Young footfall enthusiasts soak all the fun at Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi Cup

A two-day youth football extravaganza saw a total of 60 teams from across the Middle East compete for the coveted title of Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi Cup 2017 champions.

The winning teams in the Under 12, 14 and 16 age group categories have now won an incredible week long coaching package with professional coaches from Manchester City FC.

In the Under 12 category Abu Dhabi Thistle Football Club took home the top stop and Al Jazira Football Club secured the top places in the Under 14 and Under 16 categories.

The top prize of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the home of Manchester City Football Club was won by Under 10 team Kinder Garten Starters from Dubai.

Kinder Garten Starters team coach Arun Parthap said: “The team have been training very hard for this competition. They played very well throughout the weekend and I am delighted they have won the trip to the home of Manchester City – they really deserve it. We are all thankful for the opportunity and are really excited to being going to the Etihad Campus.”

They will now travel to the Etihad Campus in Manchester where they will get to play and train at the same facilities as Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne.

Commenting on the tournament City Football’s Project Manager Simon Hewitt said: “We have had around two thousand young players and spectators enjoying an absolutely fantastic weekend of football in Abu Dhabi. The response has been excellent and the atmosphere around the pitches was great. We thank everyone who played a part in making the tournament such a success and we plan to host the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup for many years to come now.”

The tournament, which is supported by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Etihad Airways came to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon on the pitches at Zayed Sports City – with more than 850 boys and girls having taken part.

One of the young footballers competing at the Cup was 11-year-old Muscat Football Academy player Louis Valentine-Junge who travelled all the way from Oman. He said: “This weekend has been great, we travelled all the way from Oman to be here and it’s so exciting. Our team played really well and I even managed to score some goals. Travelling here, the matches and staying in Abu Dhabi has been so good - the team have really loved every minute of the Abu Dhabi Cup.”

Under 16 team captain Abdelrahman Mohamed from Competitive Football Academy also added: “My team is based in Abu Dhabi and it has been great to spend the weekend here at Zayed Sports City playing against lots of other football teams. Our matches have been tough because all the teams here have trained really hard for the chance to take home the top prizes of a Manchester City coaching session and the trip to the Etihad stadium. It’s been a great experience for all of us and I can’t wait for the next tournament.”

Teams from across the GCC including Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman took part in the event. Darren Peisley, Managing Director of Hala Group, the destination management experts of the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have a long-term partnership supporting Manchester City Football Club and that continues with the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup. Hala Abu Dhabi are the official travel partner for the event and we have flown in several teams from across the GCC including countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.

“The city is growing as a sporting destination in the Middle East and the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup provides another opportunity to demonstrate what we can offer to teams and fans of the sport.”

In addition to hosting world-class events and developing world-class infrastructure the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority wants to showcase the Emirate as a tourist destination in its own right and position the Emirate as a leading International sporting destination along with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and our valued stakeholders.

A spokesperson from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority said: “The Abu Dhabi Cup is a great example of tourism and sport going hand in hand. Going forward we will focus on building Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a world-class destination for winter training and off-season competition; attracting spectators and encourage participation to welcome record numbers of guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi.”

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