“I come from the West Indies, a country that plays cricket, and though I myself am a keen cricketer and follow the game closely, my love was football. If I could make it to the world stage, I don’t see any reason why a player from India shouldn’t be playing on the same stage in the near future,” said Yorke.
The talent hunt will be held in 16 Indian cities. Organisers say, “with support of the schools, district and state associations will reach out to an average of 800 talented footballers per city. After two-day trails three of the best players per city will be picked to attend a six-day selection trial in Bangalore, which will be conducted by coaches from the Manchester United Academy.” The Mumbai leg will be held on August 4 and 5.
The final 48 players will be divided into four teams of 12 each and will be tested for physical attributes and fitness, individual skills, match situations and their performances in actual matches before 12 of the best players will be chosen to travel to Manchester United for a week to train alongside the Manchester United Academy team.
“I got my first taste of organised football when I attended a coaching clinic back home and developed my skills from there,” Yorke recalled.
On his Manchester United experience, Yorke said: “It’s something that can’t be explained but has to experienced. When I first went there at the age of 26 I felt like a kid, so it will indeed be incredible for a 16-year-old. Just visiting the training facilities, that are the best in the world, will be enough to make their hair stand on end.”