"I always want to play football," said 15-year-old Rani Sahyoun, "and from the coaching we have had I can feel myself already getting better."
Sahyoun was one of the selected youngsters who took part in one of the preview coaching sessions by Manchester City's first international School of Football, opening on Sunday at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
Boys and girls aged 6 to 16 can sign up for the course, costing Dh1,750, with each session lasting 90 minutes, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The school welcomes players of all abilities.
In the 10-week programme, they will be taught by coaches from the English Premier League, who will be specially flown in to Abu Dhabi. Each student will also receive a full MCFC replica kit.
The coach, Gavin Makel, said the course will be run on the same principles as the Manchester City FC Academy, the club's training programme. "Boys and girls here in the UAE will be getting genuine Premier League instruction," he said.
"We held some sessions with young local players and I have been very impressed with not only the standard but also with the huge enthusiasm for the game." The former Manchester City player Patrick Vieira, now the club's football development executive, helped Makel coach the local kids.
"At a young age it is so important to have the correct coaching," he said. "That is why we are very proud to launch the school."
The Emirati players Abdulla Al Khater and Sultan Al Suwaidi, who currently attend the academy in Manchester, assisted at the preview sessions.
"By properly learning the basics, boys and girls will get much more enjoyment out of the game," said Al Suwaidi. "Manchester City's coaches are the best around and they have very high standards. But they always want you to have fun. That is what the School of Football is all about."
The club is giving two children the opportunity to enrol free of charge in the School of Football. Simply send an email with contact details to email@example.com by midnight tonight. The first two entries received will win access to the 10-week course.