Manchester City's young UAE stars take on the world to reach sporting goals
Four hopefuls from City Football Schools enjoyed the chance to train at leading clubs across the globe
A talented team of aspiring Manchester City football stars from the UAE embarked on a global mission to turn sporting dreams into a reality.
Four youngsters from the Premier League champions' City Football Schools jetted off to join leading clubs all over the world to sharpen their football skills.
The promising players — aged between 10 and 13 — received expert coaching at New York City, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan and Manchester City itself in England.
The rising footballers were chosen to showcase their abilities on the international stage due to their on-pitch progress as part of City Football Schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The group relished the opportunity to soak up different cultures while boosting their bid to achieve their goal of being professional players.
Joshua Hoferer, who was in Japan to train with Yokohama F. Marinos, said: “It was so exciting to train with the Yokohama F. Marinos players and coaches. I feel the experience has taken me one step closer to toward my goal of becoming a professional football player.
"This has been the chance of a lifetime for me and I’m very grateful to City Football Schools for this amazing opportunity.”
Isaac Brown enjoyed a taste of life in the Big Apple while training with New York City, even having the chance to meet up with former Manchester City midfielder Claudio Reyna, who is director of football operations at the Major League Soccer outfit.
"I just couldn’t wait to get to New York City FC and it really showed me what is needed to play at the highest level," Isaac said.
"I also got the chance to have lunch with Claudio Reyna and got a ball signed by all of the first team players — they even invited me to play with them anytime I’m in New York.”
Thomas Nesbitt and Robert March flew to the UK to train with Manchester City at the Etihad Campus in Manchester.
“The facility is just the best football campus in the world and to be part of it this summer was incredible. From start to finish we really got to see what goes on at the home of the Premier League champions," Thomas said.
Avid City fan Robert March was also eager to take a step forward in his career development during his UK stay.
"I have been coached at City Football Schools in Abu Dhabi for the past seven years and have supported City all my life," Robert said.
"What was really great was to learn in-depth how the academy works and to hear from the range of coaches in Manchester. It is an important step in my development both on and off the pitch."
Simon Hewitt, head of football operations for Manchester City in the Middle East and North Africa, believes the worldwide initiative, involving clubs affiliated with the English giants, will help young players to kick on and reach their potential.
“We are always looking at new ways to improve and enhance the experience of the players participating in the City Football Schools programme," said Mr Hewitt.
"This initiative was a very exciting one and as a coaching team we are delighted to be offering these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
“These coaching experiences are within our new Talented Player Programme, which has been introduced as part of the overall player development pathway, starting from a child’s very first steps into football.
“With City Football Group’s unique network of clubs around the world, we have at our disposal a wide range of opportunities and experiences to offer.”
Updated: August 28, 2019 06:18 PM