Winners of Dubai Schools Football Cup gear up for Manchester United match

Students who traveled to Manchester to see the final home game of the season between Manchester United and Hull City made their loyalties known.

MANCHESTER // If you have never been to an English Premier League match before, Manchester United’s final home game of the season was not a bad place to start.

Granted, last night’s fixture lacked the parade of silverware that used to be routine at Old Trafford.

For the winners of the Dubai Schools Football Cup, who won the chance to watch United’s match as part of the package, allegiance to the home team was almost a given.

Nor was there much evidence of the visiting team, Hull City, expanding their fanbase in the UAE.

“I’m sorry, I’ve never really heard of them,” was a typical response.

Nonetheless, all the students relished the chance to experience one of sport’s greatest clubs in action.

“I’ve always supported Manchester United,” said Shamalka Wickremathilake, 16. “I just thought Sir Alex Ferguson was such a fantastic manager.”

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Christabel Menezes, 12, “but I knew it will be noisy.”

And even before kick off Katlyn Madronero, 12, was already beginning to sound like a seasoned Manchester United fan.

“All I can say is they’d better win,” she laughed.

Published: May 6, 2014 04:00 AM