The UAE Football Association Academy league will kick off its second season in January this year after the great success they found with the first edition. The competition which targets three age groups – under 18, under 16 and under 14 – will see both UAE clubs and UAE academies participate.
An indication of their success has been their plans to expand the competition this year to allow more teams across the country to participate and compete for the trophy. The players, specifically from the under 18 level, gain special attention from the international scouting teams that follow this tournament.
It is a chance for Emirati and Emirati-born players to earn a trial at one of the UAE professional clubs, but the UAEFA’s partnership with La Liga ensures that even foreign players get a chance to be recognized by clubs from abroad.
With a tournament as big as the Academy League, organizing such a trophy is a tough job and requires extra attention especially from the medical side. The CEO of Inspiratus, Hussein Mourad, said that in addition to the club physios available, there will be nurses provided by the organisers of the tournament.
Mourad continued that it is a “national priority to raise the level of football in the country”, with Waleed Al Hosani, Director of the UAE Professional League Committee, also confirming this when he said that the “PLC cares about developing young players”, before continuing that this will be a “big quality improvement for UAE football”.