Joe Coll quits Manchester United due to lack of opportunities

Ireland under-17 goalkeeper Joe Coll has decided to leave Manchester United in an attempt to further his career
Donegal native Joe Coll has decided to leave Manchester United in order to get more first team experience after failing to break through at Old Trafford.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper joined the Red Devils in 2010, but found himself way down the pecking order between the sticks. Yesterday, Coll left the club along with fellow goalkeepers Tomas Kuszczak and Liam Jacob, as well as veteran forward Michael Owen.

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat, Coll said he left the club on good terms, but felt he needed to move for the sake of his career. "I had a frustrating season at United’s academy with the lack of opportunities so spoke to the management there and decided to consider my options," said Coll.

"A loan was more or less out of the question as I’m still relatively inexperienced and there’s a lot of hassle as a youth player if you’re trying to get back to the Airtricity League. I weighed up the pros and cons of everything and took the decision to move on. At United they look after you well but they have so many options."

Coll joined United in July 2010 from Glenea United, but despite appearing for the Republic of Ireland at under-15, under-16, and under-17 level, he was left warming the bench with Paul McGuinness's Manchester United under-18 side, and was at least fifth-choice for the reserves.

“To improve as a goalkeeper you have to be playing to learn and I wouldn’t mind if I was playing for Glenea United or Manchester United,” Coll said. “I decided not to sign as a pro as when you’re a pro you’re always a pro. Clubs that might have been interested in me could’ve been put off if I was a pro and that played a part in my decision. I thought the best thing to do was make myself a free agent.

"I’m looking forward to the fresh start. I’m going to England next week looking to find a club. All I want is a chance to show what I can do and it takes a week at a trial for a club to see that. I know I’ve taken a gamble but hopefully everything will work out."