for a club who regularly sell over 76,000 tickets each week isn’t exactly easy and the Grimshaw will need to show he’s not overawed by it all, he’s already impressed enough at a trial with United in April so hopefully he can make the next step.
Remember the name, Sam Grimshaw as one day they make a film about him, although I did say that when they signed Bebe…..