Dubai Sports Council launches professional players development programme in Dubai

The Dubai Sports Council has announced the launch of its development programme for professional players in Dubai football companies, under the slogan, “Your career is your future”.

Approved by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and based on his instruction to start its implementation in the current season, the programme will start this month and it will be an important addition to the Council’s continuous effort to develop players and the coaching staff at Dubai football companies and sports clubs, as well as the administrative and technical staff.

At their last meeting in January, the Board of Directors of Dubai Sports Council had approved details of the programme as well as the action-plan for the coming three seasons.

The programme aims to enhance the professional status and awareness of players on the rolls of Dubai’s four football companies, namely Al Nasr, Al Wasl, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Hatta, by involving the players, both Emiratis and overseas professionals, in the companies’ corporate social responsibility programs as well as in promotional events for sponsors and products, and the club’s merchandise stores, through a monthly program for each player or group of players, which leads to a positive growth in the fan base of football companies, as well as greater exposure for their corporate partners, and consequently and increase in revenues.

The programme also seeks to educate players on lifestyle changes that would enhance their status as professionals, and inform them about global best practices as well as encourage them to take football as a full-time profession.

The programme will involve more than 200 football players, both Emiratis and overseas pro, playing for the first and Under-21 teams of Dubai’s football companies, as well as elite players from the 14 to 19 age group.

The programme will involve educational workshops and courses, and as well as special classes for overseas professionals to introduce them to the culture and history of UAE, and teach them the Arabic language. The program will also educate players about the importance of planning their future, both as a player and beyond.

Former Chelsea and Israel national team coach Avram Grant, who has also managed the Ghana national team and English Premier League clubs Portsmouth and West Ham United, will participate in the programme as a senior lecturer.

Having worked in one of the biggest professional football leagues in the world, as well as in countries like Israel, Serbia, Thailand and Ghana, Grant will bring nearly 50 years of football coaching experience to the programme.

Grant agreed to participate in the programme during his visit to Dubai Sports Council in November, when he met His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.

The veteran, who started his coaching career at the age 18 as a youth coach of his home-town team Hapoel Petah Tikva in Israel in 1972, had expressed his admiration for the country during the meeting, and the amazing development taking place here, and expressed his keenness to share his vast experience for the betterment of football in Dubai and UAE.

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