Fortune speaks of African hardship

24 April 2010 09:46
Celtic striker Marc-Antoine Fortune insists young Scottish players have it easy compared to their African counterparts.[LNB] The subject of youth football in Scotland came to the fore yesterday when former First Minister of Scotland Henry McLeish revealed his report on Scottish football.[LNB]Among a list of recommendations in the detailed document was a call for more than £400million investment on facilities and the creation of 20 Schools of Football.[LNB]Fortune, 28, grew up in French Guiana before moving to France at 17 where he began a career which has taken him on to Holland and England, before his move to Parkhead last summer.[LNB]Ahead of the Scottish Premier League clash with Dundee United at Tannadice, the Celtic striker would not countenance comparisons between young players in Africa and Scotland.[LNB]He said: "In Africa they can train without boots so you cannot compare them to Scotland.[LNB]"Young people in Africa grow up in misery and they try to find a way to make money so it's not the same.[LNB]"In Guiana we had boys' clubs and I had a good coach.[LNB]"In France, they go to the Formation Centres at 12 years old and they start to train every day.[LNB]"When I went to France I was already 17 so maybe I am not a good one to talk about it.[LNB]"But a lot of young players from France have gone to big clubs all over the world.[LNB]"There are good players in Scotland but Africa is big and has more players than here. Maybe that's the only thing."[LNB]Meanwhile, Garry Kenneth last night insisted speculation is making the Tannadice side stronger.[LNB]The Scotland squad defender is one of several Tannadice players linked with big-money moves this summer, with Birmingham and Blackpool monitoring his progress.[LNB]United's form this season has led to Rangers watching David Goodwillie, while Craig Conway and Morgaro Gomis are targets for Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough.[LNB]Kenneth, a lifelong United fan, has revealed the almost daily round of revelations are keeping spirits high in the dressing-room and have provided a confidence boost to the players involved.[LNB]He said: "When you read about other clubs being interested in you of course it gives you a boost.[LNB]"It shows you must be doing something right and are playing well.[LNB]"There has been speculation about a few of the lads. We have lots of players who can play at a higher level so it's not surprising.[LNB]"Goodwillie, Conway and Gomis have had it as well recently so there is a bit of banter flying around.[LNB]"Darren Dods is usually at the heart of it. Everyone thinks he's a quiet big guy but nothing could be further from the truth.[LNB]"But I'm just concentrating on my football.[LNB]"If something happens in the summer then it happens.[LNB]"It would be a huge wrench to leave this club but we're speaking about something which hasn't happened yet.[LNB]"If someone comes in over the summer and the club accept an offer, then I'd have to sit down with my family and decide what to do."

Source: Team_Talk