Academy winger charts his journey from Africa to Manchester
- 30 January 2014 12:59
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Jorge Intima has travelled more miles than most to take his place in City’s Academy.
The 18-year-old’s journey began in Africa, and the path took a few twists and turns before he signed on as a scholar with City in July 2012.
“I started playing football in Guinea, in Africa, where I was born,” he revealed. “We had an academy there where I would train, but there is no competition there, just training.
“My mum lives in Portugal, and she spoke to my agent because she really wanted to see me play football. She got me a ticket to come to Portugal, where I stayed for a week before going for a trial at Valencia.
“It didn’t work out at Valencia so I went back to Portugal and was with Sporting Lisbon for about three months before going back to Africa.
“I came to City in 2012, after spending a week with them in Portugal in preseason. It was a really good experience.”
Making the move to Manchester was a dream for the youngster, who was thrilled to have the chance to join the same club as his hero.
“It felt so good that City were interested in me because my idol is David Silva. I also really like Milner, because he works very hard. I like his attitude, he is very passionate and humble."
“Every time I watched them I would say to my Mum ‘one day, I want to play with these players’. I’m really enjoying it here, this is a great club.”
While Jorge has no regrets about his decision, he admits it was a challenge initially to adapt to a new country and culture at the age of just sixteen. Unable to speak any English, he was forced to leave his beloved Mum behind in Portugal and make the move alone.
He explained: “I speak to her on Skype and Facebook. It was very difficult to do it without her, but this is my dream, my life. I want to work hard and be able to help her out – that’s my job.”
Now settled into life in the North West, he admits he could do without one thing…the Manchester rain.
“My favourite thing about England is definitely not the weather!” he laughs. “It’s the people, the people here are so friendly. I’m really enjoying it here.”
The right winger is obviously relishing life on the pitch as well off it. Now in the second year of his scholarship, Jorge is having a stunning season as a regular in the under-18 starting XI, now under the stewardship of Jason Wilcox.
The boy Blues surged to the top of the league before the Christmas break, going on a remarkable run of nine wins on the bounce in all competitions, and the side are now unbeaten since September.
Although performances across the team have been impressive, Intima has played a crucial goalscoring role. He has found the back of the net in each of the last five fixtures, and already has 10 strikes to his name.
“I think I’m good when I’m one on one with the defender,” he admitted. “But I need to work on my crossing and Jason talks to me a lot about improving that. I work hard on my fitness too, so I can enjoy every one of the 90 minutes.”
Although he started his footballing education in a more central position, the Blues were quick to exploit his potential out wide.
Jorge said: “In Portugal I was used as a no.6 in midfield all the time, but when I came to City they put me on the left and then the right wing. I really enjoy playing there, and I think Jason likes to see me play in that position too.”
Looking to the future, Jorge is keen to aim as high as possible and enjoy a career at the highest level, a philosophy reflected in his international as well as club aspirations.
“I’d like to play for Portugal one day but my Mum doesn’t want me to!” he said. “She wants me to play for Guinea, where I was born, but Portugal has a better national team and if they called me I think I would choose them.”
As for the present, he has one clear ambition in mind.
He declared: “I want to win the league. That is my aim. Every day when I wake up I think about it. I want to win every game, so at the end of the season we can win the league.”