I’m a former Man Utd wonderkid who was wanted by Real Madrid and Barcelona – now I play in non league after 16 transfers

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SOMETIMES football’s cruel reality means that those rated the highest still struggle to break through at the very top.

And unfortunately for Febian Brandy he never quite managed to live out his dream despite the hype that surrounded him.

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Febian Brandy was hot property on the academy football scene back in the 2000’sCredit: Action Images – Reuters
He was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's talented pool of youth prospects at Manchester United

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He was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s talented pool of youth prospects at Manchester UnitedCredit: X @FebianBrandy

The Manchester born attacker was snapped up early doors by Manchester United’s academy where he stayed for 12 years despite attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

But he wasn’t able to break through into the first team and never managed to make a senior appearance for the Red Devils.

Brandy was released by his boyhood club in 2010 after loan spells with Swansea, Heredord and Gillingham didn’t do enough to earn him a new deal.

Since then he has played for a total of 16 different teams over the years and is yet to stay in one place for any longer than a season.

His journeyman-type career has seen a brief spell in Greece alongside a flurry of spells throughout the English football pyramid.

He also managed to earn himself three international caps for Saint Kitts and Nevis along the way.

Sadly it was injuries that got the better of the now 34-year-old and like many before him it stopped his career from reaching its full potential.

Although things didn’t pan out the way they were expected to, Brandy has said he has no regrets on how things panned out for him.

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Speaking to Planet Football in 2019, he said: “I don’t have any regrets about how my career panned out at Man United,

“When the Barcelona interest came in, I was 13 or 14. It was a time when United and Barcelona were on the same level and I was a Manc lad doing well at the club, one of the biggest in the world.

“I was travelling all over for tournaments and winning awards, my development was going in the right direction, so it wouldn’t have made sense to go abroad when I was already thriving in my current environment.”

He went on to say: “When you get older you start to wonder whether you’re going to get into the first team, and by the time I was 19 I realised my chances were getting quite limited.

“I was injured quite a lot, which didn’t help my development but when I realised I wasn’t going to get the contract I wanted I was obviously upset – it’s Man United, I am a Manchester lad.

“But it’s opening a door to a new chapter.”

Now Brandy plies his trade in the non league with Cheadle Town who play in the 9th tier of English football.

It’s a long way to fall from his days when he was rated as one of the top prospects at a high flying Man Utd team.

Former academy teammate Tom Cleverley recalled just how good Brandy was when the pair used to play together at youth level.

Brandy (top right) stayed with Manchester United for 12 years

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Brandy (top right) stayed with Manchester United for 12 yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor
He later had a brief spell with Sheffield United

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He later had a brief spell with Sheffield UnitedCredit: Blades

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone, he said: “Febian Brandy was the one in or under-18s team who was the standout player.

“Every tournament we’d play in, from 12 to 16, he was getting Player of the Tournament. He had interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, he was in all of the newspaper articles, he was the one who signed a boot deal the earliest.

“Listen, he was a fantastic footballer. He was so quick, and listen, he didn’t not make it; he had a loan move to Swansea and then he went to Hereford.

“But he just didn’t have the career that everyone expected. There was so much noise around his name, from 12 to about 17, and that can be difficult to deal with sometimes.”

The now retired midfielder gushed even more as he said: “He was the one who we all expected to be the superstar of the group, and things just didn’t quite materialise.”

Although it’s not worked out on the pitch the way that Brandy would have hoped, things are still going really well off it.

The former England youth prospect has set up his own company called “Skouted”.

Staying as close as possible to football, the ambitious business venture is an app that allows released players and teams to scout talent that may otherwise go unnoticed without the right contacts.

Febian has now started a company called Skouted

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Febian has now started a company called SkoutedCredit: Instagram @faybreezy9





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