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Giggs confident over youth policy

Ryan Giggs insists Manchester United will never abandon their traditions or their youth policy.

The former player - one of the United's greatest youth products - also hopes to manage the club again in the future.

Giggs had a spell as interim manager at the end of last season and, after retiring as a player, remains at Old Trafford as assistant to new boss Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal's arrival over the summer coincided with the spending of £150million on new players.

With Academy graduate Danny Welbeck also being sold to Arsenal, there are fears priorities could be changing at a club with a proud record in youth development.

Giggs, speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, said: "The club will never change. The history of the club is to play exciting football, always give youngsters a chance, keep to the traditions of the club.

"Okay Danny has left, which is obviously disappointing because you never want to see a homegrown player leave but this is a manager who gave (Clarence) Seedorf his chance, (Patrick) Kluivert his chance, (Andres) Iniesta his chance, Xavi, Thomas Muller - he has got a track record of giving young players a chance."

Welbeck joined Arsenal earlier this month. Credit: PA

Giggs gets letters after his name!

Giggs will be part of Old Trafford managment next season Credit: PA

Ryan Giggs has won plenty of accolades in the world of football.

Today he's getting an award from academia.

Giggs retired at the end of last season to become part of the new management team at Old Trafford.

Today he'll receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for his contribution to sport.

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Reaction to Ryan Giggs retirement news

ITV Granada Reports viewers have been getting in touch with us with their reaction to the news Ryan Giggs is retiring as a professional footballer.

Here is just a selection of your comments:

Dedication to one club priceless

– Dave Lightfood

A United legend...a truly talented player who will go down as one of united's best ever!

– Julie Sweeney

Speaking as a Tottenham fan, I think it can be safely said that Giggsy has been the best player of the last twenty years. My abiding memory of him-and this will no doubt be agreed on by United fans-was when he took on the fabled back four of Arsenal in that semi final at Villa Park in 1999.

– Mark O'Neill

Giggs: A special thanks to my friends and family

"My dream was always to play for Man United, and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream.

" [I have played] with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football.

I want to also give a huge thanks to the backroom staff [...] I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication.

"I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support."

Giggs: "To the greatest fans in world football, thank you"

Ryan Giggs Credit: PA

Ryan Giggs has announced his retirement from professional football.

In an open letter, he said:

"Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years."

"I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times.

Giggs's open letter Credit: Manchester United

"For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions - immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future.

To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world."

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