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The Search For Talent - The Canadian Connection

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 01/06/2001

GRIMSBY's Youth coach Ian Knight is taking a four-week tour of North America hoping to find a possible star for the future. Ian will be visiting the London Soccer Academy near Ontario and the Abbotsford Mariners near Vancouver who have established mutually beneficial links with the Mariners

He will fly to London, Ontario, for a week before crossing the Rockies to Vancouver for a further week and adding a trip to the USA to take in an international youth cup tournament, which will include teams from Europe and South America.

In an article in the Grimsby Telegraph today he told Stuart Rowson, "It doesn't cost the club a penny and it certainly doesn't cost us anything to have a look. Canada has produced players who are playing at a good level of professional football."

"If we can be in there at ground level and get people interested in Grimsby Town, hopefully in four or five years we might get a player or two out of it. We're looking to develop it in the long term and there's a lot we can learn from it and a lot they can learn from it. If it's another avenue of trying to find talent, we have to pursue it."

Town will also be sending five of their own Under 13 players to take part in the Californian tournament - the San Diego Surf Cup - to form part of an international squad with several Abbotsford players.

Defenders Ben Jackson and Ben Higgins, midfielders Danny Newman and Kiel Leisk, striker Peter Bore and Matt Franklin, a Football in the Community coach will all leave for America on July 19 to join up with Knight and the Abbotsford squad.

"The players were naturally excited when I mentioned going to America, and we did some fundraising and sold some raffle tickets to pay for it," said Knight. "We told them that the more tickets they sold the more of their names would go in the hat, and then we drew it randomly."

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