Last year, Red Bull set about attempting to find players from across Europe to trial at their clubs, New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, for a mini-TV series.
The first episode of The Streets Don’t Lie saw former Liverpool striker Djibril Cissé head to London to talk to three hopefuls. One of those players was Rod Orlando-Young, a 23-year-old midfielder who has previously played in professional academies and at the top level of non-league for the likes of Welling United and Havant & Waterlooville.
The talented winger would go on to impress Cissé in a trial match beating former Crystal Palace youngster Will Hoare and Jordan Palmer-Samuels, who has previously played in Cyprus, to win a week training with the Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
I got the chance to ask the current Newcastle Town winger a few questions about his time in Germany…
English Players Abroad: Growing up, who did you play football for? Were you at any academies?
Rod Orlando-Young: I signed for Exeter City aged 15 and then a year later signed for Norwich City.
EPA: How did the opportunity to first appear on the Red Bull show come about?
ROY: People I knew from UK Football trials put me in contact with the Red Bull Media team.
EPA: When you found out you were in the top three that were to be featured in the show and then the one selected for the trials, were you surprised or were you confident in your ability the whole time?
ROY: After playing the first half of the trial game I was confident and out of the three my abilities stood out the strongest.
EPA: Then came the chance to train with RB Leipzig, how much did you enjoy this experience and presumably you learned lots?
ROY: It was a great experience, learning a different style of football and their philosophy.
EPA: Before going out to Leipzig, did you realistically believe it could lead to a contract somewhere?
ROY: For me, it was more of a learning thing for me, anything else that would have came with that would have been a bonus. For me it was getting to train with top coaches in top facilities.
EPA: After your experience training with Leipzig U23s, do you believe you have what it takes to compete at a professional level?
ROY: I’ve always believed I have what it takes. [It comes down to] chance and opportunities.
EPA: What was your opinion of the training offered at Leipzig?
ROY: It was a massive difference. I believe I’ve learned and picked up some vital information having been there.
EPA: After your experience with Leipzig, would you be interested in playing abroad permanently in the future?
ROY: Playing abroad will be my next venture in football. In terms of where I would like to play, it’s still undecided.
You can see the first episode of The Streets Don’t Lie which features Rod here.