Posted on October 15, 2017

Another exciting season of top quality youth football begins this month with the return of the highly regarded Aspire Academy Tri-Series football tournament.

Taking place from October 8th to 12th on the outdoor pitches at the Aspire Zone, the first round of the 2017-2018 season saw Aspire Academy’s U-17, U-13 and U-12 teams compete against distinguished Spanish club Celta de Vigo and Ecuadorian side C.S.D. Independiente del Valle.

Aspire Academy’s U-12 team put in a spirited performance against C.S.D. Independiente del Valle, with Abdalhmid Ahmed and Jamil Friakh both scoring for the home side in a game that ended in a draw. Victory in the resulting penalty shoot-out meant that the team from Aspire Academy finished second overall in the series behind Celta de Vigo. “It is a privilege to play in this competition which contributes significantly to all that we’re doing to support the development of our players. It’s not every day that you get the chance to play against teams from Europe and Aspire Academy, and we’re very grateful to have this opportunity,” said Roberto Arroyo, Technical Coordinator at C.S.D. Independiente after the tournament had finished.

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Aspire Academy staff emphasise the value of the Tri-Series tournament in supporting their players’ progress and development, as well as providing a useful benchmark against other top sides. The second round of the 2017-2018 season will run from October 15th to 19th and involve U-17, U-13 and U-12 teams representing the Malaysian national team and Ventforet Kofu FC from Japan. Last year, a total of 35 clubs and associations participated in the tournament, and more than 26 clubs are set to take part in this year’s competition.

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Teams that have participated in the Tri-Series previously include 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) and Palmeiras (Brazil) as well as national youth teams from Canada and Denmark. The selection criteria for overseas teams taking part in the Tri-Series competition includes a strong emphasis on youth development programmes, in addition to their standard of football and footballing style. During their time in Qatar, representatives from visiting clubs are also invited to present their philosophy and management approach when working with junior players, which is of considerable benefit both to coaches at Aspire Academy as well as those of the Qatar National teams.