City Football Schools and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) today announced the next phase of the successful Talented Player Programme – giving five young players the chance to join the squad for next season and potentially earn the opportunity to train with Manchester City.
In operation throughout Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the initiative focuses on helping young players aged 11-14 to develop and fulfil their potential through a combination of advanced coaching techniques and competitive matches both locally and internationally.
The Talented Player Programme provides a perfect platform for young footballers to improve under the guidance of expert coaches from City Football Schools.
Previously, some of the standout performers have been selected to visit and train with various City Football Group clubs around the world, including Manchester City and New York City.
The Talented Player Programme will include vital specialist sessions such as yoga, strength and conditioning, recovery and regular fitness testing. These elements are a key part of a young footballers’ development to ensure all integral components are covered. This is from a physical, psychological, social, technical and tactical stand-point.
Humaid Al Ameri, who has made excellent strides since joining the Talented Player Programme one year ago, highlights some of the key factors in his development.
“I enjoy the engagement with other players and coaches, who make a really big effort to help us improve every single day,” says the 13-year-old. “I’m a midfielder but they have made me play in defence and attack in different matches, which has helped my development a lot.
“The training sessions are important and you have to do well in order to make sure you perform when it comes to matches.
“The highlight so far for me was when we played against a team in Dubai, it was a really tough game and then it went to a penalty shoot-out. Luckily I scored my penalty and we won the game, which was a great feeling.
“Thomas Nesbitt, 13, who has been involved with City Football Schools for nine years, was selected to train with Manchester City on the Etihad Campus in Manchester, via the Talented Player Programme, and he explains how the experience helped his overall development.
“I was able to go and train with the select squad at the Manchester Academy last summer, which was a great opportunity for me,” he says. “It was really beneficial to be part of the training and matches in Manchester, to see the facilities and to be pushed hard in every aspect of my game. To have visibility of the standard you need to meet in order to progress to the highest level was really important.
“What I love is that the coaches challenge all of us in different ways and there is always a great atmosphere at training, we are always working really hard but having fun at the same time.”
Joyseej Mukherjee, Head of PBG International Business Development & Head of Cards UAE at First Abu Dhabi Bank, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with City Football Schools in order to provide a unique opportunity for talented young footballers in the UAE to foster their talents and achieve their dreams. FAB is looking forward to working in partnership with City Football Schools on what we believe is a hugely significant project for aspiring young players, in line with our continuous efforts to support our communities.”
To be in with a chance of being selected for the Talented Player Programme, which is open to boys at Under-12 (aged 11 to 12) and Under-14 (aged 13 to 14) level, players must upload a video showcasing their football skills via the following link – https://www.mancity.com/talented-player-program