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0304 burnley neil woodBack in January 2004, with the Clarets perilously heading towards the bottom of the then named Division One, Stan Ternent brought in three players on loan from Premier League clubs in Bradley Orr, Paul Rachubka and Neil Wood from Newcastle United, Charlton Athletic and Manchester United respectively.

It’s fair to say that, given goalkeeper Rachubka never played a first team game and Orr started just once, Wood was the most successful of the three . He made a total of eleven appearances and scored once, that in a 5-3 home defeat against Norwich on a day when we led three times.

He’d previously had a loan at Peterborough and, had Stan stayed, he’d already confirmed that he was looking to bring Wood in on a permanent basis, but the midfielder returned to Old Trafford and had loans at Coventry and Blackpool before signing for the latter on a permanent basis in January 2006. He left at the end of that season and spent just over a season with Oldham before leaving league football at the age of 24.

He joined Aston Villa as an academy coach and five years ago he returned to Manchester United in a similar capacity and aged 36 he’s now expected, along with Quinton Fortune, another former player, to take over the running of their under-23 side with Wood in charge and Fortune as his assistant.

Nicky Butt, now the head of their academy, is making the changes that saw former under-23 coach Ricky Bragia leave at the end of last season.

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