16 August 2020, UAE: Manchester City Football Schools will mark its 10th year of football programmes in the UAE by announcing an expansion, with a total of seven venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai for the new season – and will welcome more than a thousand young players from September.
Manchester City FC launched the programme in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and since then more than 10,000 boys and girls have received expert guidance on everything from the shooting skills of Sergio Aguero to the defensive techniques of legendary former captain Vincent Kompany.
City’s superstar players who have visited during these 10 years include Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Fernandinho, along with current manager, Pep Guardiola, and former manager, Manuel Pellegrini. The programme has also welcomed first team players from City Football Group’s others teams including New York City and Melbourne City.
For the new season, Manchester City Football Schools will open the doors to players of all abilities aged 3-16 with campuses in Abu Dhabi at Zayed Sports City, Emirates Palace and a new location at Al Maryah Island.
In Dubai the venues are Brighton College, Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, Koora Dome and the latest addition at Uptown School in Mirdif.
“Over the years, we have enjoyed being a part of the UAE landscape and seeing so many players play in our football programmes.
“We have developed the most inclusive and comprehensive football programme in the UAE and we can’t wait to kick off our 10th season. Whether your child is 3 years old and starting their football journey, a teenager wanting to play with their friends or a talented young player with a focus on development – we have a programme for them.
“We have been working hard over the summer and focusing on both returning to PLAY safety and ensuring enjoyment levels as always, for all the returning and new players,” says Simon Hewitt, Head of MENA Football Operations at City Football Schools.
The last ten years have seen 30,000 coaching sessions delivered, 37 UAE nationals progress to professional clubs, 24 teams compete in local UAE leagues and over 500 children visit the Etihad Stadium in the UK.
City Football Schools player, Thomas Nesbitt, is an aspiring professional footballer and he can’t wait to get back to training, he says: “I have been playing with Manchester City for eight years and have been through all their programmes, and I’m now in the Talented Player Programme. I’ve trained three times at Manchester City now – I really want to continue and play football professionally and the coaching I’m getting here is helping me to build the skills and confidence I need to play professionally. I have also played in the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup three times and it is amazing to compete with my friends. I can’t wait for the new season as I’ve missed football so much.”