Posted on September 25, 2014
Despite the 0-1 defeat in Wednesday’s game against Celtic Glasgow, the U16 team of Aspire Academy could celebrate the win of the age group 1999 in this weeks’ “Tri-Series Tournament”. In the mixed age group 1997/98 the Corinthians from Brazil dominated the tournament and crowned themselves champions after winning both of their games.

For both visiting teams, the Corinthians from Brazil and Celtic from Scotland, the tournament was quite an experience. “It’s incredible. The facilities, the pitches, the organization – everything here was just perfect,” commented Corinthians U16 coach Marcio Zanardi on the time at Aspire Academy. “It’s good to have the opportunity to come here and play teams from other countries, see different styles of play and our young players could definitely learn a lot from it.”

Qatar Airways flies daily to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Finishing second with his team behind Aspire Academy, he congratulated the Qatari team. “They worked together very well as a team and that was the main reason they beat us on the first day.” While the Brazilian coach had been to Aspire Academy before, it was a premiere for Chris McCart, Head of Celtic Youth Academy. “The concept of Aspire Academy is really excellent in terms of recruiting and developing players. Of course, in the end it’s up to the players what they make of these great opportunities.”

Like Aspire Academy, the youth academy of Celtic has set big goals for itself. “We want to run a world class academy that focuses on developing players for the Champions League level, but also on the development of the human beings.” The role of youth academies has also become more and more important in Scottish football. “In the past boys played football in the streets, but that has changed. Practice has become much more organized and a matter of the clubs.” The main quality a talent needs to become a successful football player? According to Chris McCart it’s “dedication”.

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