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Manchester United's Ben Amos became goalkeeper by chance

Ben Amos has admitted he only became a goalkeeper by chance.

The 20-year-old was happily playing outfield for his local Sunday league team in Cheshire when they found themselves a man down.

As the tallest player in the team Amos was an obvious choice to go in goal and he made such an impression that he ended up at Crewe, then on to Manchester United, for whom he could start in tonight's Carling Cup quarter-final with West Ham.

"I haven't always been a 'keeper," he said.

"I fancied myself as a bit of a player. I played outfield for my school and my local Sunday league team.

"The standard was obviously not as good so I could hold my own.

"But I was at Bollington United and we didn't have a 'keeper one day. I was the biggest so they put me in goal and that was it."

United mad, Amos always paid special attention to the performances of his hero, Peter Schmeichel.

Now he is about to come across another Denmark international in a professional capacity following the capture of Anders Lindegaard.

Although Sir Alex Ferguson has signalled time on Edwin van der Sar's stellar career at the end of the season, from January, there will be more competition at United's Carrington training complex, which Amos admits is not always easy to deal with.

"Games in the first team don't come round too often when you are the number three 'keeper," said the Macclesfield-born youngster.

"There is only one position and we train a lot.

"Every year I set a target because you have got to keep yourself motivated.

"You also have to be patient because a goalkeeper's career is different.

"Edwin is still playing now. You have to look at him as an example when the temptation is to look at players your own age, who are involved a lot more."

Amos certainly intends to squeeze every drop of knowledge from Van der Sar while he still has the chance, even if he appreciates his own analogy might not go down well with the veteran Dutchman.

"It is a little bit like training with your dad," he laughed.

"I don't think he will appreciate that but I am chewing at his ear all the time, trying to get bits of advice.

"He is very open and he says what he thinks, which is just what you need."

Winners of this tournament for the past two seasons, United could make as many as 11 changes from the side that demolished Blackburn at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez among those expected to be involved.