Posted on February 23, 2019

Aspire Academy last week concluded the second Tri-Series football tournament of the 2018 – 2019 season. The tournament featured under-13 and under-14 year-old players from Aspire Academy, Kuwait’s U-13/14 national team and FC Dynamo Kyiv from Ukraine.

The tournament aims to develop the professionalism of the young student-athletes at Aspire Academy and helps build the characteristics required of future champions, encouraging players to follow in the footsteps of the Aspire Academy graduates that triumphed in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup earlier this month. Aspire Academy provides its student-athletes with a range of opportunities to train with major clubs and teams from around the globe as well as compete against a wide range of opponents in order to instill a healthy, competitive spirit in players. The second Tri-Series tournament ran from 17 to 20 February. The tournament saw the three teams take part in a number of hotly contested games that featured a range of contrasting footballing styles.

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In the U-14 category, FC Dynamo Kyiv clinched victory after defeating the teams from Aspire Academy and Kuwait. Dmytro Kosach was crowned the best goalkeeper while midfielder Yevhenii Mykytivk selected the best player of the tournament. In the U-13 category, the national team from Kuwait claimed the winner’s trophy. Abdullah Al-Ayoub was crowned the best goalkeeper and Faisal Al-Mukahal the best overall player. Speaking after the tournament, Aspire U-14 coach, Oscar Garro said, “This tournament is a good challenge for us to evaluate our performance and know where we stand because we have a set target for players and the team in general that we wish to fulfil in a few years.”

Aqeel Muhanna, Kuwait’s national team coach expressed his gratitude of behalf of all his players and staff to the State of Qatar and to Aspire Academy for the invitation to take part in the Tri-Series tournament. He said: “this is not the first time we take part in this tournament, playing in this competition is of tremendous benefit to our side and gives our players the opportunity to compete against strong opponents and experience a very high standard of play. This naturally helps our team improve and to step up our game.”

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FC Dynamo Kyiv U-13 player, Viacheslav Surkis was impressed by what he saw and experienced during his first ever trip to Qatar. He said: “I enjoyed playing in the Tri-Series tournament and the teams from both Kuwait and Aspire Academy were strong opponents and made us work hard. From the hotel to the playing fields, all the facilities are really impressive. And so too is the city of Doha. I will take great memories of our visit back to Ukraine and l’m very fortunate to have played in this tournament.”

World-renowned Aspire Academy is seen as the reference in sports excellence and a regional hub for enhancing sports performance. Aspire Academy’s football programme is recognised as one of the strongest in the world in terms of identifying and selecting talent, as well as training and evaluating players. Nurturing talented players starts years before they reach an age where they are able to join the Academy as high school student-athletes. Aspire Academy has installed “Football Skills Development Centers” (FSDC) throughout Doha for boys between 6 and 11 years of age. From the age of 8 years onwards, the most promising boys are identified and invited to join “Aspire Feeder Groups” in which they are prepared to join the Academy.

The training philosophy of the Academy is tailored to the goals of Qatar as a footballing nation and follows a strategy that is geared towards the development of individual player, enabling them to fulfil their sporting potential and make the most of their talent.