«From WrestleMania to the Premiere League» en a foundation created by WWE and the British Premier Legue to help young talents realize their full potential within elite teams and in the entertainment business. Right before WrestleMania 37 WWE has organized a question and answer session that was attended by William Regal, by WWE and Tony Carr by the Premier League.
For who does not know him, Tony Carr is the West Ham United Academy Director who has played a predominant role within this organization for the last 43 years and bringing out players like Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand o Joe Cole.
►Is your instinct better or looking for intrinsic skills in young talents?
“When it comes to work, it’s not just about skills. You can have something inside and that is not shown externally as skill. Sometimes it is seen from afar, simply by walking, that that person ‘has something’. It does not matter if they have 10 gold medals hanging from their necks, if they do not have that key factor they would not have any option in WWE«.
It’s instinctive. You have to think that that person ‘has something special’ and go from there, although it does not always work. From a football point of view we look for things that arise naturally without us having taught them. So you look to the future and think, ‘How can I help him more? o In which position on the team could you develop better? ‘ It’s about character, personality … but it’s a slow process. In the Premier we started working with the kids very early from the age of 7 or 8, but there is no magic formula«.
► When do you know that a talent has a future in the Premier or in WWE?
“Each individual is different, for example to Joe Cole we brought him in when he was 12 years old and we made him play several test matches because we had heard great things from him. Literally our first thought was how advanced that boy was, worked to recover the ball, played hard and opposed any rival. I remember they said: ‘Close the doors and that the parents have not left until it is signed’. 5 years later I was playing with the first team and the rest is history ».
When I was listening to Tony I was thinking of Daniel Bryan. Daniel is one of those talents that I would always count on for a good poster. One of the first times I saw him I said to the people of the company: ‘I cannot promise you that I will be a World Champion or that I will generate millions of dollars but it is 100% professional and it will be a key weapon for the company. ‘ He had started wrestling with Shawn Michaels and he himself became interested in looking for other styles. They said he was short for WWE so seeing his interest in British wrestling I sent him to Great Britain so that he could learn the classic style and thus joining this with the American, in addition to an impeccable ethic, he has become what he is today.
► What is your greatest success as a headhunter?
“Simply being part of this team for the last ten years. It is a pride to see how the young people that you have sought or that you have simply met along the way, such as Daniel Bryan or Kevin Owens, succeed. I knew that he was going to connect with the public even though he is not the classic type that the company seeks.. In the entrance exams it was difficult for him but when it was time to pass the door he was not going to waste it ».
“I am grateful that I was able to dedicate my life to this. I can’t tell you a particular player because they are all different and have their own merits. Sometimes they come from different places and customs and it is difficult for them to change their habits and see how they achieve it is priceless. I’m glad my time at West Ham is seen as the golden age«.