Posted on November 11, 2017

Aspire Academy’s U-16, U-17, and U-18 football teams have emerged victorious in the latest edition of the Tri-Series tournament that featured renowned German club Eintracht Frankfurt, and for the first time Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, the Aspire Zone Foundation owned football team from Spain.

This year’s strong performance from the Aspire Academy teams follows the Qatar national team’s successful qualification to the AFC U19 Championship which is taking place in Indonesia next year, with the majority of Qatar’s players, coaches and medical teams from Aspire.

During the fifth round of the international Tri-Series tournament, Aspire Academy's talented young-athletes achieved some impressive results to top their respective age groups. They dominated the games against Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa and won without conceding a single goal in every age group. The games against the German Bundesliga club were much closer with only one goal making the difference in the games of the U-18s and U-17s. In one of the most tightly contested matches, Aspire Academy and Eintracht Frankfurt’s U-16 teams went to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner after their match ended 2-2 in regular time. The Aspire Academy players showed serious mental strength throughout the match and managed to defeat their strong German opponents from the spot.

Aspire Academy teams clinch 2 [].jpg

"We played really well in all three age groups, especially the games against Eintracht Frankfurt, a club with one of the best youth academies in Germany. This year’s tournament has demanded a lot from our players. The Germans came with a physical style of play this year, but our teams had a great response, they played fast and fluid football which gave us the upper hand over their physical tactics. Our boys kept their focus until the end of the games and were determined to win," said Aspire Academy U-18 coach, Abdulrazak Hedeidar.

Aspire Academy teams clinch 3 [].jpg

The number of teams that have visited Aspire Academy to compete in the Tri-Series tournament has grown steadily since it was launched in 2012. Last year, a total of 32 clubs and associations participated in the tournament. Participating teams have included major football clubs such as Liverpool FC (England), Paris St-Germain (France), Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Nagoya Grampus Eight (Japan), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia) and Palmeiras (Brazil) as well as national youth teams from Canada and Denmark.

The selection criteria for overseas teams taking part in Aspire Academy’s Tri-Series football competition includes a strong emphasis on youth development programmes, in addition to their standard of football and style. During their time in Qatar, representatives from visiting clubs are also invited to present their philosophy and management approach when working with junior players, which is of considerable benefit both to coaches at Aspire Academy as well as those of the Qatar national teams.