Global call, if you're from Yorkshire!

5 days ago By David Watters

Former Ossett Albion stalwart Micky Long is looking for Yorkshire-born EVO-STIK League stars to fly the flag for the White Rose county globally!

The experienced former Albion coach and player will be running the rule over prospective 'internationals' at open trials on Sunday at the home of Hemsworth Miners Welfare following his appointment by the new Yorkshire International Football Association (YIFA) to help Bradford City academy coach Ryan Farrell set up and run the new side.

"God's own county" already boasts the world's oldest football club in EVO-STIK League Sheffield FC and the duo are looking forward to fixtures against teams representing regions and would-be states around the world like Greenland and Tibet who've been denied FIFA membership.

YIFA was founded in July and theoretically could call on the services of a number of top Premier League stars including Leicester striker Jamie Vardy who was born in Sheffield and famously kicked off his rise to the top of the game at EVO-STIK League South Stocksbridge Park Steels.

YIFA chairman Phil Hegart joked to BBC Sport this week that they'd consider talent at any level ahead of their first fixture in January against the Isle of Man's notional national team, Ellan Vannin.

Hegarty said: "If Lionel Messi's mum was born in Barnsley we will be happy to take a look at him but otherwise we are just looking for those born in Yorkshire. The sort of football they will be playing will be proper Yorkshire football, not Premier League football."

A kit has already been produced for the players and according to Hegarty, they will be expected to take part in a full cultural programme and fulfill an off-pitch ambassadorial role.

He added: "We want them to talk about what it is to be from Yorkshire, the heritage and history of the region and what makes us that bit special. It will be a way of reaching out to grassroots Yorkshire people and saying: This is our football team; this is what we are about, what the region is about and why we are representing it."

The ultimate goal for Yorkshire is to win the World Football Cup - the global tournament for international teams outside FIfA run by the Confederation of Independent Football Associations. Sadly for the White Roses, Yorkshire are too late to qualify for the 2018 tournament in London featuring 16 teams from across five continents.

Sunday's trials are taking place at Hemsworth's home in Pontefract between noon and 6pm.

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