Tuesday, November 13, 2007

24. Darren Fletcher

Darren Fletcher

Darren Fletcher

Birthdate: 01 Feb 1984
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 159
Joined United: 03 Jul 2000
United Debut: 12 Mar 2003 v FC Basel (H)
International Scotland

Darren Fletcher was one of a host of players who scooped their first ever Premiership winners’ medal in May 2007.

Despite seeing his chances limited in the centre of the park by the burgeoning partnership of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick, the Scottish international still made forty appearances, netting three goals including a vital winner in the 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough in December 2006.

But it was his mature midfield displays in the Champions League victories over AS Roma and, most notably, AC Milan at Old Trafford which really caught the eye and prompted praise from players and pundits


In May 2000, Fletcher was set to be included in the Reds’ squad for their trip to Villa Park, but FA rules - and his schoolboy status - denied him the chance.

He joined United officially as a trainee in July 2000, but injuries stymied his progress. He eventually made his debut against Basel in March 2003, but it was in the following season that Fletch made his mark, notching 35 appearances.

The maturity of his game impressed, and in United’s 4-3-3 system he became the legs and lungs of Roy Keane, all the while learning his trade from the master.

By this stage, Fletcher was established as one of Scotland’s leading lights: he scored the solitary goal against Lithuania that earned them a play-off for Euro 2004 and, later that season, at the age of 20, became Scotland’s youngest captain for 118 years.

The 2004/05 campaign brought Fletcher’s first goal for United, in a 2-0 win at Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day. His most famous strike to date was the one against Chelsea in November 2005 when he headed the goal that ended the champions’ 40-game Premiership unbeaten run. He’ll be hoping to significantly add to his goal tally during the 2007/08 campaign.

reference: http://www.manutd.com

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