x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Man City's victory lap lands Premier League trophy in Abu Dhabi

The silverware was on display at the Manchester City School of Football at the Officer's Club, accompanied by Mike Summerbee, who was in the City team that won the FA Cup Final in 1969.

Mansoor Al Zaabi, left, and Abdulrahmon Al Zaabi admire Manchester City’s Premier League trophy in Abu Dhabi. City's hard earned silverware will tour schools and businesses today and be on display at CityStore at Marina Mall on Friday and Saturday. Delores Johnson / The National
Mansoor Al Zaabi, left, and Abdulrahmon Al Zaabi admire Manchester City’s Premier League trophy in Abu Dhabi. City's hard earned silverware will tour schools and businesses today and be on display at CityStore at Marina Mall on Friday and Saturday. Delores Johnson / The National

The English Premier League trophy has landed in Abu Dhabi as part of Manchester City's victory lap.

The silverware was on display at the Manchester City School of Football at the Officer's Club, accompanied by Mike Summerbee, who was in the City team that won the FA Cup Final in 1969.

Mr Summerbee said he hoped the trophy's visit would inspire future players.

"If they want to be like their heroes, they have to focus on their favourite players and say they want to be like that," he said.

"They can say: 'I want to be the first UAE boy to come out of the UAE and play in the Premier League'. What a great ambition that is. Imagine what that must be like, for a young boy from the UAE to go play in the Premier division."

Mr Summerbee said the UAE was playing the right foundations for future success.

"One year, two or three UAE boys will come out of here and play in the [English] Premiership," he said. "This is what it's all about. It's everyone's ambition to be successful."

Students at the school were allowed to have their photos taken next to the cup, under the watchful eye of its two bodyguards. But no one was allowed to hold it.

"Seeing the trophy makes me want to play more football," said a Scottish City fan, seven-year-old Alex Cowie. Alex watched the nail-biting finish to the season, when his club came back from two goals down against Queens Park Rangers to take the title.

"I thought it was amazing, to come back by scoring two goals in injury time," he said. "A few times I thought it wasn't going to happen."

Seven-year-old Manuel Innocenti, from Italy, said the trophy was an inspiration.

"I thought they were going to lose the final game," Manuel said. "I was sad towards the end but then they scored and it all changed. I want to play for Manchester City."

Simon Hewitt, the head coach at Manchester City School of Football, said membership had increased since City's win.

The trophy will tour schools and businesses today before going on display at the CityStore Abu Dhabi in Marina Mall over the weekend.

eharnan@thenational.ae