More than 1,000 boys and girls in the UAE will be ready when the new season kicks-off at Manchester City Football Schools - the English Premier League club's 10th coaching young players in the country.
From September, City Football Schools will now operate seven venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Players aged 3 to 16 can play at Zayed Sports City, Emirates Palace and a new location at Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. In Dubai the venues are Brighton College, Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, Koora Dome and the latest addition at Uptown School in Mirdif.
“We have been working hard over the summer and focusing on both returning to play safety and ensuring enjoyment levels as always, for all the returning and new players,” said Simon Hewitt, head of Mena football operations at City Football Schools.
Over the last decade, since starting in Abu Dhabi in 2010, City Football Schools said it has run 30,000 coaching sessions, helping 37 Emiratis progress to professional clubs and 24 teams to compete in local UAE leagues. More than 500 children have visit City's home ground, the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Manchester City stars including Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, former captain Vincent Kompany, French defender Aymeric Laporte, England forward Raheem Sterling, Spanish playmaker David Silva and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho and manager Pep Guardiola have visited to offer tips and meet the children.
Ahead of next month's start, Thomas Nesbitt, who aspires to be a professional footballer and has been training with City Football Schools for eight years in the UAE, said he can’t wait for the new season. "I’ve missed football so much.”