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Having Beckham and Henry is good but we need to nurture the kids - France great Djorkaeff

Former France international Youri Djorkaeff believes if Major League Soccer wants to continue flourishing, there has to be more emphasis on producing quality youngsters.

The ex-Monaco, PSG, Inter Milan and Bolton Wanderers striker has remained living in New York since he retired from the game when with the then-MetroStars - now Red Bulls - in 2006 and is putting his efforts into getting a scholarship-type system up and running in the Manhattan area.

Djorkaeff, now 43, is aware that the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry create a buzz and excitement about the league but says that nurturing youth talent is important for the future of the competition.

"It's good to have Beckham, it's good to have Henry," he told MLSsoccer.com. "But we need to think about how the kids can be better.

"We need to teach the 12-, 13-, 14-year-olds how to play faster and how to react faster. The problem in America is that you're thinking when you receive the ball. You need to think before you receive the ball.

"My dream project is to start a foundation in New York to raise money and provide scholarships to kids who can't afford to play soccer here.

"I want to work with all the clubs in Manhattan and give between five and 10 scholarships a year. I hope it's going to start next season."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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