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Fortune speaks of African hardship
Published : 24 Apr 2010 09:46:00
Celtic striker Marc-Antoine Fortune insists young Scottish players have it easy compared to their African counterparts. 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. 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. 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. 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. He said: "In Africa they can train without boots so you cannot compare them to Scotland. "Young people in Africa grow up in misery and they try to find a way to make money so it's not the same. "In Guiana we had boys' clubs and I had a good coach. "In France, they go to the Formation Centres at 12 years old and they start to train every day. "When I went to France I was already 17 so maybe I am not a good one to talk about it. "But a lot of young players from France have gone to big clubs all over the world. "There are good players in Scotland but Africa is big and has more players than here. Maybe that's the only thing." Meanwhile, Garry Kenneth last night insisted speculation is making the Tannadice side stronger. The Scotland squad defender is one of several Tannadice players linked with big-money moves this summer, with Birmingham and Blackpool monitoring his progress. 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. 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. He said: "When you read about other clubs being interested in you of course it gives you a boost. "It shows you must be doing something right and are playing well. "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. "Goodwillie, Conway and Gomis have had it as well recently so there is a bit of banter flying around. "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. "But I'm just concentrating on my football. "If something happens in the summer then it happens. "It would be a huge wrench to leave this club but we're speaking about something which hasn't happened yet. "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."