Sixteen year old Evans Thomas from Ernakulam, Kerala, has won the “WHERE’S THE NEXT” Nike football contest, which was held across India in July 07. Evans will form part of an 11-member team from Asia that will get an exclusive opportunity to train for a week with the FC Barcelona coaches, from August 27 to September 4.
The encouraging response to the call for entries saw teenagers from across the country, in the age group of 15 to 17 years, posting one-minute videos that displayed their football skills on www.nikefootball.in website.
The finalists from India, judged on the basis of these videos, were taken to Delhi on August 5 to attend the Grand Final, where Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia selected the winner.
Baichung Bhutia said,
Evans Thomas has displayed brilliant talent both in his video and on the field. This was a tough choice to make, as all the finalists demonstrated extraordinary talent and skills. Events like these, organized by Nike, are helping to unearth the true passion for the sport that exists amongst our young talent. We hope that all these kids and many more like them across the country pursue their sporting dreams and become great athletes of the future”
Thomas has never played for any domestic club. “I’m more of a street footballer. When I heard of the competition, I applied for it casually. I didn’t in my wildest dreams think I would win,” said the Class XII student of Choice School in Ernakulam.