How YouTube and editing skills secured Yannick Bolasie his first big break in English football
Yannick Bolasie is regarded now as a 'Streets will never forget' footballer – and rather fittingly, he's now told FourFourTwo that YouTube helped him get his big break as a player.
The Congo international represented Everton and Crystal Palace among others, dazzling with his dribbling skills and mastery of the ball in the Premier League. As well as being impressive down the flanks, however, the wing wizard was also handy with editing videos – and now he says that he used that experience to make his own skills compilations.
"A family friend was meant to go to Malta and he ended up getting injured, so they needed a replacement," Bolasie told FFT. "I had to do a trial at Floriana. Malta’s leagues don’t have many overseas players, so I was very young for a foreigner.
"It was a really good experience – I played full-time and was able to recognise my ability outside England. It was then that I noticed how much faster I was than a lot of people. I stayed out there for a year, collected video clips of me playing and made highlight reels on YouTube.
Eventually, it was recently-promoted Plymouth Argyle who gave the star his chance – but not before plenty of interest across the board.
"I was also doing a bit of MCing at the time, so I knew how to film, edit and put out videos. At the end of that campaign, I sent it to the guy who took me to Malta and he passed it to Leicester and Plymouth. Before I’d even travelled back to England, Sturm Graz in Austria and Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga wanted to sign me, but I wanted to return to England.
"The clips I’d made got a great response and Plymouth offered me a two-year contract – I never looked back."