x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Al Ain football juniors will gain from taking on Europe's best

The cream of the crop of Under 17s talent are in the UAE for the tournament.

Junior footballers from Al Ain will Friday night line up against youngsters from the club which last month won the Nextgen Series against the cream of European talent.

The Inter Milan Under 19 side beat Ajax, of Amsterdam, in the final of a tournament involving 16 of Europe's top clubs.

Now the Italian club's Under 17 team are in the UAE to play in the Al Ain International Junior Championship alongside youngsters from England's Manchester City and Spain's Valencia as well as the national Under 17 team.

Abdul Reda Berizkri, the coach of the Al Ain U17 side said the UAE players will be helped enormously by competing against youngsters from such renowned academies.

"These teams bring a high technical level to the games and our players will massively benefit from the experience," the Iranian said.

"It is not only the experience but we will be looking for good results as well.

"The results are important for the confidence of the players and, of course, the experience would go a long way to help them in their career."

Al Ain, the tournament's defending champions, meet Inter Friday night at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.

The competition has a new format this year with the five teams playing each other in a mini league. This means all the sides will play four games.

Previously the tournament involved eight teams in two groups.

The national U17 team will be without several players as Yousuf Ahmed Mousa, Ahmed Berman, Mansour Abdulrahman, Saeed Al Rawahi, Salem Khamis, Mohammed Busandah, Mohsen Abdulla and Marzouq Hassan will be representing Al Ain.

apassela@thenational.ae

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