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La Liga looks to develop young UAE talent

Younger players will benefit from early discovery and longer development pathway increasing their chances for pro-football careers

Recognising the importance of discovering and developing football talents from a young age, the du Football Champions (duFC), in partnership with LaLiga, announced today the addition of an U12 category to the UAE Schools Cup and an U12 and U14 category to the UAE Streets Cups.

These expansions will allow younger talents participating in the platform the opportunity to be discovered by LaLiga scouts and invited to join the prestigious du LaLiga HPC, which is also being expanded to include an U12 category. The du LaLiga HPC, a by-invitation only exclusive development centre with state-of-the-art facilities, is run by LaLiga coaches, delivering year-long intensive training and development programmes, which have created the world’s best players at LaLiga Clubs.

Commenting on the announcement and expansion of the platform Abdulwahed Juma, Executive Vice President, Brand and Corporate Communications, du, said, “Our announcement today is in response to the community’s overwhelming call for greater opportunities for players to be discovered throughout the nation. It also reflects our commitment at du, to creating these opportunities that change lives, while elevating the level of football in the country, to produce future football stars of international calibre right here from the UAE.”

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The addition of an U12 category means that youth as young as nine years of age have the opportunity for the first time in the UAE to be discovered by scouts of LaLiga, and trained by UEFA pro-certified highly experienced LaLiga coaches, providing them with a head start for a professional football career nationally or internationally.

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“With this platform we are focused at LaLiga on the discovery and development of the UAE’s future football talents,” LaLiga Global Ambassador and Tournament Director, Fernando Sanz said. “Beginning the search at a younger age means that our LaLiga training team can begin the development process earlier, ensuring that athletes receive a comprehensive LaLiga training programme starting from the age of 9 until the age of 18, in line with the development pathway that talented youth would receive in Spain.”

With a growing demand from schools and players to include younger categories to both the Schools and Streets Cups, participation in the nation’s official UAE Schools & Streets Cups is expected to surpass the 10,000 expected participants, making this the largest football platform in the UAE.

Hussein Murad, CEO Inspiratus, organisers of the initiative said, “We are committed to ensuring that every aspiring football player across the nation has the chance to participate in either the UAE Schools or UAE Streets Cup and be seen by LaLiga scouts. With the growth of this platform, we want to expand the scouting through providing the younger talents with the opportunity to join the du LaLiga HPC at the age of 9 and benefit fully from the LaLiga development programme.”

Hundreds of school teams and thousands of youth will compete for a chance to be discovered by LaLiga and earn the 21-day trip to Spain for scouted talents to play competitive matches against LaLiga’s best youth football clubs and catch the eyes of LaLiga coaches to earn professional contracts with a top LaLiga club.

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