First-ever Football Generation Cup kicks-off this Friday in Dubai

Alex Broun 4/04/2018
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Football Generation Cup - Friday April 6th in Abu Hail

The Football Generation (TFG), are set to conduct the first edition of The Football Generation Cup, an all UAE Expat Football Sevens Tournament in Dubai, this Friday, April 06th.

The tournament will be under the auspices of The Penalty Football organization who own the Football ground premises at the Scout Mission, Abu Hail in Dubai.

The tournament is based on a knockout format: 16 teams compete from 4 groups with the top two winners of each group progressing to the knockout stages to compete for the Champions Cup, Runner up Cup and Third Place Cup.

The third positioned teams from each group will play against each other in a knockout format for the Plate.

Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to best teams and individuals.

A crowd of around 400 is expected to witness what should be an action packed event.

For more information or to support the event call Paul on +971 55 2134895 or email [email protected]

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Manchester City fans can head to Zayed Sports City to watch the Manchester derby

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Manchester City fans can enjoy a fun viewing experience this weekend.

Manchester City fans can head to Zayed Sports City for their crucial Premier League clash against rivals Manchester United this weekend and enjoy a free fun-filled evening with friends and family.

Families and City fans from across the UAE can come together at the Cityzens FanZone on Saturday as the rivals go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium.

It’s been a memorable campaign for Pep Guardiola’s side with 27 wins from 31 games and another three points at home would see them regain the Premiership title for the first time since 2014.

As well as watching the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva in action, there will be plenty of activities and competitions taking place before the game and at half-time. There will also be refreshments to purchase during the evening.

It’s not the first time that City have hosted FanZones in the capital, with their previous editions proving hugely popular and Saturday’s will be no different, especially against fierce rivals Manchester United.

Entry is free but organisers are encouraging those who wish to attend to register via Cityzens website.

Date: Saturday, April 7

Time: Doors open at 20:00 and kick-off is at 20:30

Location: Zayed Sports City, Football Pitch 15

Parking: Limited parking will be available at Zayed Sports City and will be allocated on first come first served basis.

Contact: For more information, visit cityzens.mancity.com

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Girls' game continues to thrive in du Football Champions

Denzil Pinto 27/03/2018
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Shooting for glory: Natasha Toms

The du Football Champions has come a long way in raising the profile of the women’s game since it was launched three years ago.

Back then in 2014, around 100 girls took to the field for the formerly known Dubai Schools Cup. But with the competition rolled out across the UAE, that number has more than tripled with that tally standing at more than 700 in the third edition of the du Football Champions.

That figure may still lag behind the numbers of boys playing in the competition but the last five years have shown organisers are going in the right direction in giving a platform for the UAE’s stars of tomorrow to showcase their talent.

Their UAE Girls Challenge which sees private academies, street teams and four UAE national teams in action has gone from strength to strength and anyone who wants to measure its success only needs to look at the examples of Tamara Mrad and Natasha Toms.

Mrad, 18, and Toms, 19, are now plying their trade in the US after being awarded scholarships following their impressive displays in the competition.

Mrad has good memories of the event, winning the top goalkeeper award in the 2015 edition as well as best the youngest shot-stopper to join the Dubai Women’s League. Her series of displays saw her receive six scholarship offers but she chose Davidson College in North Carolina and now plays for their ‘Davidson Wild Cats’ team.

In her own words, ‘Du Football Champions was her window into competitive football’.

“The experience was amazing on many levels. It helped me to improve my game first of all, playing in a competitive tournament and also be mentored by some of La Liga’s best players like Roberto Carlos,” she said.

“Off the pitch, it also helped to improve my learning skills like focus, awareness and collaboration. Football is a team sport, it teaches you to work with other people and teaches you determination and commitment. These are qualities that helped me to play a good game, but also to get good grades in high school.

“These experiences were an amazing foundation that helped me to get access to the best universities in the US. As an international student, it can be very challenging to get scholarships to US universities.”

Tamara Mrad

Tamara Mrad in action.

For Toms, she was part of the GoPro squad to win the National duFC Cup, while also being a runner-up in the Dubai Women’s Football League.

Football runs pretty much in her family with her father playing semi-professional level in England after moving to Dubai when she was six, often played with boys.

Today, she is part of the football team of Sophomore at Delta State University, Mississippi. And the 19-year-old says her UAE experience particularly in the du Football Champions has helped her become a more developed player.

I definitely enjoyed playing in the duFC games, they were always fun to be a part of,” she said. “They also had fantastic coaches such as Carles Puyol and it was a great experience to meet him and to play in front of him when he helped coach us in the final. The facilities at The Sevens ground were also top class and to train there and then play our final in the Dubai Mall on the Ice Rink was amazing.”

For Hussein Murad, CEO of Inspiratus and organisers of the competition, is hopeful more girls can follow in their footsteps in the future with plans to enhance their programme.

“With the two girls getting two full scholarships, that has opened the eyes of those girls and parents that they can go far. We are now expecting two or three more to be noticed and get a scholarship.

“As a result of the success of girls like Tamara and Tasha in duFC, we are now exploring formalising the scouting and development programme for girls through opening up the du La Liga High Performance Centre programme to girls.”

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