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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Manchester City hunt for young footballing talent in Dubai

Coaching clinics will begin at the newly-opened Brighton College and Dwight School in Dubai from October 13

Courtesy Manchester City Football Schools
Courtesy Manchester City Football Schools

Football coaches from English Premier League champions Manchester City are on the hunt for undiscovered talent at the first affiliated coaching clinics in Dubai.

Aspiring young footballers are invited to attend coaching sessions at the newly-opened Brighton College and Dwight School in Dubai from October 13.

Coaches from the City Football Schools project are hoping to unearth the next David Silva or Sergio Aguero, by offering tailor made sessions for youngsters who want to improve their game.

“It’s about enjoying football and from there the coaching team want to encourage and develop players of all ages and abilities,” said head of football operations for the Mena region, Simon Hewitt.

“We’ve had a fantastic seven years with City Football Schools in Abu Dhabi and have always planned to bring the same set-up to Dubai. There is so much passion for the sport in the city.”

The CFS coaching team have been trained in playing the game the City way, having previously coached at the Etihad Campus in Manchester.

Young players have already completed successful programmes at Emirates Palace, Zayed Sports City, New York University Abu Dhabi and The Officers Club Abu Dhabi.

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Established in Abu Dhabi in 2011, the programme now has more than 1,000 children playing under the City banner each week, all under the guidance and supervision of 15 qualified City Football coaches.

CFS aims to give boys and girls the opportunity to improve their football skills, stay healthy, make friends and have lots of fun in a positive and friendly learning environment.

“From this week we will be running coaching sessions in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and it shows the determination of Manchester City to always make progress in youth development,” said Mr Hewitt.

“All the coaches have trained at the Etihad Campus and been a part of that world class footballing facility — they bring those values and principles with them along with the City methodology to City Football Schools at Brighton College Dubai.”

Coaching clinics hosted by Manchester City will begin in Dubai from October 13 to try and unearth the next Sergio Aguero. Reuters
Coaching clinics hosted by Manchester City will begin in Dubai from October 13 to try and unearth the next Sergio Aguero. Reuters

Speaking to The National earlier this year, Mr Hewitt said that there are many more opportunities today for youngsters to play football than there were a few years ago.

“The football scene in the UAE has improved dramatically since I arrived in 2011. There are so many more platforms and opportunities for kids to play," he said.

“Giving back to the local community and fans in the region is very important to us. We have held coaching clinics in Fujairah, Ajman and the Western Region over the past number of years as well as offering schools in Abu Dhabi a Healthy Lifestyles programme to help kids become more aware of the benefits of eating well and exercise."

It is 10 years since the acquisition of Manchester City by, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s Abu Dhabi United Group.

In that time, the club has celebrated a sparkling period of success on and off the pitch.

Since 2008, City has won seven major trophies, including three Premier League titles and are favourites to retain their crown this season.

The club has ambitions to build a legacy of success, by bringing through the next generation of young players in the UAE.

To celebrate the launch of City Football Schools Dubai, CFS will be holding free sessions for youngsters aged 3 to 16, on Saturday 13 October from 8:15am — 10.30am and throughout the week from Sunday 14 October to Thursday 18 October from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.