Doha: Aspire Academy’s Under-11 Feeder football team topped the table in the Tri-Series football tournament held at the academy grounds last week.
Aspire defeated Tunisian team Etoile du Sahel 2-1 and held Pakistani side Karachi United to a 2-2 draw to emerge on top. The Tunisians finished second while Karachi came third.
Organised by Aspire Academy, the tournament saw the Academy’s U-12 and U-11 Feeder football teams test their mettle against players of the same age groups from the visiting teams.
In the U-12 age group, all teams ended up with three points each, but Etoile du Sahel had a better goal difference. Aspire boys were second and Karachi United came third.
Dozens of teams have visited Aspire Academy to compete in Tri-Series tournaments since it was launched in 2012. Last year alone, more than 32 clubs and associations including Liverpool, Paris St-Germain, Ajax Amsterdam, Zenit St. Petersburg, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Esperance de Tunis and Palmeiras as well as national youth teams from Canada and Denmark participated in the tournament.
Aspire Academy’s Feeder Group programme selects aspiring players below the age of 12 who shows exceptional football skills through the Academy’s Talent Identification Department’s (TID) scouting process and trains them. Boys who show good progress at the Feeder Group are then offered to join the Academy.
Aspire Academy’s football programme is widely recognised as one of the strongest in the world in terms of identifying, evaluating and nurturing talent, as well as training players and giving them scope and opportunities to compete. The Academy’s training philosophy is tailored to the capabilities, talents, and goals of Qatar as a footballing nation and it follows a strategy that is geared towards the development of players.
The selection criteria for overseas teams taking part in Aspire Academy’s Tri-Series football competition includes a strong emphasis on youth development programmes, in addition to their standard and style of football. 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.