Doha, - Aspire Academy has today launched its two-day Aspire Football Festival for Preparatory Schools as part of its ongoing efforts to identify promising young football talent in Qatar.
Featuring 24 government schools, the competition is being followed closely by members of the coaching staff at both the Qatar National team and local football clubs, who are taking a keen interest in future generations of Qatar's footballers.
In the stands at the Aspire Academy's outdoor pitches this morning were Qatar's national football team coach Jorge Fossati, Qatar Olympic national football team coach Felix Sanchez, Al-Sadd head coach, Jesualdo Ferreira, and Al Sailiya head coach, Sami Trabelsi. Several leading local football figures also looked on, including the legendary Mansour Muftah.
Jorge Fossati commended Aspire Academy's handling of the tournament and its world-leading approach towards football and football development, saying: "These participants represent the future of Qatar and Aspire Academy has always impressed in its diligence in finding and developing talent across all sports, not just football. My advice to these young players is: if you really like football, follow the coaches' instructions and try to plan your life in accordance with your professional goals, because there are many things that you will not be able to achieve unless you begin planning for them now." Felix Sanchez, Qatar Olympic national football team coach, hailed the festival, saying: "It's a great initiative and seeing all these players in one place playing together highlights the passion for football that exists among local youth.
Qatar is building an impressive football pyramid and this generation could be playing in Qatar 2022, if they train hard and listen to their coaches." Al-Sadd coach, Jesualdo Ferreira, was also watching. He said: "This is an excellent tournament because there is no better place to start developing football or sporting talent than at school.
This is where everything begins. To be young and full of energy while playing in a tournament and in facilities like this, it's an excellent environment. Looking ahead, this festival is certain to yield positive results for football in Qatar." Al Sailiya's head coach, Sami Trabelsi, also attended, saying: "This festival is a wonderful initiative from my perspective because it gives unseen players an unrivalled opportunity to unlock a new and exciting future for themselves, in that they could be invited to join Aspire Academy or play for local clubs. This is great for the players themselves but also Qatar and its football, which benefits from increased competition and skills development." Even if this festival succeeds in discovering only three talented youths from each school, that is still a large base of talents. I hope to see similar festivals happening throughout the year." The tournament, which is played on pitches sized 68mx45m with 9 players per team and a match duration of 20 minutes, started with six groups of four teams each. Ibn Kahldun, the Islamic Institute, Imam Shafi, Abu Ubaidah, Yarmuk, and Hamza Ibn Abdulmutalib schools today qualified for the second stage, which takes place on Monday at the Aspire Dome's indoor pitch.
The football programme of Aspire Academy is widely recognised as one of the strongest in the world in terms of talent detection and selection.
It consists of a holistic approach to training that is tailored to the capabilities, talents and goals of Qatar as a footballing nation and the individual.(QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency