x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Kevin Keegan brings interactive football reality to Dubai

The former European Footballer of the Year and England manager opens his Soccer Circus in Mirdiff City Centre.

Kevin Keegan, right, opened the third of his football training-style centres in the emirate.
Kevin Keegan, right, opened the third of his football training-style centres in the emirate.

DUBAI // Kevin Keegan, the former England football manager and international player, has brought his football skills concept to Dubai. The Soccer Circus facility in Mirdiff City Centre runs skills games using real football in a variety of interactive games. It is the third of its kind, after centres in Scotland and England.

Keegan, the former European Footballer of the Year, said at yesterday's unveiling: "It is fantastic to be part of an initiative that is bringing football to players of all abilities in the Middle East. I hope that this will be a stepping stone for many young football enthusiasts to get a chance to improve their soccer skills." The concept was developed by Keegan, the Scottish entrepreneur Peter Barr, and Clive Mockford, an engineering professor from Loughborough University. The first site in Glasgow has been operating for more than three years.

Mr Mockford said: "One of the games involves passing a football on to a light lozenge, a player runs in a five metre box back and forth reaching distances up to 50 metres in 45 seconds." The interactive games cover skills required for goal scoring, tackling and defending, he said. The facility offers a series of individual football skill challenges in addition to an actual match. Scores for each game are recorded in a league table. It costs Dh80 for adults and Dh55 for children.

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