Legends shine in Abu Dhabi

2019-04-16 06:00
Legends Soccer School recently returned from the Manchester City Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Legends Soccer School recently returned from the Manchester City Cup in Abu Dhabi.

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Legends Soccer School, based in Cape Town, recently returned from Abu Dhabi where they took part in the Manchester City Cup.

The tournament, now in its third year, attracts global interest with participating teams from as far as Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

The tournament proved to be a unique experience for all involved, and the winning teams from each age group were entered into a draw to win an all-expenses paid trip to the City Football Academy in Manchester.

Organised by Manchester City, the event welcomed teams from the Manchester City Academy, Melbourne City Academy Sri Lanka, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Manchester City Academy director Jason Wilcox attended the tournament to watch it unfold.

Legends Soccer School had two teams (u.12, u.14) participate in the tournament.

Both teams performed exceptionally well with the u.12s finishing fifth in their age group, out of 30 teams. The u.14s remained undefeated and reached the final match where they took on Melbourne City Academy, going down 2-0 to bring home the silver medal.

“Without sounding cliché, the experience was truly life-changing. To be invited as the first South African youth team to participate in such a prestigious football event alone is humbling. We all left Cape Town as winners in my eyes,” says head coach and director Anees Abbas.

He says their u.12 and u.14 teams worked extremely hard. Legends Soccer School run eight-week programmes in the pre-season from January to March and off-season from October to December. During in-season the school focuses on private (one-on-one) and small group sessions once a week.

“To have been able to take such a diverse group of 22 boys with us on an international trip – of which 16 came from underprivileged backgrounds – will hopefully have an impact in their lives both on and off the field. I am very proud of how they represented South Africa and it is such a joy seeing these young legends take out key lessons from such an experience,” he says.

Abbas praised his charges for going toe-to-toe and holding their own with some of the best youth academies in the world.

“They played against some great teams from all around the world who have trained much longer and harder than them. However, they still turned heads with their skill and talent,” he says, adding, “These boys have made life-long friendships, observed different technique and philosophies, and came home ready to work harder and prepare their minds and bodies for their next tournament. We, at Legends Soccer School, have complete confidence in our future stars.”

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