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FROM FourFourTwo - Europe's leading football periodical


Even so, it clearly struck a chord with Manchester United, who approached Fisher after he set up a website dedicated to European youth training systems.

They and Bayern have been involved from the beginning of this American dream, with Inter and Real joining later.

So why do top coaches want to train a future Freddy Adu or Brian McBride rather than Theo Walcott or Gonzalo Higuaín?

“These guys really enjoy working together,” stresses Fisher. “All week they talk football and development. They exchange ideas and exercises.

” All these efforts are focused on achieving two goals. The first is “to give motivated young Americans a better idea of what it takes to make it at professional level,” but the ultimate goal is “to get capable young players into European Academies”.

Since his move to America, David Beckham has spoken of increasing “interest and progression” in US football.

So with YPT training kids to high European standards, and Beckham adding some high profile sparkle to the affair, does this mean the US are on the catch up?

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AMERICAN DREAM: YPTusa is attracting the world's top coaches for a European mastercalss

Where in the world can you be trained by coaches from Manchester United, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, and, er, Oldham Athletic?

The USA, of course. The brainchild of American John Fisher, Youth Professional Training provides the highest levels of European training to youngsters (aged 10-14) from across the pond.

Its fee of $620 (£360) is money well spent if you make it pro. But what are the chances? Well, no YPT player has made it professional as of yet, but they’re appearing on the radar.
“Each year, we have a few young players that are of some interest to the professional clubs,” says Fisher.

Oldham Athletic’s Mick Priest agrees. Now the Youth Assistant Manager and Centre of Excellence boss at Boundary Park, he has been an advocate of YPT since his Manchester United coaching days. Indeed, but for visa issues, he’d have already grabbed recent YPT graduate Joseph Gyau.

“I’d walk all over hot coals to get Joseph,” says Priest. “He’s just such an exciting player and so level-headed.”

It came about through a key footballing attribute: “Significant persistence,” chuckles Fisher. “I was a nobody with only an idea.”