Ethan Galbraith: NI teen signs professional deal with Man Utd

Galbraith (right) with Manchester United Under-18s coach Kieran McKenna
Galbraith (right) with Manchester United Under-18s coach Kieran McKenna

Northern Ireland teenager Ethan Galbraith has signed a professional contract with Manchester United.

The Belfast-born midfielder has agreed terms with the Premier League side after helping the club to the Under-18 Premier League North title this season.

"It's a proud moment for me and my family," he told the club's websiteexternal-link.

"Growing up as a young kid, obviously I always wanted to play football - especially for the biggest club in the world as well.

Galbraith, 17, moved to United last year on a one-year scholarship after he had impressed scouts while playing for Linfield Under-16s and he has now qualified for a full-time deal.

The defensive midfielder is being coached by his compatriot Kieran McKenna at United and he made 15 appearances for the club's Under-18s in his first season - scoring a superb goal against Manchester City in April.

"I'm very proud and just want to push on from here," added Galbraith.

"It's been a great year. We won the league but, obviously, that's a bonus. I just struck it well against City. I didn't know what to do when I was celebrating because it was my first goal for the club as well, but it was very exciting!

"I've settled in well with the family I've moved in with and it's all been great."