Doha 20 Oct. 2018
Aspire Academy has kicked off another exciting Tri-Series football tournament for the 2018/2019 season. It will see the best young footballing talent from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America compete against Aspire Academy’s youth teams.
Last week’s competitions witnessed the participation of the U-13 and U-14 players from Buriram United (Thailand), Ventforet Kofu (Japan) and hosts Aspire Academy.
This season’s Tri-Series tournament will feature a number of talented Asian teams, allowing Qatar to pit themselves against future stars of the Asian Football Confederation, to which Qatar belongs.
Commenting at the end of the first round of matches, Aspire Academy Senior Goalkeeping Coach, Willy Stevaert, said: “It has been a pleasure to see how our Aspire Academy goalkeepers have been applying the style of goalkeeping we have been working on. The modern game’s goalkeeper is expected to use his feet more than in the past. In so doing he becomes the 11th field player as opposed to the old style of 10 field players plus a goalkeeper. The Aspire goalkeepers in this Tri-Series have already shown an improved understanding and application of the use of their feet, initiating some very positive moves from such play. “
Meanwhile Japanese club Ventforet Kofu were on their fourth visit to Aspire and their U-13 coach, Yosuke Nishikawa paid compliments to the cordial relationship between the Japanese side and Aspire: “We get a tremendous amount of value by playing in the Aspire Tri-Series tournament. Over the last four years we have been privileged to participate in this tournament, we have seen great progress in our young players.”
Nishikawa continued: “We’ve even seen one of the players we brought here a few years ago go on to play in our first team and be selected for the Japanese national team for his age group. I find Aspire teams similar to us in their pattern of play. Aspire play a passing game that utilizes space and the show support for the player with the ball. They have good quick players who have always provided a worthy challenge to us. Buriram United on the other hand play a differently, with the mainstay of their play being good individuals whose ability we struggled to deal effectively with.”
Buriram’s U-14 Team Manager, Talengkit Bunchasutikul said coming to play in the Aspire Tri-Series tournament was the highlight of his players year: “We appreciate being invited back to play in the Tri-Series tournament here at Aspire Academy. The boys love playing in this competition on these beautiful pitches and using the lovely facilities. We played against good teams from Ventforet Kofu and Aspire Academy and we are happy to have emerged victorious in both age groups.”
The Tri-Series exposes Aspire Academy’s teams on a regular basis to international opponents and allows them to test themselves against different playing styles, philosophies and models from all over the world.
It is one piece of the puzzle that helps young athletes develop a deeper understanding of the sport, providing them with the flexibility to face various challenges, think outside the box and be able to adapt themselves to overcome any obstacles.
The football programme of Aspire Academy is recognised as one of the strongest in the world in terms of detection and selection of talent, as well as training, competition and evaluation of each player. The nurturing of players starts years before they reach the age to join the Academy as high school student-athletes.
The training philosophy of the Academy is tailored to the capabilities, talents and goals of Qatar as a footballing nation and follows a strategy that is geared towards the development of the individual player, who should be able to know what the game demands in any given situation.
Last year’s competitions saw the participation of more than 1,200 players from local, regional and international clubs from African, European, Asian and South American countries.