Posted on May 21, 2017

Aspire Academy’s Tri-Series competition for the academic year 2016/2017 draws to a close this week after another hugely successful run. Visiting clubs Sao Paulo FC (Brazil), FA Thailand and VfB Stuttgart (Germany), are scheduled to arrive in Doha on Sunday and will take part in the final games against Aspire Academy’s youth teams featuring players born in 1999, 2000, and 2001.

The most recent Tri-Series competition has just finished. Featuring players born in 2002, 2003 and 2004, it was hard fought and hotly contested. Teams from Aspire Academy put in some excellent performances against visiting teams Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from France, and Brøndby IF from Denmark. A clear highlight of the competition was the Academy’s 2003 youth team securing a thrilling 1-0 win against French club PSG, with the winning goal scored by promising student-athlete Abdullah Sarhan.

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Commenting on the Tri-Series competition, Aspire Academy’s new Football Technical Director, Edorta Murua said: “The Tri-Series is an integral part of the work Aspire Academy does. Running throughout the year, the Tri-Series competitions feature some of the world’s best youth teams. These teams are carefully selected by Aspire Academy’s team of experts based on the visiting team’s background and performances as well as the quality of their football development programme. By competing against strong teams, our players are provided with an ideal learning opportunity and given exposure to different footballing styles as well as the experience of competition. This is my first Tri-Series tournament and I’m delighted with the results. Our students showed they have remarkable potential, particularly in the game against PSG. I’m excited to play my part in supporting further success in the years to come.”

Meanwhile, Kenneth Nielsen, Coach at Brøndby IF commented: “It’s good to be back at Aspire Academy. We first took part in this competition seven years ago against the Academy’s youth team. There can be no doubt that Aspire Academy has developed rapidly since then. The quality and standard of the Academy’s youth team was remarkable. I can really see teams from Aspire Academy playing in European tournaments soon – they’re absolutely on a par with teams there. It’ll be exciting to see all the work being done at Aspire Academy bear fruit in 2022.”

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On the sidelines of the competitions, coaches from the visiting clubs also shared their expertise on football-related topics, philosophies and coaching methods. The huge wealth of experience and international know-how benefits not just the coaches of Aspire Academy, but also the coaches of local clubs from the Qatar Stars League that are invited to take part.

The number of teams that have visited Aspire Academy to compete in the Tri-Series competitions has grown steadily since it was launched in 2012. Participating teams have included major football clubs such as Liverpool FC (England), Paris St-Germain (France), Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Nagoya Grampus Eight (Japan), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Palmeiras (Brazil) as well as national youth teams from Canada, Thailand and Denmark.